ANABOLIC STEROID ABUSE AND THEIR SIDE EFFECTS

WHAT ARE ANABOLIC STEROIDS?

Anabolic and Androgenic steroids are manufactured versions of the male sex hormones such as; TESTOSTERONE and DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE. When used they have a number of effects.  

  • Androgens stimulate the development of male sexual characteristics (such as deepening of the voice and beard growth) and development of male sex organs.

  • Anabolic steroids stimulate growth in many other types of tissues, especially bone and muscle. Anabolic effects also include increased production of red blood cells.

These do have legitimate medical uses, which can be used to treat:

  • delayed puberty in adolescent boys

  • hypogonadism and impotence in men (smaller testicles and infertility)

  • breast cancer in women

  • anemia

  • osteoporosis (weak bones)

  • weight loss disease in HIV

  • endometriosis (problems in the uterus)

  • other conditions with hormonal imbalance

However, although they are used in medical profession, we see more and more people are using Anabolic steroids, for purposes that they weren’t intended to enhance physical performance in sport, and in their appearance, due to the associated muscle growth.

This has become such a significant problem that most sports governing bodies have actively banned these and other substances, in an effort to maintain a level playing field, and because of the SIGNIFICANT risks with their side effects many countries have labelled them as “controlled” substances. Meaning it illegal to sell them for use outside of medical reasons, and without a prescription.

So What Are The Most Common Side Effects That May Occur With Anabolic Steroid Use?

There is a wide array of serious side effects associated with abuse of anabolic steroids. Steroid use can alter the normal hormonal production in the body, hindering or even stopping the body's ability to produce them at all naturally! Most side effects can be reversed if the drugs are stopped, but some, such as a deepened voice in women may persist. Data on long-term side effects primarily come from case reports and not from well-controlled, long-term epidemiological studies, which might be reliable.Common side effects with anabolic steroids may include:

  • Severe acne, oily skin and hair

  • Hair loss

  • Liver disease, such as liver tumors and cysts

  • Kidney disease

  • Heart disease, such as heart attack and stroke

  • Altered mood, irritability, increased aggression, depression or suicidal tendencies

  • Alterations in cholesterol and other blood lipids

  • High blood pressure

  • Gynecomastia (abnormal development of mammary glands in men causing breast enlargement)

  • Shrinking of testicals

  • Azoospermia (absence of sperm in semen)

  • Menstrual irregularities in women

  • Infertility

  • Excess facial or body hair, deeper voice in women

  • Stunted growth and height in teens

  • Risk of viral or bacterial infections due to unsterile injections

Are Anabolic Steroids Addictive?

Yes, many are used for very good medicinal reason, the problem lies with the fact that many of them are abused to achieve results and effects that they were never designed for.

They are all derived from hormones that the body should naturally produce on its own, and as soon as your begin to take these hormones from an external source you run the risk of hindering your body’s ability to produce them further or efficiently. This can actually lead to the associated Addiction with them, as people who abuse them, can potentially become dependant and reliant on them to either continue getting the desired effects of these substances, or due to the fact that because their body can no longer produce the hormones naturally, they HAVE to continue using them, as they have become stuck in a vicious cycle.

What is the Extent of Illicit Anabolic Steroid Use?

Illegal use and street purchase of anabolic steroids is risky. Illicit steroids may be sold at gyms, sporting competitions, and via mail order, and buyers may be at risk of purchasing adulterated or contaminated products. Often, illicit steroids are smuggled into the countries via places that do not require a prescription for the purchase of steroids. Steroids may also be illegally sourced from pharmacies or synthesized in backroom laboratories. Common street names that are used to refer to anabolic steroids may include:

  • Juice

  • Test

  • Dianabol

  • Winstrol

  • Deca

  • MGH (muscle growth hormone)

  • HGH (human growth hormone)

  • Stackers

it is believed that currently in the UK it is estimated upwards of 1 in 10 males who use a gym may be using some form of illicit substance, to achieve what they consider to be an ideal physique. This may be due to a significant increase in body dysmorphia in males, to become more “masculine”, and the advent of psychological conditions such as “bigorexia” which is the opposite of anorexia, where individuals see themselves as too small, and are desperate to increase their size.

What Is The Cause?

Ultimately there are several causes, one in particular is is linked to my previous post, BODY IMAGE. The pressure on people to achieve incredible physiques, to look good, this comes from movies and magazines, that glamourise celebrities and individuals who have incredible bodies, and who themselves may have used Steroids to achieve their results. This can lead to the sometimes misguided belief that to achieve a great physique you must use steroids to get those results. THIS IS NOT TRUE! you can maximise your body's potential, through consistent and educated exercise and diet!

The other cause of steroid abuse comes from athletes who seek to gain a competitive edge over their rivals, by enhancing their physical attributes, to gain increased performance.

The pressure on athletes to perform is incredible, to be the best, because if you aren’t good enough, you can and indeed WILL be replaced. This pressure has given rise to the use of Anabolics in sport, but with it comes great risk. We have heard stories of WWE athletes like Chris Benoit who killed his family and himself in a fit of rage brought on steroid abuse. Body Builders such as Arnold Schwarzenegger have suffered from heart issues due to the use of steroids, in an effort to beat their competitors. In fact their is no sport more prevalent in the use of steroids than body building! However many of these athletes, ultimately suffer from debilitating conditions and reduced life spans after their careers due to the steroid abuse. It has infact led to an increase in “tested” and “natural” bodybuilding federations in an effort to prove that these amazing results can be achieved through proper diet and training!

Conclusions

In the end my point is ultimately this! we should all strive to be the best we can be, but we should do so in a healthy way! our goals should simply be HEALTH, FITNESS AND HAPPINESS, and these can and are achieved through the ROUTE 1 mentality of hard work, dedication and commitment to a healthier, sustainable and moderate lifestyle.

Natural athletes constantly prove they can keep up and indeed beat those who are on some form of steroid.

individuals consistently show that they can achieve the body of their dreams, through a good diet and exercise

THERE IS NO REASON to abuse steroids.