Are steroids, and anabolics dangerous for health?

Anabolic steroids are classes of steroid hormones related to a natural human hormone: testosterone (male hormone). They are injected, ingested, or sometimes applied to the skin in order to increase the amount of testosterone in the body.

It is sometimes a medical treatment, but often a form of doping. When your doctor prescribes it, do not worry, testosterone dosages are controlled according to your pathology and the resulting deficits. When you take it on your own to perform, know that you expose yourself to many risks to your health.

What exactly are steroids?

Testosterone is the male sex hormone. It is produced naturally by both men and women.

In men, it allows the growth and development of the genitals, it is also responsible for hair and musculature. In women, it contributes to the maintenance of bone density and muscle mass. Women who use it voluntarily multiply their rate by an average of 30.

The main purpose of administering anabolic steroids voluntarily is to increase muscle mass and thus muscle strength and power and therefore sports performance.

What is the mechanism of action?

The mechanism of action is as follows: steroids stimulate metabolism, promote tissue growth, increase muscle mass and decrease inflammation. Thus, by consuming it regularly, an athlete will be able to train more intensely and longer, and recover faster.

According to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List, it is prohibited in training and competition to consume it (unless medically justified via a TUE). Not only is it forbidden because in any case, a positive test will be considered doping and therefore cheating, but in addition, this regular consumption is dangerous for health. This ban aims to protect athletes.

Physical side effects

For both sexes, there will be rapid adverse effects, some of which may eventually be irreversible.

Among the fastest effects to appear and the least dangerous, we can find:

  • oily skin and hair;
  • acne on the face and body;
  • night sweats
  • high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Cysts and liver cancer can occur in the long term.

Contrary to the desired effects, the athlete can also see joint pain and a decrease in the elasticity of the tendons and thus injuries.

Risks in humans

For a man who uses steroids, the risk is to see:

  • an increase in breast volume;
  • premature baldness
  • enlarged prostate and prostate cancer pathologies;
  • decreased sperm production
  • impotence and infertility, in the context of testicular atrophy.

Risks in women

The woman may see:

  • increased facial hair;
  • a decrease in the timbre of the voice;
  • a decrease in breast volume;
  • disruption of the menstrual cycle
  • if she is pregnant, birth defects in the unborn child.

Psychological adverse effects

In addition to the physical effects, there may also be more insidious effects on the mind and psyches of people who consume.

Among the most recurrent problems are:

  • dependence;
  • anxiety;
  • irritability
  • affective disorders such as depression;
  • hallucinations
  • increased aggressiveness;
  • insomnia
  • even suicidal thoughts.

These psychological problems can unfortunately settle in the long term, even after the cessation of consumption. These mental disorders are all the more marked and dramatic if the users are adolescents.

Other points of attention

Steroids are often obtained illegally on the internet or via black market traffic. You should know that these products are less controlled obviously and beyond the risk of the steroids themselves, they can contain ingredients and adjuvants that can cause other dangerous side effects that are not controlled.

Some people also try taking other medications, which are likely to decrease the list of these side effects, such as androgens. It must be understood that this type of practice brings the athlete into a vicious circle where each drug is administered in order to counter the other, yet all drugs are carriers of side effects.

In conclusion

Anabolic steroids are extremely dangerous when consumed without a doctor’s prescription, both in the short and long term, on the body and mind.

To develop your musculature legally, you must respect strict training, a healthy lifestyle, an adapted diet, and also probably have the genetic heritage of a high-level athlete. Doping leads to a depreciation of the look on oneself and this is a chronic way. That’s not what sport is for.

Image Credit: Image by 8photo on Freepik

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