Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Steroid use


Steroid Use

Steroid Use

Steroid use

We all know of steroid use through professional sports and most recently and specifically, Lance Armstrong.  Steroid use has been going on for a long time by those who are the best in the world and by those who just want to look, feel and be the best. But what do we really know about steroid use?

Anabolic steroid is the most familiar name for a synthetic male sex hormone known as testosterone. The right term for these steroids is actually anabolic-androgenic steroids or AAS. This refers to anabolic which means muscle building and androgenic referring to increase male sexual characteristics.

This steroid use isn’t always used to beef up at the gym though. Steroids can and are legally prescribed to treat conditions such as hormone deficiency, delayed puberty, as well as disease that result in loss of lean muscle mass such as cancer and AIDS. Yet, we are more familiar with steroid use through the commercialization of its abuse by famous Olympians, football players, baseball players, bodybuilders, and others who abuse steroids in an attempt to enhance performance and/or improve their physical appearance.

The most common means of steroid use are orally or via injection. People who abuse steroids can use anywhere from 10 to 100 times a normal dosage. This can lead to very dangerous health consequences.

When steroids are used they are usually taken in intervals instead of continuously. This is to avoid any side effects and to give the body’s natural hormonal system a chance to catch up or recuperate. Continuous steroid use can decrease the amount of response a person’s body has to it or better create what is better known as a tolerance. Continuous steroid use can also cause the body to stop producing its own testosterone.

Steroid use can lead to serious and even irreversible health problems. Some of the most dangerous problems with steroid use by those who are abusing are kidney impairment or failure; damage to the liver; cardiovascular problems that include enlargement of the heart, high blood pressure, and changes in blood cholesterol leading to a risk of stroke or heart attack. The risk of stroke or heart attack from steroid use does not discriminate on age. Whether you’re 20 or 40, abuse steroids and you may find yourself with an EKG machine strapped to your chest.

Steroid use doesn’t create a high like heroin or cocaine but it can lead to addiction. Some people continue with their steroid use regardless of physical problems and negative consequences. Individuals who use steroids can also experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using them. Withdrawal symptoms of steroid use are:

  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Steroid cravings
  • Depression- This depression can lead to suicide attempts.

Some steroid use will lead steroid abusers to use other drugs such as heroin to counteract the negative effects of steroids.

Steroid use most commonly causes severe acne, fluid retention and other effects that are more specific to the age and gender of the user. Signs of steroid use are:

Men

  • Shrinkage of testicles (testicular atrophy)
  • Reduced sperm count
  • Infertility
  • Baldness
  • Development of breasts
  • Increased risk for prostate cancer

Women

  • Growth of facial hair
  • Male-pattern baldness
  • Changes or lack of menstrual cycle
  • Enlargement of the clitoris
  • Deepened voice

Adolescents

  • Stunted growth
  • Accelerated puberty changes
  • Risk of not reaching expected height

For all people involved with steroid use (via needles) run the risk of contracting or transmitting HIV/AIDS or hepatitis.