The usage of steroids
The use of steroids was legal until several decades ago and it became illegal when people realized how much of an impact it had to sport. But that doesn’t mean that people are not using it, it only means that it is illegal.
There are two types of steroids, and here we are interested in anabolic steroids, which are taken into the body in order to influence its hormonal system to enhance the production of testosterone.
These steroids are used solely for the increase of muscle mass and they shouldn’t be confused with another type of steroids, catabolic corticosteroids that are given to patients who suffer from diseases cause inflammations.
Why you shouldn’t use steroids
Steroids have no short term negative side-effects on the body, but on the long run, they may do some rather serious damage to the body. Initial signs of negative effects of steroid abuse include mood swings, in some cases increased aggressiveness and acne (which are always present). Other signs that the steroids are doing damage to the body may be present in the form of Gynecomastia aka enlarged breasts on males (this happens due to the conversion of steroids into estrogen).
Steroids force the body to produce testosterone and that leads to reduced testosterone production without the steroids, and in some cases, this is reflected in decreased testicle size, baldness, infertility and decreased sperm production.
When it comes to women, the abuse of steroids may lead to a change in voice (the voice becomes deeper) and to menstrual cycle changes and in some cases either baldness or increased hair production.
Medical complications due to steroid abuse
Some of the side-effects are frightening, but medical conditions that they may cause are also very frightening.
Steroids cause liver damage and this increases the chance of liver cancer. This cancer is not easy to recognize and it may cause further problems if it isn’t found in its early stage.
The heart is a muscle and due to the excess steroid that is found in the body, it may enlarge just as any other muscle in a body. Enlargement of heart is a condition known as Hypertrophy, and it may lead to several medical conditions including decreased blood pumping ability also known as Cardiomyopathy. Other conditions it can cause are palpitations, heart rhythm changes, and cardiac death.
In many cases, steroids lead to high blood pressure as well as cholesterol and high blood sugar, and all three of them are risk factors for stroke and heart attack.
Living with steroid abuse
The addiction to steroids isn’t exactly your everyday addiction, but it exists. In any case, there is a risk of steroid cravings on the level of caffeine cravings.
Steroid addiction may be seen as a mental addiction, because once a person stops using steroids, his body loses the muscle mass it gained.
Medical treatment of steroids is focused on the treatment of side effects. The point in this is to prevent any serious medical conditions that occur due to side effects. Some side effects can be treated, but if a person returns to steroid abuse, then they will occur again with more devastating consequences.