Health & Fitness

Steroids and the risks involved in its abuse.

Steroids are simply man-made versions of testosterone, a male hormone responsible for the production of male secondary sexual characteristics. Women also produce testosterone just that it is chiefly a male hormone. This hormone synthesizes protein and help promote muscle growth. Steroids also act in the same manner in a simple process. After you ingest a steroid, the steroid molecules bind to receptor sites, increase protein synthesis, make metabolic changes and finally, increase the size and strength of muscle cells. This why people mainly body builders and athletes take in steroids; for muscle growth and development.

Just as the saying goes that ‘too much of everything is bad’ using a synthetic version in addition to your naturally produced testosterone will eventually throw this hormone out of balance and can lead to deadly consequences. Most of us fail to talk about the negative effects of steroid use making people think it doesn’t have any. Steroids can affect you both physiologically and psychologically. In your quest to look big and strong, you might be at risk of the following.

image source: insanephysiques.blogspot.com

Problems to the cardiovascular system

Steroid use can lead to problems of the cardiovascular system including; high blood pressure, heart diseases, anaphylactic and septic shock, cholesterol modifications and even death.

Problems to the reproductive system

Some of the effects to the reproductive system include, testicular atrophy (testes shrinking), development of breast in males, low sperm count, painful erection, prostate enlargement and impotence. In females, it can cause menstrual irregularities, reduced breast, deepened voice and enlarged clitoris.

Liver and kidney problems

Damages to the liver include, cancer, jaundice, tumors and hepatitis. Some of the effects to the kidneys are, kidney stones, kidney disease, and kidney malfunctions.

Skin problems

Taking steroids can cause skin problems such as, acne, oily skin, rashes, purple or red spots on the body, growth of excessive facial and body hair in females and baldness.

Psychological problems

Steroids use can also affect the user psychologically. These include depression, aggressiveness, mood swings, delusions and some become very hostile

Others

Other side effects include short sightedness, edema bone pain, nausea, chills, diarrhea, insomnia and changes in bowel and urinary habits. Since steroids are often taken by injections, there is also the risk of getting STIs, HIV or hepatitis infection from an unsterile needle or syringe.

One of the most famous steroid users is Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger has held the title of Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia. He used steroids before the health risks were known. After realizing the health risks involved, he concluded that his health was more important than rapid muscle growth.

According to Bryan Timothy Hall, a fitness fanatic, freelance personal trainer, when you take steroids, you’re essentially injecting synthetic testosterone into your body. When the body adjusts to the fact that it is receiving testosterone from an outside source, a very disturbing thing happens- your body will stop producing its own testosterone. You’ll be left with two options, either you keep taking steroids for life or suffer from having low or no testosterone.

Unless your doctor prescribes it to treat certain medical conditions, know that the risks outweighs the positives, when you use it personally.
Credits:
Daniel J. DeNoon
Derek Charlebois

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Emmanuel Ofosu

Medical personal, health advocate, blogger and one of those who want to leave an indelible mark behind.

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