The Effects of Anabolic Steroids
You’ve all seen them, the enormously large muscle-heads at the gym, the participates of the World’s Strongest Man Competition, the amazing offensive tackles, and the lightning fast runners. They were all unnaturally strong, and looked like gods. You tend to obsess over how beautiful their bodies are, how strong they are, or how fast they can run. All you can think about is reaching that level of athletic excellence, and nothing will hold you back. At times like these some people tend to take the quick fit to get closer to their idols, in the form of steroids. But what individuals tend not see is the horrible side effects that accompany the use of these anabolic steroids. These powerful drugs have both positive and negative results from their use. Along with increased strength and size, users of steroids suffer from a wide range of sicknesses such as cancer, shrinkage of testicles, bad acne, hair loss, damage organs, intense mood swings, and impotence.
Anabolic steroids are a group of muscle building chemicals, which are synthetic versions of the male hormone, testosterone. Developed in the 1930’s, they were prescribed to aid in muscle tissue repair by those who had undergone surgery or had degenerative diseases. Now the patients do not only use them but also athletes. Starting in the 1940’s steroids were introduced into sports. Steroids were one of the main reasons that Russia’s 1952 Olympic weightlifting team came out with pile of medals. With these results other nations thought their competitors should have the same advantage, and the use of steroids spread like wildfire.(NIDA pg 2) But now steroids are illegal to use if not prescribed by a physician, and have been banned by nearly all-athletic organizations, both professional and amateur.
Just how popular is the use of steroids? Well, one survey states that the prevalence of self-reporting anabolic steroids use in adolescents ranges from 5%-11% of males and 2.5% in females.(AAP pg 2) So, the even at a young age kids decide to use steroids to their advantage. At this age they do not take time to look at the adverse effects of steroid but only the perks. Most individuals consume steroids in two ways. People either administer them orally or by intramuscular injection. Once taken there are a series of events that take place. First the steroids bind to androgen receptors at the cellular level, stimulating the production of RNA, resulting in an increase in protein synthesis.(AAP pg 2) Individuals typically use a combination of oral and injectable drugs during 6 to 12 week cycles when using anabolic steroids.
When you think of someone who uses steroids, you typically picture someone who is massive, and whose muscle mass is very well defined. A picture comes to mind of the giant bodybuilder, who is so big he can’t find any type of clothing that will fit the shapes and curves of his body. His thigh, arms...