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What Are Anabolic Steroids-Their Uses and Side Effects

What Are Anabolic Steroids-Their Uses and Side Effects

In the human body there is the hormone testosterone that plays a huge part in many different processes. Not only is it a main hormone on its own, but it’s also a precursor hormone that the body uses to make other hormones as well. This male hormone is responsible for many things, including muscle growth, metabolism, aggressiveness, competitiveness and even fat storage in the body. As a medicine, however, testosterone is very difficult to manufacture so it needs to be extracted from natural sources, it doesn’t store well, must be injected, and the dose must be very carefully monitored for safety reasons.

There Are Also Anabolic Steroids Available

These are man-made synthetic copies of testosterone that can be taken orally, injected, or by skin patch. They’re typically prescribed by medical professionals to treat a variety of diseases such as slow growth in children, muscle wasting, in some cancer treatments and also in AIDS. They also must be monitored and tested for during treatment to avoid side effects.

Many body builders and weight lifters also use anabolic steroids to help them gain extra muscle mass, reduce overall body fat, and decrease the recovery time after workouts. In most sports their use is prohibited and tested for, but for the average bodybuilder that’s not in competition there are few tests.

There Are Many Unwanted Side Effects Of Steroids

Most athletes that take them don’t consider themselves drug abusers since they are enhancing their bodies, but they also are at risk of many side effect too.

The longer a male uses steroids the more their testicles will shrink and, their body will reduce the amount of testosterone it produces because of the excess that is being taken. The testicles can re-grow if the athlete stops taking the steroids, but it’s not known what the long-term effects could be.

About a third of men will experience an increase growth in breast tissue because some of the excess hormone will be converted to estrogen, the female hormone. This can be mitigated by carefully monitoring the dose, but constant testing is required. Many men also will increase their hair loss, similar to male pattern baldness, since the extra hormone is responsible for the production of that hormone as well.

There are also quite a number of other possible side effects such as an increase in blood pressure, heart attacks and cancer. However, since the steroids are illegal and possibly dangerous, there have been very few long term studies done to investigate these other potential problems. Basically, lots of men are using their bodies as test subjects with no regulations, very little testing and lots of inaccurate information.

Another problem is that many athletes are also using the steroids in combination with other legal and illegal drugs to either enhance the steroids or counteract some of the side effects. This can contribute to the long-term dangers that may only present themselves later in life with no data to refer to for diagnosis or treatments.