Steroid Abuse

In today’s cutthroat world, every one is living on an “edge” and the desire to stay ahead of the rest is forcing different people to make different decisions. While some accept life as it comes, some find new ways in the quest to be supreme at all costs. While there is absolutely nothing wrong if legal and ethical mediums are used, the problems start when illegal mediums are used and admirers of them end up finding themselves in trouble.

In this piece of information, we would be accessing everything on anabolic steroids that are commonly used for treating medical conditions and abused by sportsmen for getting a “distinctive but unfair” edge.

One of the biggest reasons why anabolic steroids are used by sportsmen and others is the desire to be invincible. While sportsmen use these performance enhancing drugs to run faster, grow bigger, and hit harder, others use steroids to gain or lose weight and develop solid muscles and lean appearance.

It is worthwhile to note here that there is a very thin line of difference between steroid use and steroid abuse. While steroid use is legal and all about use of drugs to treat health conditions under the expert guidance of a qualified medical practitioner, the abuse of steroids is illegal and made to gain unfair advantage or alter physical appearance in the desire to be supreme and this may be with or without medical guidance. However, most steroid users are not aware that indiscriminate use of steroids or steroid abuse could lead them to nowhere and such illegal acts may bring them closer to diseases and health complications.

The abuse of anabolic steroids can lead to health complications and these may range from mild to severe and from reversible to irreversible. Some of the possible effects of steroid abuse could be testicular atrophy, gynecomastia, acne, oily skin, kidney damage, reduced sperm count, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, abnormal functioning of the liver, and prostate enlargement. In addition to these negative effects of steroid abuse, people abusing steroids may experience deepened voice, menstrual cycle changes, depression, hallucination, dizziness, stunted growth, male pattern baldness, reduced sex drive, testicle shrinking, clitoris enlargement, growth of facial hair, and increased aggression. Anabolic steroid abuse may even result in health complications, including hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism or sudden reductions in terms of serum concentrations of LH (luteinizing hormone), FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), and testosterone levels. Not only this, steroid abuse has also been related to premature skeletal maturation and liver damage.

The abuse of steroids by women may lead to virilization (development of male sexual characteristics) and this may include changes in skin texture, acne, menstrual irregularities, increased libido, hair loss, deepening of the voice, body/facial/pubic hair growth, and an enlargement of the clitoris. The abuse of steroids by pregnant women may result in pseudohermaphroditism or growth retardation of the female fetus besides causing fetal death in some cases. Steroids, when abused via shared needles, may even result in life-endangering complications such as HIV/AIDS. Long-term steroid abuse may cause addiction, neurological problems, and development of anti-social behavior, pathological anxiety, sleeping disorders, and paranoia. Abuse of steroids may even lead to an increase in the amount of water and sodium stored in tissues of the body that may further translate into health concerns such as high blood pressure and kidney stress or damage. The use of steroids in the long term may even block the binding of cortisol, a chemical hormone produced by the body to manage stress, to its receptor sites that may prevent breakdown of muscles and promote the process of recovery after injuries. Moreover, steroids can increase the levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and decrease the levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) that translates into increased risk for atherosclerosis (process of blocking the blood flow to heart).

Furthermore, anabolic steroid abuse is related to interference with efficient collagen deposition in tendons that result in a weakening of the tendon structure. A few studies in the past have suggested that steroid users are more likely to tendon injuries as their muscles become so strong that they tend to exceed ability of the tendons to transmit force. Moreover, the use of steroids (even if for the first time) may promote irregular or dysplastic formation of collagen fibers that may lead to stiff tendons with significantly reduced elastic qualities. The use of steroids is also related to an increase in prothrombin time, which is the time taken by the body to produce a blood clot. This means that steroid users may take slighter longer than others (non-users) for a small cut to stop bleeding that can result in a more serious trouble. Moreover, these changes may get aggravated with the use of medications such as Tylenol, Aspirin, and especially anticoagulants.

All in all, anabolic steroids are powerful drugs and best used for treating health complications such as severe burns, prostate cancer, breast cancer, knee or shoulder injury (joint repair), anemia, thrombosis, osteoporosis, endometriosis and hereditary angioedaema, asthma, and muscle-wasting disorders. They may also be used for help individuals gain weight for chronic nutritional deficiencies or AIDS wasting syndrome, improve protein synthesis, and nitrogen balance.

But these potent drugs are not to be abused at any point of time, knowingly or unknowingly. Anabolic steroids should always be used after a medical practitioner has recommended their use after a careful and thorough examination of the body. Moreover, the doses of anabolic steroids and tips and precautions to be followed as provided by the practitioner should always be observed in complete conformity. Anabolic steroids are to be used ONLY for legal purposes and this is only about treatment of health complications under the advice of a practitioner. Like every thing else, the abuse of steroids can lead to side effects and these negative effects may be irreversible in nature and damage your health and reputation and social status to a significant extent. It is highly recommended that you act responsibly and take good care and decisions for your health and well being.

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