Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances that boost male sex hormones. Androgenic means increased male characteristics while steroids are a class of drugs. Steroids work by increasing the release of testosterone in males, to further increase muscle and body mass, adrenaline rush, and for other muscle-building properties. While steroids are used to treat certain medical conditions like AIDS and impotency, these drugs are mostly used by sportsmen and athletes for boosting their performance, body strength and mass.
With the kind of body and muscle-building effects that anabolic steroids have, it becomes important to be aware of the uses and risks of such drugs. Steroids have long-term and short-term implications on body, well-being, and overall health. While this article provides basic information on the use and risks of anabolic steroids, Asana Recovery’s Blog page features an interesting piece on Dwayne Johnson’s steroid use.
Uses of Anabolic Steroids
Sportspersons and athletes are found to use, and sometimes misuse steroids in order to increase performance, improve physical characteristics, and also develop behaviors like aggression. Steroids are very popular amongst bodybuilders, mainly for the purposes of gaining strength and body muscle. Anabolic steroids are also useful in building or reduce body fat, and therefore, are used by both men and women for sports and fitness.
Risks Associated with Prolonged Steroid Use
While most people who take steroids do not experience a ‘high’, long-term use of steroids can result in changed attitudes and behavior, and overdependence of people on such drugs. Owing to the increased energy and strength offered bysteroids, it does not take much time for people to get habituated to such drugs every time before their sport or activity, e.g. swimming, cycling, wrestling, exercise, and more.
Increasing dependence on steroids has severepsychological impacts, such as:
- Delayed/impaired judgment
- Feelings of anger, jealousy, and irritation
- Rage and aggression
- Hallucinations and delusions
Apart from affecting the mental health, anabolic steroids have a darker side to them. Using steroids over a span of time causes a number of health problems.
Blood pressure- Long-term use of steroids increases blood pressure and causes hypertension in males, especially those in sports and fitness.
Withdrawals- Withdrawal symptoms associated with steroids are drastic. Headaches, nausea, irritation, and anger are a few signs of steroid addiction.
Behavioral changes- Prolonged use of anabolic steroids results in aggressive behaviors and can make addicts delusional. Addicts may also display repeated episodes of rage that results from excessive body testosterone.
Addiction- Without a doubt, it is extremely easy for men and women to get addicted to steroids. Anabolic steroids are known to show results within a short time, which further increases the amount of damage such drugs cause to the mind and body.
Stunted growth- Stunted or impaired growth is one of the major risks associated with steroid usage among adolescents. When youngsters start relying on steroids from an early age, the same tends to impact their growth and skeletal development during puberty, resulting in stunted growth.
Liver, brain and heart damage: Increased heart rate and blood pressure cause temporary or permanent damage to the liver, brain, and heart. Such health conditions can also be permanent, even after stopping the use of steroids.
Anabolic steroids may show some benefits in the short run, but the long-term effects of steroid use and dependency are severe. Recommended alternatives to steroids include legal steroids and lifestyle changes.