Steroids

The term Steroids refers to a broad class of drugs structurally related to cholesterol. Anabolic Steroids are derivatives of the male hormone testosterone. They are often abused by athletes in the hopes of increasing muscle size and improving performance. Although there are legitimate medical uses for steroids, the non-medical use is extremely dangerous. The American College of Sports Medicine states that anabolic steroids do not of itself bring about any significant improvements in strength, aerobic endurance, lean body mass, or lean body weight.

Don't confuse anabolic steroids with steroid medication often prescribed by physicians in the treatment of asthma  and other upper respiratory illnesses. These steroid preparations help to reduce inflammation in the airways of the lungs and DO NOT pose the same health risks.

Classes

Three major classes of Anabolic Steroids:

  • Oral Tablets
  • Injectable, oil based liquids
  • Injectable, water based liquids

Most injectable steroids are stored in body fat and remain there for weeks. As long as they are in the body, they exert their damaging effects and often cause irreversible health problems.

Effects and Health Risks

Steroids mimic the natural hormone that controls the development of masculine characteristics in adult males. The hormone is also present in females in small quantities. Anabolic steroid use may overload the body with testosterone and adversely affect the hypothalamus gland in the brain.

Health Risks:

  • Stunt growth
  • Increase Cholesterol
  • Increase blood pressure
  • Strokes, Coronary Heart Disease
  • Enlarged Heart
  • Liver cancer, chronic Hepatitis
  • Fluid retention
  • Acne
  • Loss of endurance
  • Dependence/Addiction

Male Health Risks:

  • Infertility, low sperm count
  • Impotence
  • Testicular shrinkage
  • Baldness
  • Testicular/Prostate cancer
  • Enlarged breast tissue
  • High pitched voice

Female Health Risks:

  • Infertility
  • Deep voice
  • Irregular menses
  • Baldness
  • Shrinkage of breast tissue

Personality Changes in Both Male and Female:

  • Altered mood and behavior
  • Increased aggressiveness
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Temper tantrums
  • Impulsiveness