The first thing that comes in our mind when we hear the word steroids is doping, and there is a reason why sports authorities are keen to remove this drug from the game. Not only is it unfair towards the game but it could also harm the player. Anabolic-androgenic steroids are used to increase muscle strength and boost the capability of an individual beyond his/her natural limit. How exactly steroids work can be understood by its name itself. Anabolic refers to growth promotion, and androgenic means development of the male sex hormone testosterone. Testosterone is naturally produced by the human body for hair growth, development of voice tone, sex drive and increased height and muscle mass. Normal testosterone levels in men range from 300–1,000 ng/dL. By taking steroids, this level increases, causing boosting muscle mass and strength.

ARE STEROIDS ILLEGAL?

Taking steroids medication without a doctor’s prescription is against the law. Even possession, sale and distribution of anabolic steroids is illegal without a licence. A doctor may prescribe you steroids if you have a specific medical condition. For example, you will be prescribed steroids if you are suffering from AIDS, to manage muscle wasting. Delayed puberty or lack of testicular function are the two conditions in which steroids are prescribed to children.

POSSIBLE SIDE-EFFECTS ON MEN

While steroids may be very helpful in muscle-building, its side-effects are well documented too. According to a study in the National Institute of Health (NIH), USA, each anabolic-androgenic steroid has different anabolic-to-androgenic ratio. Using multiple anabolic-androgenic steroids in a short period can affect an individual’s genetics and muscle growth. Here are some of the other possible side-effects that are associated with using steroids.

Increased risk of heart disease

Studies have shown that using AAD, along with resistance training can increase the size of the left ventricle of the heart, causing blood pressure issues. Increased blood pressure level has been linked to an increase in the risk of heart disease and related death.

Steroids can lead to aggressive behaviour

Studies have shown that the use of steroids in adolescents may lead to aggression and impulsive behaviour in male teenagers.

It may cause male baldness

Use of steroids can put your body in an overdrive mode, causing or worsening male pattern baldness.

Steroids may cause gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is a withdrawal symptom of anabolic-androgenic steroids. Caused by hormonal imbalance triggered by steroids, it causes swelling in male breast tissue.

It can cause infertility

One of the side-effects of anabolic-androgenic steroids is that it can decrease testosterone production in the body. Without this hormone, the body cannot produce sperm, and this causes infertility.

SIDE-EFFECTS ON WOMEN

Women are free to use steroids to enhance their muscle strength and capability. But it can cause major side-effects in them. This is because testosterone, a male sex hormone, is usually the main ingredient of anabolic-androgenic steroids. Deepening voice, facial changes and hair growth, enlarged clitoris, irregular menstrual cycles, decreased breast size and infertility are some of the side-effects that have been noticed in women.

Published : October 19, 2019 12:38 pm

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