The Dangers of Anabolic Steroids: Are steroids really worth the risk?
If you are considering taking anabolic steroids you may want to consider some of the possible dangers they may cause before you stick that needle in your arm.
What are anabolic steroids?
Anabolic steroids are derivatives (synthetic substances) of the primary male sex hormone, testosterone. However, anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) is a more acceptable term, with anabolic referring to the ability to promote the growth of muscle mass and androgenic meaning that they have the overall effect of enhancing male sex characteristics.
Anabolic steroids have been used by all kinds of athletes, in fact back in the 70’s steroids were legal and many famous bodybuilders took advantage of the growth potential they offered. In this article, I will discuss the danger of anabolic steroids.
Anabolic steroids were first developed in the 1930's, later on, modern medicine would begin to use them to treat various ailments including cancer and AIDS. In the sporting world, steroids can increase strength and muscle mass, especially if accompanied by intense training and proper diet.
As is the case with many substances and medications that are widely abused, the primary purpose of anabolic steroids was to help cure hypogonadism.
Hypogonadism is a condition in which the body is not able to produce testosterone, which has the end result of slowing down some natural processes and delaying physical growth and puberty in adolescents.
There are many other diseases and conditions anabolic steroids are used for, such as cancer, AIDS, bone marrow stimulation, growth stimulation, stimulation of appetite, etc.
The easier it becomes to get your hands on anabolic steroids, be it in a legal way or not, the more frequent their abuse is going to be. This is one of the main issues in today's sports, with many successful athletes all over the world having confessed that they used anabolic steroids at some point in their lives to increase the chances of becoming the best of the best.
Even though there is a common belief that anabolic steroids exist only as pills, there are several different forms: injectable steroids, oral pills, creams/gels and skin patches. The most common way of their abuse is injecting them straight into the muscles or taking oral pills.
The nature of anabolic steroids is the same as the male hormone testosterone. The difference is that steroids are chemical derivatives. Like with any controlled substances there is both a positive and negative side, synthetic steroids also have many side effects.
While steroids are great for increasing the body’s strength and muscle gaining potential, if used for a prolonged period of time they can have severe side effects, some of the side effects can be subtle, such as increased cholesterol levels and elevated blood pressure, in more severe cases they can cause permanent liver and kidney damage.
In spite of the side effects, many athletes still use them for the sake of being able to maintain a competitive edge.
One less talked about side effect of long-term steroid use is that many athletes who have consumed steroids for long periods suffer from other issues, once steroid use is discontinued, many long-term users are forced to start some kind of hormone replacement therapy.
The reason for this is because their body has not needed to produce hormones on its own for a long time, this tells the body that it no longer needs to produce testosterone or other important hormones because it was being substituted by a synthetic means.
Some of the more common side effects from taking steroids include:
This is probably the crucial moment to realize how dangerous anabolic steroids can be. Being a sensitive topic as it is, impotence should make you wonder if taking any substances is worth the potential consequences.
High Blood Pressure and Heart Problems
Not only should people with heart problems avoid taking substances that help the muscle mass grow, but so should the healthy ones, since being healthy won't prevent heart problems from occurring.
Androgenic Side Effects
As mentioned at the very beginning, anabolic steroids are known for the overall effect of enhancing male sex characteristics, such as increased body hair, deepened voice, rougher skin, etc. Androgenic effects have a greater impact on women since abnormal levels of testosterone-like substances in their bodies can completely destroy their femininity.
Even though you're emotionally attached to your lovely hair, you risk losing it if you use anabolic steroids. If that sounds scary enough to you, keep in mind that this might also be one of the least dangerous long-term side effects.
- Liver Disease
- Kidney Problems
- Menstrual Irregularities in Women
- Psychological effects
So what are the most popular steroids?
Since the beginning of time, one of the most popular steroids of all time has been testosterone “Sustanon“, it can be considered the granddaddy of all steroids and it is the base ingredient used to make other popular steroids, it has been used in the past and is still very popular today. In fact, over the last few years, TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) has been used to help men improve energy and sexual stamina and has been found to be very beneficial for older men who don’t produce adequate amounts of testosterone on their own due to the normal aging process.
D-Bol “Dianabol” is also another very popular steroid and can deliver amazing gains in muscle mass and strength, it is relatively inexpensive costing around $70.00 and $100.00 for one cycle, however, it does have side effects because it can lower natural testosterone production it will shrink the testicles and enlarge the prostate and in some users has caused symptoms of aggression or anger ”roid rage”
Nandrolone also known as “Deca Durabolin” is usually injected and has some great androgenic effects, one of the reasons it is so popular is because it is slow releasing making the effects longer lasting, however this can have some adverse side effects that can damage the liver, kidneys and increase blood pressure, the other downside to Nandrolone is that it causes bloating because of excess water retention.
Winstrol “Stanozolol” is very popular in the bodybuilding world and it is well known for its ability to increase lean and defined muscle mass giving the body a more striated and cut look, plus it can help increase energy and stamina, the downside to Winstrol is that many users complain about joint pain, this is because Winstrol reduces progesterone levels in the body which reduces liquid in the joints, joint pain is very prominent when using Winstrol especially after extended use, other side effects include gynecomastia in men and decreased libido in both men and women.
Are steroids all bad?
From a realistic perspective steroids should only be used by professionals, even so, use among athletes if often questionable, many of the harsh side effects come from the inexperienced who believe that steroids are all they need to improve their physique, but it takes more than that. It takes time, hard training and dedication along with a good diet.
Unless you are a professional bodybuilder, you probably should avoid anabolic steroids. Most amateur bodybuilders can get similar benefits from using legal steroids.
If you do plan on competing professionally, the best advice is to find a good trainer and seek medical supervision. This way you can closely monitor your health and prevent severe side effects.
Most bodybuilders and athletes claim there are very few side effects from taking steroids. the truth taking the wrong steroids in excess quantities can be harmful. If you want to gain muscle mass and improve strength a legal steroid can work just as well without the side effects.
The price you have to pay if you decide to take a shortcut by using anabolic steroids and hope that the things will go just as planned seems to be way too high for most. As you found out today, there are many potential side effects that it's basically impossible to list all of them in one place.
The fact that you may also experience long-term consequences, some of which may put your health at serious risk, should lead you to think more than once before making any important decisions related to your lifestyle and health. Given that we're all mature enough to take care of ourselves, there aren't any excuses and irrational explanations why anyone would be exposed to unnecessary amounts of risk just because of its much more beneficial short term.
When you take all the factors into account, it seems like completely relying on your athletic capabilities is the only way to succeed and always be proud of what you do.