At the Health Club
- Published on Tuesday, 23 March 2010 14:22
- Written by Cathleen Dower
The allure of steroids is tempting to those struggling to develop muscle gains. It is known to enhance and turbo charge one's ability to grow new muscle. But the risks and side effects are daunting and greatly outweigh the benefits. More than 100 different anabolic steroids have been developed in recent years. Created in the 1930s, scientists found that
Steroids were originally developed to treat Hypogonadism, a condition in which the testes do not produce sufficient testosterone for normal growth and sexual functioning. In the U.S today they are used to treat those with a suppressed or weakened immune system such as those with HIV and other diseases that cause the body to waste away.
They are also used today illegally amongst professionally athletes, bodybuilders, and weightlifters. Sadly many abuse these substances just to gain that extra edge over their opponent. In fact they have become so widespread in sports today that they have even decided the outcome of a few competitions and matches. That is why they have become illegal today, along with the fact that they can do a number on your body. Steroids may be a quick fix, but in the end they will hurt you more than they ever helped you. Some risk factors and long term side effects for both men and women include, increase risks of mood disturbances including mania and depression. Increased risks of psychosis, increased risks of aggressive acts which may injure self or others, increased risks of cardiovascular disease. Adding to that list you have increased risk for liver and kidney disease, increased cancer risk as well as HIV infection and Hepatitis B and C from contaminated needles. If you also want acne, bad breath, decreased sex drive, water retention, muscle cramps, aching joints, then I would suggest taking steroids. They have also been found to increase the risk of muscle tears, tendon injuries, nose bleeds, insomnia, and infertility. What a long list - but there is more!
In men specifically there is the potential for prostate enlargement and cancer, decreased testicular size, and Gynecomastia which is the growth of breasts. In women you have the increased risk of cervical and endometrial cancer. If you are a woman taking steroids you are also at risk for osteoporosis, uterine atrophy, amenorrhea, decreased breast size, enlargement of the clitoris, irreversible hoarsening and deepening of the voice as well as irreversible increase in growth of facial and body hair. For children expect stunted growth and Premature ephiphyseal closure.
For most people this list of negatives would be enough to deter them from ever taking steroids or even thinking about it, however to some getting increased muscle definition, muscles mass, and strength is all they care about. Sadly they are only concerned with the short wins and gains and are not concerned enough with what these drugs could actually be doing to their overall health. Ultimately if you take steroids, not only are you cheating in the game but you are cheating yourself as well because you are taking the easy way out instead of working and training hard to be the best you can be - naturally.