When most people think of anabolic steroids, they have the image in their mind of an athlete who takes the drugs to improve performance. While the publicity given to those who use any performance enhancing drugs is huge, athletes are not the only people abusing anabolic steroids. These days, there are people in almost every level of society who are using anabolic steroids to build muscle and feel better about themselves. Unfortunately, despite the increasing awareness of the dangers of anabolic steroid abuse, people often ignore the warnings in order to gain an “edge”.
Anabolic steroids are not illegal, by the way. The misuse of them is illegal but the drugs themselves do have legitimate uses. Anabolic steroids are used for men in the aftermath of testicular cancer when they’ve had to have their testes completely removed. Since testosterone is produced in the testes, these men need the steroids to be able to maintain many of their masculine characteristics. Steroids may also be used to treat pituitary disorders in adolescents so that the appropriate growth and sexual characteristics will happen. Occasionally, steroids are used to help with recovery after serious surgical procedures or cancers so that the patient can build muscle tissue back up or maintain that tissue.
Anabolic steroids are basically the synthetic version of the naturally produced male hormone, testosterone. This hormone is what makes male characteristics appear during puberty including the voice change, body hair development, larger muscle mass and growth. While we call it a male hormone, testosterone does actually exist in women, too but in much smaller amounts. Too little of this hormone in a male may cause him to appear androgynous or even overly feminine while too much in women can create masculine characteristics.
Often people think that buy anabolic steroids online must be safe since testosterone is naturally produced in the body. The problem is that the average healthy male produces only about 10 mg. of testosterone each day. When athletes or others take steroids in order to gain an edge or build muscle, they take up to 200 times the safe dosage used in treatments of disease. The problems and dangers become compounded exponentially when they mix different types of steroids, which is common.
For men, side effects of steroid abuse can include a lower sperm count, impotence, pain during urination, testicular shrinkage and even developing breasts. In women, steroid abuse can result in reducing breast mass, menstrual cycle changes, a deepening of the voice and growth of facial and other body hair. Both genders can develop a wide range of side effects that can be merely annoying to life threatening. Continuing steroid abuse leads to acne, bloating and weight gain, liver damage, heart attacks and strokes.
In recent years, it has also been discovered that steroid abuse can trigger severe mood swings from depression to hostility. A term that has now made it into common usage is “roid rage” as users can explode into an almost psychotic rage after long term abuse. Steroids can be addictive to many users, as well, causing withdrawal symptoms just as hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine do. This leads people to continue using steroids even after they realize they are hurting their own health.
Anabolic steroids have their legitimate uses in medical treatments but as you can see, abuse of the drugs can have serious effects on your health. Not only could you be changing your personality, you also risk liver damage, heart disease and even a fatal stroke. Those who abuse these drugs in the long term do end up with an “edge” but that could be the edge of a cliff with no turning back.