The Dangers of Anabolic Steroids
Many teenage body builders and athletes
mistakenly believe that taking steroids involves all gain and
little risk. Steroids
do work, but what are the most probable consequences and side
effects if you starting taking them?
Truth VS Scientific Fiction
steroids are synthetic derivatives of the male hormone testosterone
that are taken to build muscle, enhance performance, and improve
appearance. The drug's anabolic or "muscle-building" effects help
the body retain protein, a necessary building block for the growth
of muscles, bones, and skin.
artificial substances were developed in the 1930's originally
to help men whose bodies produced inadequate amounts of the natural
hormone that is responsible for the development of masculine characteristics
occurring at puberty, such as lowering of the voice and growth
of body hair.
don't misunderstand some things here. You won't get huge if you
start injecting yourself every day with one of the many "testosterone
treatments" or with GH (Growth Hormone). If you don't eat huge
quantities of food and train like a real warrior in the gym, nothing
good will happen to you, no matter what.
best thing that steroids can do is help those who use them to
recover from their workout much faster than a natural bodybuilder.
When natural bodybuilders need at least 48 hours rest before they
train again in order to continue increasing their muscle bodymass,
steroid users need just a few hours!
most of us should not train more than 3-4 times per week, and
every time we train we should not spend more than 1 hour in the
gym, people that use steroids can easily train 6 times per week,
splitting their sessions in morning and afternoon training, as
well as they are able to spend easily 2 hours in the gym, getting
stronger and bigger, week after week. (That's something that would
make any natural bodybuilder get overtrained in no time!)
these people are able to train longer and recuperate faster, making
it much easier for them to increase their muscle mass as well
as their strength.
major side effects of anabolic steroid use include liver tumors,
jaundice (yellowish pigmentation of skin, tissues, and body fluids),
fluid retention, enlargement of the heart, (a precursor to heart
failure), high blood pressure, atherosclerosis or hardening of
the arteries, (a precursor to coronary heart disease) elevated
cholesterol levels, heart palpitations, heart attack, and finally
steroids can impair the kidneys leading to kidney stones and kidney
others are severe acne and trembling.
side effects include the following:
- shrinking of the testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility,
baldness, development of breasts.
- growth of facial hair, changes in or cessation of the menstrual
cycle, enlargement of the clitoris, deepened voice.
- growth halted pre maturely through premature skeletal maturation
and accelerated pubertal changes.
that use steroids can be identified by:
a) Quick weight
and muscle gain
b) Purple or red-colored spots on the body
c) Swelling of feet or lower legs
e) Unexplained darkening of the skin
f) Bad breath
g) Increased aggressive behavior ("roid rage")
you should not forget that some physiological effects of steroid
use can have profound effects on the mind, causing temporary personality
changes in some. Users may exhibit uncontrolled aggression and
violent behavior called "roid rage", in addition to severe mood
swings, manic episodes, and depression.
facts and the scientific evidence that we have to support how
hazardous the use of anabolic steroids can be for your health
is plenty. But I would prefer to present to you 5 of the most
profound examples. After searching a lot and spending a lot of
time trying to find the 5 best, here they are!
first two facts will be based on the most important muscle in
the human body. The heart! When one uses anabolic steroids, they
do because they want their muscles to grow right?
as we said, steroids do make your muscles grow more (that's the
good part), but they affect ALL the body's muscle growth (including
the heart of course, and thats the bad part). The heart is a muscle
that is also affected by steroids and the health consequences
can be very very serious.
of bodybuilders who used steroids were compared to bodybuilders
who had never used steroids. The men's hearts were examined using
echocardiography, (a type of sonar picture that allows doctors to
see the heart without having to use any invasive procedures).
found that during steroid cycles the users had left ventricles
(the main pumping chamber of the heart) that were 25% greater
in mass than the non-users! This increas in mass caused the walls
of the steroid user's heart muscle to be almost 20% thicker while
on steroids! Although the heart was bigger during active steroid
use, the cardiovascular fitness of these individuals was nearly
18% less than non-users.
the steroid users were off the steroids, their heart size decreased,
but never fully returned to its normal size!(1,2) Now, if some
of you think that it was just a "coincidence" and nothing more,
read very carefully the second fact.
published in the journal "Cardiology" (1997;88:50-51), offered a
unique perspective of the effects of long term anabolic steroid
usage and heart function. The study was unique because it involved
fraternal twin bodybuilders, one of whom has used steroids for 15
years, while the other was drug free. Both of these men had trained
for over 20 years.
were described in the study as "extremely large with profound
muscular hypertrophy". They had won several state and national
titles in bodybuilding and powerlifting. The twins had bodyfat
levels below 10 percent, and followed the same diet and training
regime on a yearly basis.
primary test to access their cardiac function was echocardiography.
(As I previously said, it's a machine that uses reflected ultra
sonic waves to show the structure and function of the heart.)
men showed normal blood pressure readings. The drug-free twin
showed a testosterone level of 6.2 nanongrams per mililiter of
blood, and the steroid twin had a higher than normal level of
11.5 ng/ml! (The normal range for testosterone is 2.8-8.8, and
as you can easily understand, the steroid twin had testosterone
levels almost 3 times the high normal level)
echocardiography tests showed that both men, with similar genetic
backrounds and the same training and diet regimes, showed little
difference in gross heart function. However, the steroid user
showed a LARGER left ventricular wall size with a decreased ventricular
compliance. (That means that the pumping chamber of his heart
was LARGER than his brother's, while also being a bit stiffer!)
heart stiffness that occurs in steroid-using bodybuilders is thought
to be brought on by an increased sensitivity of heart muscle to
catacholamines, such as epinephrine, induced by steroids. And
guess what friends, this scenario may have played a role in the
sudden deaths due to heart failure that have occured in a small
percentage of regular steroid users.
and co-workers at the University of Witwatersrand Medical School
in Johanesburg, South Africa, examined the influence of self administered
amabolic steroids on lipids in bodybuilders.
men used a steroid drug and eight men served as controls (placebo).
The two groups were equal in their physical and competitive characteristics.
The scientists found that serum lipoprotein (L-a) a genetic determinant
of risk for cardiac disease, was reduced. (HDL-C over LDL-C was
means that lipid profile investigations of individuals taking
anabolic steroids have shown that high-density lipoprotein cholesterol
(HDL-C, a.k.a good cholesterol), decreases, while low-density
lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C a.k.a bad cholesterol), increases!
published in the British Medical Journal (313;4-5:1996), looked
at five cases of steroid using bodybuilders who had showed up at
an infertility clinic. While the men in this study took extensive
doses of several anabolic steroids, none of them claimed to know
about the fertility reprecussions associated with long term use
of the drugs. Incredibly, all of these men, showed ZERO sperm counts!
has to do with GH. Shortly before his death, one famous former pro
football player (a big name in 80's), attributed his brain cancer
to a long course of anabolic steroids which he claimed to have used
for nearly 26 years. But in other statements, this unfortunate pro
footballer, suggested that his more recent use of human growth hormone
was the thing that really kindled his fatal brain T-cell lymphoma.
recently, one very famous bodybuilder (I won't say his name but
I bet most of you will understand immediately to whom I am refering),
said that according to his doctors who treated him for leukemia,
it was not his use of anabolic steroids that caused the disease,
but rather the growth hormone injections he has also taken!
you have to know that there is research showing an increased incidence
of leukemia in Japanese children being treated for growth hormone
deficiency and dwarfism!) (4)
reading these 5 facts, I hope you have realized that steroid use
is totally worthless for you. There is no point in getting a great
body, then also a "sick" body. There is no point in looking good
now, just to look terrible after 10-20 years. (If you can stay
person's priority should be to live longer and healthier!
by John Stamatopoulos, Bodybuilding.com
Reference Source 101, 121