The Effects of Steroids
Anabolic steroids are heard about everywhere in the sports world. They are thought to give you superior strength incredibly fast. Athletes feel that taking steroids gives them an edge at beating the competition. They think they can rise to be number one in their sport. This may be true, but there are consequences that can change your life forever in very negative ways. Although steroids strengthen you in the short-term, it will deteriorate your body over time. The negative effects, physically, as well as mentally, are staggering.
The proper name for anabolic steroids are anabolic-androgenic steroids. The word anabolic means building or growing. So your muscles are growing and building in this case (Crane). Testosterone is the main chemical on your body that anabolic steroids imitate (Taylor). Testosterone is an androgen and thought of as the “male hormone,” but it is actually found in women as well. An androgen is a male sex hormone. Ninety five percent of testosterone in men is produced in the testicles. Testosterone in men is responsible for a man’s muscular build. Womens’ testosterone is eighty-five percent produced by the ovaries and fifteen percent produced by the adrenal glands. The testosterone produced in women is much less than in men. A deep voice, beard, and slim hips are all caused by testosterone in a man. Muscle protein building, and the formation of red blood cells are promoted by androgens. Also, they increase your appetite (Silverstein). When people work out, they create micro tears in their muscle fibers. A muscle then regrows, like scar tissue and comes back larger than before. If you use anabolic steroids, this cycle gets faster and better. People can work out more often, as well as get stronger quicker (Taylor).
There are various techniques of taking steroids. Steroids can be ingested by a pill, injected with a needle, and also can be rubbed on your skin with a cream. Most people take a hundred times the amount that is prescribed normally. Another method is
called cycling. Cycling is most commonly used with body builders. This form has the individual taking the drug in certain time cycles. Most commonly, they are taken in 6 to 12 week cycles. Another way is called stacking. You put the substance into your body by both pill and injection. This isn’t scientifically proven to work, but is meant to double muscle growth. Pyramiding is a common way to take steroids. It is just like cycling, but slightly different. In your first cycle you take a low base dosage. Then each cycle you keep increasing your dosage until you hit a peak. Then you gradually decrease (Anabolic Steroid Abuse).
Steroids are very addictive. When usage is stopped, severe migraines, depression, and fatigue commonly occur. They have effects on the body that would encourage usage. Steroids increase muscle mass while lowering body fat with the increase of testosterone. It also increases the concentration of hemoglobin in your blood and your blood volume. Hemoglobin is in your blood and it carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Steroids will also escalate bone strength and the mineral density in your bones. Your pain tolerance heightens. Steroids accelerate your recovery from muscle injuries and injuries caused from overuse. A sense of euphoria is felt by steroid use making you feel on top of the world (Taylor). In other words, steroids give you a sense of well-being and strengthen you abnormally quickly.
Anabolic steroid use is commonly found in many sports and most commonly associated with Major League Baseball. Athletes believe that using steroids will enhance their performance and give them an edge over the competition. Steroids, also known as performance enhancing drugs, are banned in sports for that very reason of giving them an edge over everyone else and to protect the health of the athletes.
People with a psychiatric condition known as muscle dysmorphia often abuse steroids. Muscle dysmorphia is the disorder of being absolutely obsessed with your body image. If someone is built and strong, they believe that they appear weak and skinny. There is no believing that you look good enough ever. Nothing is good enough for them concerning their body. This causes people with muscle dysmorphia to abuse anabolic steroids to improve their body image (Rohman). A common misconception among anabolic steroids is that they treat and prevent injury (Taylor). This has some truth, but can severely destroy the body in the long run.
Steroids will destroy your body physically. Specifically, men experience the development of breasts. The testicles also shrink (Crane). As a result of this, a reduced sperm count and temporary impotence also occurs. At first, using anabolic steroids increases the sex drive rapidly, but it eventually decreases. When the body experiences another source of testosterone, artificially introduced, the body may stop or slow the production altogether. This may actually make a man appear more feminine (Silverstein).
Women who take steroids appear to be more masculine. This is result of the increased testosterone. Another result is the deepening of the voice and breast size decreasing (Silverstein). Women lose their hair on their scalp, but it rapidly grows on their body. The hair lossage on the scalp is called male-pattern baldness (Anabolic Steroid Use). Menstrual irregularities often develop as well (Crane). Horrific side effects in women are the degeneration of the uterus and an enlarged clitoris (Silverstein).
Adolescents who take anabolic steroids usually do it to build muscle to improve in athletics and to attract women they are interested in. Sometimes boys take them to start puberty if it has not been reached at an older age. Adolescents using steroids may have premature baldness and may even have stunted growth. The stunting of growth happens because instead of bones and muscles growing, the bones become fused together. This makes no room for the bone to grow, just the muscle (Silverstein).
There are many side effects that develop in both men and women. The most common are severe acne and tendon and ligament damage. Tendons and ligaments become damaged because muscles are strengthened so fast that they can’t keep up. This could also cause a bone breakage (Crane). Users get a very oily scalp. Steroids also alter the level of lipoproteins which carry cholesterol through the bloodstream. Atherosclerosis can then occur. Atherosclerosis causes the arteries to have deposits of fatty substances within them. This can confound blood flow. If this arises, then the risk for heart attacks and strokes are greatly increased (Anabolic Steroid Use).
Anabolic steroids can destroy the body’s liver. Painful cysts will develop on the liver. Tumors can build up too and blood filled sacs can form. These blood sacs, cysts, and tumors can end up rupturing resulting in hemorrhaging and internal bleeding (Silverstein). Jaundice is also terrible side effect. It is a dysfunctional kidney condition that results in the yellowing of the skin and/or eyes (Crane). Another severe side effect is the possibility of infertility (Anabolic Steroid Abuse).
There are many personality and psychological effects. Users can end up experiencing suicidal feelings (Crane). Commonly people become delusional and experience mania. You may hallucinate and hear voices in your head. This is commonly referred to as ‘bodybuilders psychosis’ (Stein). Most often it is expressed as severe rage and aggression.
‘‘Roid rage” is the term for the behavioral side effects of severe rage and aggression. Increased testosterone has been linked with increased aggression. It has been reported that users would burst out raging. Some examples are beating a spouse for no reason and smashing in a car window in front of you because the blinker was left on. In the worst cases, ‘roid rage has resulted in murder. “It made me feel real moody, violent. I wanted to kill someone,” football player, Dan Steinkuhler said (Silverstein).
Anabolic steroids absolutely destroy your body. There are virtually zero positive outcomes from taking this drug because of the harmful side effects. Physically, your body will destroyed and deteriorate. Psychologically, they will change your personality and not for the better. The short-term enhanced performance, resulting from steroids, is in no way worth the risks of the detrimental effects on the mind and body.
Steroids Shrink What!?!?!?!?
Now that I have your attention, don’t go running, but I’m posting my school research paper on Steroids, including a bibliography. Being my first research paper, it may not be perfect, but I sure learned a lot and want to share this knowledge. So here it goes….
People hear of steroids all around sports. Almost every day you can find a new Major League Baseball player being caught using these drugs. These players often take these Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s) without knowing the consequences. Taking steroids is definitely not worth the risk. Why and how do players take them? What actually are steroids? Why ruin your body, entire career and reputation? Although steroids may improve performance, these drugs have so many physical and psychological effects that have the potential to destroy your body. All of these substances can even be fatal. You should absolutely not take steroids unless prescribed for a medical condition.
What Are Steroids?
The general public doesn’t seem to know what steroids are. Most think they are just drugs that give you enlarged biceps and muscles which is partially true. Steroids do much more than just intense muscle-building. There are two types of steroids, corticoid and anabolic, but they were developed for medical usage only at first.
Corticosteroids aren’t the type to build muscle. These have been used for mostly medical purposes. Most commonly in a football game you’ll see a player go down. A doctor will use a Corticosteroid called Cortisone to treat this injury. Cortisone is used to reduce swelling and inflammation (Philipkoski).
The most common steroids are anabolic steroids (Quinn). If you would have a certain disease like cancer for example, anabolic steroids were invented to help you regain your muscle. Another medical treatment is for late occurring puberty. Sometimes young adults seem to never hit puberty and need a boost in growth. This substance is made of synthetic testosterone (Philipkoski).
What is testosterone? It is the main sex hormone in a man. The reason for the usage of testosterone is because of muscle building. Your bone mass and muscle mass can increase rather rapidly when taking excess amounts of testosterone. Your energy level can be maintained while giving you a great sense of mind or type of “high”(Mandal).
How do Players Take Steroids and Why?
Steroids are extremely addictive. Usually addicts take 100 times more of a dosage than is normally prescribed by doctors. This makes unbelievably successful results at building muscle. Users become extremely addicted and feel confident with their body image, while even obsessing over it.
When people work out, they create micro tears in their muscle fibers. A muscle then regrows, like scar tissue and comes back larger than before. If you use anabolic steroids, this cycle gets faster and better. People can work out more often, as well as get stronger quicker (Philipkoski). Fatigue is delayed, and you feel a sense of absolute great joy. Basically, players take these substances to improve their performance (Quinn).
There are various techniques of taking steroids. Steroids can be ingested by a pill, injected with a needle, and also can be rubbed on your skin with a cream. Another method is called cycling. Cycling is most commonly used with body builders. This form has the individual taking the drug in certain time cycles. Most commonly, they are taken in 6 to 12 week cycles.
Another way is called stacking. You put the substance in to your body by both pill and injection. This isn’t scientifically proven to work, but is meant to double muscle growth. Pyramiding is another common way to take steroids. It is just like cycling, but slightly different. In your first cycle you take a low base dosage. Then each cycle you keep increasing your dosage until you hit a peak. Then you gradually decrease. (“Steroid Users Enjoy Cycling Stacking and Pyramiding”)
Physical Side Effects
The usage of steroids has some disturbing effects on your body. Harsh damage to your liver and kidney can occur. Joints will lose flexibility. Your immune system can become very depleted. If this happens, you are very susceptible to disease and infection. Random nose bleeds, headaches, and stomach aches happen. Your face may have an absolute breakout of acne (“What Steroids Do To a Body”?). Your tendons can rupture. Increased LDL cholesterol, decreased HDL cholesterol will occur. High blood pressure and heart attacks happen because your heart rate can rise. Diseases like cancer, HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis can also occur. (Quinn)
There are many sexual side effects that are just horrific. You will have an increased sex drive due to the testosterone increase, but have a decreased sexual performance. Men can actually see breasts start to form. Also, testicles can shrink up (“What Steroids Do To a Body”?).
Usage of steroids can cause an individual to be very paranoid while becoming edgy and impatient. Users can become extremely obsessed with working out, monitoring what they eat, and obsessing on how your body image is. Another common side effect is depression with various mood swings. (“What Steroids Do To a Body?”).
Quitting steroids is no easy task by any means. If you try to just quit and stop right now and there, a feeling of mass withdrawal occurs. You’ll feel fatigue, irritability, a loss of appetite, insomnia, and aggression. Even suicide can happen. Another dangerous type of side effect is severe aggression known as ‘Roid Rage’ (Quinn).
‘Roid Rage’ is a very commonly tied with the aggression factor of steroids. It is commonly referred to as a psychotic episode. The term first appeared in the 1980s; bodybuilders were committing extremely violent crimes (Dhar).
According to various studies, there are obvious connections between testosterone and aggression (Dhar). This doesn’t occur for every case. ‘Roid Rage’ usually occurs in people with previous signs of violent or hostile behavior. Steroids can just put them over the edge and turn them into totally violent criminals. Incidents of violent physical attacks, suicide and murder have all been attributed to “roid rage.”
Cost of Career
Taking steroids to improve your athletic career may eventually be the thing that destroys it. One dose of anabolic steroids can ruin your career. Your entire reputation is shot as well. No one will ever look at you the same.
For example, consider Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees. Also, reflect on Barry Bonds, former outfielder of the San Francisco Giants. At one point, I’m sure everyone admired their athletic accomplishments and adored them. Some may have even viewed them as the best of the best. Both, eventually tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs and look at them now. According to Tony Bosch, Alex Rodriguez wanted to start an 800 club. The 800 club is referring to 800 career home runs. Tony Bosch is the man who personally injected him at the biogenesis clinic in Miami. They are viewed as absolute villains now. We should view Barry Bonds as the greatest hitter of all-time, but we see him under a cloud of suspicion. The public hates him. PEDs are keeping him and many other players out of the coveted Hall of Fame.
Steroid usage for anything other than a medical condition should be avoided. The physical side effects are horrific, disgusting, dangerous, and possibly fatal. Psychologically individuals are diminished. Users may end up in jail or even murder someone. Why do you need to ruin your career? Everything can and will be gone. Steroids will ruin your life.
Works Cited with a Bibliography
Dhar, Michael. “Does ‘Roid Rage’ Really Exist?” Live Science. TechMedia Networks, 24 July.
2014. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.
Mandal, Anya. “Testosterone-What is Testosterone?” News Medical. N.p., N.d. Web. Feb
Philipkoski, Kristen. “What Are Steriods?” Gizmodo. N.p., N.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2014.
Quinn, Elizabeth. “Steroids, Anabolic and Androgenic Steroids in Sports.” About.com Sports
Medicine. N.p., N.d Web. 23 Jan. 2014.
“Steroid Users Enjoy Cycling Stacking And Pyramiding.” Free PLR Article Directory. N.p.,
N.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2014.
“What Is Roid Rage?” WiseGEEK. N.p., N.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.
“What Steroids do to a Body.” Region of Peele. N.p., N.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.