Steroids–What You Need To Know

March 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Steroids

Steroids have long been known to be performance enhancers. Steroids are naturally found in the body in the form of hormones like testosterone and estrogen.

Steroid in sports has been frowned upon by most because athletes use it to improve their performance in competitions. This competitive edge that results from steroids use is seen as unfair and thus, devoid of the spirit of real sportsmanship.

Athletes, though, still use steroids, risking banishment from sports bodies or even arrests.

There are generally two types of steroids. The first type is called cortical steroids. These are hormones that are not produced in the adrenal gland. This type of steroids suppresses inflammation and thus is good for arthritis patients. This type is usually the “medical” one.

Another type of steroids is called anabolic steroids. It is where testosterone falls under. What it does is promote muscle growth by protein synthesis. This results in a gain in mass and strength. It also makes the user feel good about himself and aids in recuperation faster. The effects of these anabolic steroids are what tempt athletes like body builders, runners and baseball players to use illegal steroids.

One, though, needs to see not only the perceived benefits of the use of steroids. Steroids are disliked not only for the unfair advantage it grants but also for its adverse side effects. Numerous studies have been made about it. And the findings are not to the steroids’ advantage. A common contention is that since steroids, like testosterone, are already present in the body, having more doesn’t really matter. Well, here are some side effects of steroids that tell us to never mess with chemistry.

• Acne – while not really a life-threatening issue, there is a need to mention acne for the sake of argument. This is caused by sebaceous gland being active due to chemical reactions happening after the introduction of testosterone. And acne is not just the price one pays.

• Enlarged breast – a real problem among men. This stems from excess testosterone from steroids being converted by the body to estrogen. Estrogen in turn triggers breast growth like in women. The last thing a man needs when posing macho after a victory are man-boobs.

• Baldness – male pattern baldness predisposition occurs in men, and steroids use can result to prematurely triggering it.

• Virilization – a process by which women acquires the characteristics found in men like a deeper voice and excessive body hair growth. Boobs for men and suave for women.

• High blood pressure – enhancing performance without the body getting used to it means the body is pushed to the limit. High blood pressure results from this over exertion.

While most of the presented seems to be image-related, there are growing concerns that steroids can actually cause liver damage, kidney problems and psychosis. What it all comes down is to the choice between success and well-being. While athletes are actually balancing this two, steroids seems to tip the scale towards success and away from well-being and even fair play.