Steroids are commonly used by people who want to build their muscles. However, what most individuals do not realize is that exercise is still an important factor that determines how much muscle mass they can gain. Thus, with all the myths regarding the use of steroids, people must be aware of these things and learn some important facts about such supplements.
Not all people will feel good after taking steroids. For instance, when he was still a teenager, Aaron Henry began using steroids in order to have some advantage in playing football. At 17, at a height of 5”9, Henry obviously gained mass, as proven by his 210-pound weight. Truly, this great change in him can be attributed to the use of steroids.
However, Henry was not aware of the side effects that he might experience when he started using steroids. The young man eventually suffered from vomiting, blood urination, ulceration in the stomach, damaged liver and kidneys, a mild heart attack, and aggressive personality.
Henry’s experience is not uncommon. In fact, a number of people are only aware of the positive effects that using steroids can provide to their body. Moreover, most people who use steroids do not know much about these compounds and how they should be properly used. Furthermore, the media and advertisements only highlights steroid properties that can bring in money. In fact, the negative side of using such products are more often than not, purposely neglected or hidden from customers. In the end, it is not until it is too late that people realize the potential harm that using steroids can do to them.
Most people believe that once they start taking steroids, they will start gaining muscle mass. What a lot of steroid users do not know is that steroid usage should be accompanied by proper exercise.
In other cases, some individuals think that there’s no other way to build muscle but through steroids. Such belief is nothing but absurdity. Basically, those who succeed in developing their bodies are those who truly do the hard work of exercising.
In the US, the use of steroids is very common among male bodybuilders and athletes. On the other hand, a number of female athletes and teenaged athletes also utilize such products.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is very popular for being a muscle man and for having once held the Mr. Universe title. The actor used steroids before the side effects of such supplements were made illegal and the products were considered illegal.
Like Schwarzenegger, Sergio Olivia did not escape the temptation of using steroids. The man was also a bodybuilder and even had the chance to compete with Schwarzenegger. However, at present, both he and Schwarzenegger had already sworn off the use of steroids once they realized the adverse effects that these compounds might cause.
Steroids are synthetically produced derivatives of testosterone, the male hormone. These compounds aid in the synthesis of protein and improvement of muscle growth. Some of the most popular types of steroids are anabolic and growth hormones.
Specifically, anabolic steroids are testosterone-related drug or substances that function in promoting muscle growth. Anabolic steroids also include substances that serve as stimuli in the endogenous production of steroids in the body.
Anabolic steroids may be orally or intramuscularly administered. The half-life of some oral steroids may last for several hours, whereas those of the injected products may reach up to several days. Most steroids are sold as water-soluble pills. This type of pills can stay inside the body for 3 to 4 weeks.
Another type of anabolic steroids are oil-based injections. These supplements last longer in the body, around 6 to 8 months. After injection, the steroid molecules bind to receptors in the cells, where they will actively take part various metabolic processes, including protein synthesis, retention of nitrogen, and increasing the size and strength of striated muscles.
Basically, most steroidal products, such as Nelvar, Winstrol, Dianabol, Deca-Durabolin, Anavar, Anadrol-50, and Stanozolol, are used by people to build more stronger muscles. These products cost around $100 to $500 per dosage. Meanwhile, certain steroid users prefer taking the compounds a couple of times per day.
THE ORIGINS OF STEROIDS
Previously, steroids were used for medical purposes. They were first introduced in the 1930s, and they were meant to be used as preventive drugs against muscle atrophy in patients suffering from debilitating conditions. Steroids were also used for treatment of burn patients. It was in World War II that steroids were used for reasons other than medical treatment,
Nazi doctors administered the compounds to soldiers to make them more aggressive, whereas the Soviet Union thought that steroids would benefit their athletes. The US discovered what the Soviet Union did to their athletes. Thus, in the 1950s, American athletes also started receiving steroid supplements.
In the 1960s, people started noticing that using steroids had its side effects. However, it was not until 1988 that the Anti-Drug Abuse Act was passed in the US. That same year, a number of athletes who participated in the Olympics were found to be steroid users. In fact, in the US, about 1 to 3 million Americans were using the steroidal products in that same period.
RISKS OF USING STEROIDS
As had already been determined, using steroids may lead to serious health risks and side effects. If abused, steroids may cause cystic acne, headaches, dizziness, sudden gain in weight, cramping of the leg and abdomen, and hair loss.
Though steroids are primarily used to build muscles, the rest of the body also gets affected by these compounds. Prolonged and excessive use of steroids may cause fluctuation in cholesterol levels, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, anaphylactic shock, septic shock, and death.
Aside from the cardiovascular system, steroid use also endangers the reproductive system. Some steroidal effects on the reproductive system include the following: genital atrophy, impotence, sterility, sexual dysfunction, fetal damage, genital swelling, menstrual irregularities, and prostate enlargement.
However, the organs that are commonly affected by steroids are the liver and kidney. Some harmful steroidal effects on the liver include tumors, jaundice, cancer, and Pelosis hepatitis. Meanwhile, the kidneys may suffer from kidney diseases, malfunctions, and kidney stones.
Another organ that may be heavily affected by steroids is the skin. This integumentary organ may develop acne, rashes, purple or red spots, or become oily. In addition, increased body hair or baldness may also be noted, whereas women become more prone to developing increased facial hair.
Aside from the abovementioned effects, steroids may also cause nausea, chills, edema, diarrhea, bone pain, insomnia, deepening of the voice, and fluctuation in bowel and urinary processes.
Steroids may also confer psychological effects to the users. For instance, steroid users may feel depressed, aggressive and hostile. During instance of aggressiveness, some individuals would require tranquilization to subdue them.
USAGE OF STEROIDS BY TEENAGERS
The use of steroids is also quite popular among teenagers. According to the reports released by the Department of Health and Human Services, 12% of teenage boys and 2.5% of teenage girls are steroid users. This information poses a great concern to health experts because the adverse effects of steroids may be much graver in teenagers compared with adults.
The body of a teenager is still in stage of development. Thus, teenagers may suffer if their bodies are not allowed to grow at their natural pace. Moreover, the effects seem to be worse on women given that androgens and testosterones are hormones that are naturally found in men. thus, their body may not adapt fully with the presence of steroids.
Another horrible effect of steroids is that when people use steroids for several months during their teenage years, they are at a high risk of dying in their 30s or 40s. Psychologically, teens who use steroids are prone to a condition known as “Roid Mania,” a state that can be characterized by wild aggression and delusions.
Teens commonly resort to steroid use because they want to become more active in sports or they just want to look good. Most teens who are fans of steroids think that their ability in sports will improve with the use of such products.
Some nutrition store owners note that a considerable number of teens come to their stores to buy steroids. Though a lot of these young peoples have some kind of idea about what they want to achieve in their bodies, some just really buy steroids for aesthetic purposes.
REGULATIONS REGARDING THE USE OF STEROIDS
Steroidal products are categorized under Schedule III Substance, which includes substances that may be used for medical purposes in the US. However, when such compounds are used in excess, the users may develop physical or psychological dependence. Amphetamines and Barbiturates are also categorized under this class.
People are also prohibited from storing or owning considerable amounts of steroids. They may be fined with as low as $1000 or be jailed for up to one year. However, for twice-offenders, their jail time may reach up to two years, whereas the fine can be as high as $2500.
For those who were caught possessing steroids for a couple of times, the jail time may be around 90 days to three years. However, those who sell the compounds may get jailed for 5 years and be fined with $250,000.
After their release, if a person gets convicted again for selling steroids, the jail time is increased to up to 10 years. Meanwhile, steroid users are given a jail time of 1 to 6 years and a fine of as high as $5000.
The laws regulating the use of steroid make exemptions for people are aiming to gain weight or suffering from osteoporosis and anemia. However, most people who use steroids illegally know how to conceal their cover their tracks.
SOME CONFESSIONS FROM FORMER STEROID USERS
Greg Conigliaro suffered serious health consequence because of his steroid use. The man though that the compounds affected not only his physical body but his mind as well. Conigliaro greatly thinks that steroids are addictive though most experts think otherwise.
According to Conigliario, taking steroids can be likened to alcoholism. Because of his prolonged steroid use, the man underwent surgery for three ruptured disks. Now, he also suffers from heart problems and high blood pressure.
Conigliaro consider the time that he took steroids a dark period in his life. His real-life experiences prove the harmful effects that using steroids may bring to people.
Another man named Steve Karr also made claims regarding the dangerous effects of using steroids. He suffered from liver and kidney damage. Moreover, he also developed jaundice and pale skin and also experienced shortness of breath and nausea.
Meanwhile, there were individuals who were not content with just taking the recommended dose for steroids. Steve Courson took 300 mg of Deca-Durabolin every 2 weeks; such amount is comparatively high to the 50 to 100 mg that is recommended by medical experts. Aside from Deca-Durabolin, Courson also took 50 mg of Winstrol a day while the recommended amount is 6 mg. Moreover, Steve dosed himself with 50 mg Anavar, which is still higher than the recommended dose of 5 to 10 mg. Given his excessive use of steroids, Steve is now in need to a heart donor.
In summary, using steroids comes with dangerous side effects. These effects may manifest physically or psychologically. Moreover, the harmful outcomes of steroid use become more serious in teens. As a consequence, teens who use steroids may die in their 30s or 40s.
Steroids may be effective in improving the body but prolonged use can only lead to adverse effects. As soon as these side effects occur, people will experience trouble in exercising or even living normally in case that their health is placed at a grave condition.
Not all experts think that steroids are additive. However, users find it hard to wean themselves from the compounds. Thus, it will take a longer time for a former steroid user to live life normally again without such products.