Steroid Effects: Abuse of Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic Steroids

long term health effects of anabolic steroids

They affect the entire body. Side Effects of Dianabol. Anabolic steroids , also known more properly as anabolic—androgenic steroids AAS , [1] are steroidal androgens that include natural androgens like testosterone as well as synthetic androgens that are structurally related and have similar effects to testosterone.

What are Anabolic Steroids?

They are made specifically for athletes and have no approved medical use. Kidney tests revealed that nine of the ten steroid users developed a condition called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis , a type of scarring within the kidneys. Daniels RC February 1, They use the drugs because they are seeking to improve how well they play sports or how they look. Health care providers can prescribe steroids to treat various medical conditions. Visit the resources on this page for more information.

Frequently, the anabolic steroids that athletes use are synthetic modifications of testosterone. These hormones have approved medical uses, though improving athletic performance is not one of them.

They can be taken as pills, injections or topical treatments. Why are these drugs so appealing to athletes? Besides making muscles bigger, anabolic steroids may help athletes recover from a hard workout more quickly by reducing the muscle damage that occurs during the session.

This enables athletes to work out harder and more frequently without overtraining. In addition, some athletes may like the aggressive feelings they get when they take the drugs. A particularly dangerous class of anabolic steroids are the so-called designer drugs — synthetic steroids that have been illicitly created to be undetectable by current drug tests. They are made specifically for athletes and have no approved medical use.

Because of this, they haven't been tested or approved by the Food and Drug Administration FDA and represent a particular health threat to athletes. Many athletes take anabolic steroids at doses that are much higher than those prescribed for medical reasons, and most of what is known about the drugs' effects on athletes comes from observing users. It is impossible for researchers to design studies that would accurately test the effects of large doses of steroids on athletes, because giving participants such high doses would be unethical.

This means that the effects of taking anabolic steroids at very high doses haven't been well-studied. Taking anabolic-androgenic steroids to enhance athletic performance, besides being prohibited by most sports organizations, is illegal. In the past 20 years, more effective law enforcement in the United States has pushed much of the illegal steroid industry into the black market. This poses additional health risks because the drugs are either made in other countries and smuggled in or made in clandestine labs in the United States.

Either way, they aren't subject to government safety standards and could be impure or mislabeled. Androstenedione andro is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, ovaries and testes. It's a hormone that's normally converted to testosterone and estradiol in both men and women.

Andro is available legally only in prescription form and is a controlled substance. Manufacturers and bodybuilding magazines tout its ability to allow athletes to train harder and recover more quickly.

However, its use as a performance-enhancing drug is illegal in the United States. Scientific studies that refute these claims show that supplemental androstenedione doesn't increase testosterone and that your muscles don't get stronger with andro use. In both men and women, andro can decrease HDL cholesterol the "good" cholesterol , which puts you at greater risk of heart attack and stroke. Human growth hormone, also known as gonadotropin, is a hormone that has an anabolic effect.

Some adults and teens use illegal anabolic steroids to lower body fat, get bigger muscles, and increase strength. They use the drugs because they are seeking to improve how well they play sports or how they look. The dose of illegal anabolic steroids is 10 to times higher than the dose a doctor prescribes for medical problems. People often use more than one of these illegal drugs at the same time.

This is called stacking. Or they may take the drugs in a cycle from no drug to a high dose over a period of weeks to months. This is called pyramiding. Teens who take illegal anabolic steroids are at risk for the same problems as adults who use them. Also, bone growth in teens may stop before it is complete. The teen may not reach his or her full adult height. People who use anabolic steroids on a routine basis can have withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking them.

Symptoms include having depression , being extremely tired, and having no desire to eat. Your doctor may ask questions about your fitness activities and what kinds of dietary supplements and other substances you use.

The doctor may do a physical exam and order urine and blood tests. Treatment for misuse of anabolic steroids has not been studied much. What are anabolic steroids? Anabolic steroids include all synthetic derivatives of testosterone, both oral and injectable. Examples of anabolic steroids include testosterone, methyltestosterone, danazol, and oxandrolone.

Anabolic steroids are performance-enhancing agents and act by increasing lean muscle protein synthesis and body weight, without increasing fat mass. Illegal use and street purchase of anabolic steroids is risky. Illicit steroids may be sold at gyms, sporting competitions, and via mail order, and buyers may be at risk of purchasing adulterated or contaminated products. Often, illicit steroids are smuggled into the U.

Steroids may also be illegally sourced from U. Common street names that are used to refer to anabolic steroids may include:. Abuse of anabolic steroids can occur in any age group, but statistics on their abuse is difficult to quantitate because many surveys on drug abuse do not include steroids. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse NIDA , scientific evidence indicates that anabolic steroid abuse among athletes may range between one and six percent.

Steroidal dietary supplements can be converted into testosterone or other androgenic compounds in the body. Steroidal over-the-counter dietary supplements such as androstenedione and tetrahydrogestrinone THG were previously available without prescription through health food stores, however, these supplements are now illegal after amendments to the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of Clinical research reports indicate that these agents are ineffective or lack evidence of performance-enhancing effects.

There is a wide array of serious side effects associated with abuse of anabolic steroids. Most side effects can be reversed if the drugs are stopped, but some, such as a deepened voice in women may persist. Data on long-term side effects primarily come from case reports and not from well-controlled, long-term epidemiological studies, which might be reliable. Users of anabolic steroids can become both physically and psychologically dependent upon the drugs, as evidenced by a drug-seeking behavior, continued use even with adverse effects, and physical withdrawal symptoms such as mood swings, fatigue, restlessness, loss of appetite, insomnia, reduced sex drive, and steroid cravings.

Iamges: long term health effects of anabolic steroids

long term health effects of anabolic steroids

Long-term side effects of steroid use may include liver or heart damage in certain people, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

long term health effects of anabolic steroids

Androgens, estrogens and progestins exert a negative feedback effect on the secretion of GnRH and LH by their actions on the pituitary and the hypothalamus.

long term health effects of anabolic steroids

Alteration of fertility and long term health effects of anabolic steroids cysts can also occur in females. British Journal of Pharmacology. Department of Justice Office of Diversion Control notes that men who take steroids may experience long-term side effects such as a decreased sex drive, diminished sperm count, breast and prostate enlargement, decreased hormone levels or sterility. Cause you not to be able to father children. Medical consequences of doping with anabolic androgenic steroids: The Steroid Bible 3rd Sprl ed.