Anabolic Steroids Essay, Research Paper
Anabolic steroids are synthetic coumpounds formulated to be like the
male sex hormone testosterone. Many athletes use anabolic steroids male and
female alike, such as body builders , weightlifters, baseball players, football
players, swimmers, and runners. They do so because they mistakenly believe that
they will gain strength and size.
In a male testosterone is released by the leydig cells in the testes.
The testosterone has two main functions androgenic and anabolic. Androgenic is
the development of male sex characteristics. Anabolic is the development of
To treat patients who suffer from a natural lack of testosterone
pharmacoligists alter one form of testosterone slightly, increasing th length of
time the drug is active. Testosterone was first isolated in 1935, soon forms of
testosterone such as dianabol, durabolin, deca-durabolin, and winstrol were
One of the main effects of anabolic steroids is to increase the number
of red blood cells and muscle tissue without producing much of the androgenic
effects of testosterone. There are only four legal uses for steroids treatment
for certain forms of cancer, pituatary dwarfism, and serious hormone
There are two forms of anabolic steroids those taken orally and those
injected. The immediate effects of both are mood swings of many different kinds.
In one study, physicians Ian Wilson, Arthur Prang, Jr., and Patricio Lara found
that four out of five men suffering from dippresion when given a steroid
suffered from dillusions. A research team from Great Britian Found that a
patient given steroids became dizzy, dissoriented, and incoherent. Physicians
William Layman and William Annitto have had a case of a young man who was
diagnosed as schizophrenic took steriods to help with his wieghtlifting. After
taking these drugs he suffered severe deppresion and anxiety and had trouble
Most people who use steroids do not have side affects this severe.
Steroids make changes in the electroencephalogram (an image of brain ellectrical
activity). Researchers believe that these changes are responsible for some of
the behavior changes in users of steroids like increased hostility and
Even though there not supposed to some of the masculinizing effects of
testosterone still show on users of anabolic steroid . People who use them
sometimes develop acne, deepend voice, abnormal hair growth. Some of these side
effects can not be reveresed. Men who use steroids may become more or less
interested in sex.
The most severe effect of anabolic steroids is on the liver they call it
peliosis hepatis or blood filled cysts in the liver. If the cysts rupture they
can cause liver failure which can kill a person. After stoping the use of
steroids though these cysts may become smaller and dissapear. Steroids can also
cause cancerous tumors in the liver that can also kill they can also dissapear
if the drugs are not used anymore. Steroids are also increase the risk of
Use of steroids also effects your cardiovascular system. There are two
kinds of cholesterol in your body high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) and
low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. HDL is good for the body but LDL is very
hazardous to your health. Using steroids lowers the number of HDL in the body in
most of the users. The lowering of the amount of HDL in the body puts the person
at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure and blood-clotting problems.
Some of the physicians also think that steroids also cause abnormal fat deposits
in the body and changes the way the body processes carbohydrates.
Men who use steroids also can develop serious reproductive system
problems. Steroids lower the amount of sperm in the semen which makes conception
difficult or even impossible. A mans testes will decrease in size, and the
amount of natural testosterone and the hormones that nourish them also decrease.
In some users the prostate gland will get larger. Most of the symptoms of the
drug use goes away after the drug is not used anymore but some of them stay such
as abnormal tissue in the liver, testes, and prostate gland.
There are also serious effects that take place in women as well. besides
the masculinizing effects the steroids lower the amount of female hormones for
example estrogen and progestrogen which are essential to the function of a
womens menstrual cycle. Some women claim to stop menstruating completely.
Steroids are prohibited in any competion wether it be international or
national. Even though this is true many top athletes as well as amateur
athletes use steroids. Athletes first used drugs in compettition in 1954 when
the team physician for the world weight lifting team, John Ziegler, went with
the team to the world championships in Vienna, Austria. Ziegler then met the
Russian team doctor that told him that the Russians where using testosterone.
Ziegler brough the news back to the united states and soon every weight lifter
was using steroids. Thirty years later it was said that four out of five weight
lifters where using steroids.
I told you earlier that there is only four legal uses for steroids but
in a recent report it was said that only 20-30% of the steroids produced where
used for those purposes. Another study taken of where the athletes got these
drugs said that 36% of them got them from a physcian, 10% got them from trainers,
9% from pharmacists, and 45% said that they bought them illegally.
Now the big question. Why do atheletes use this drug? Well its because
of the false information that steroids will get you bigger and stronger than a
person that is dieting and training hard. Researchers have concluded though that
using steroids does not get the user any bigger or stronger but only increases
hostility and aggresiveness. Some researchers say that the added aggresivness
and hostility may make a person train and work harder.
Part of the body size contraversy is about the type of tissue growth
that drugs promote. Now, every researcher agrees that steroids do make the users
gain weight, but some researchers think it’s in real muscle tissue and others
think that it’s in abnormal muscle tissue and that the weight gained is due to
water retained in the body. The ASCM states that steroids gain weight only in
the lean mass compartment of the body.
In May of 1986 the federal government set up a task force with the U.S
Department of Justice, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Federal Bureau
of Investigation to prosecute anabolic steroid users as well as dealers. The
first athlete to go to prison on steroid use charges was former british track
star David Jenkins. He was sentenced to seven years and was fined $75,000 in
1987. By 1990 there was 125 legal actions on steroid related charges in twenty
seven different federal districts. About eighty five people recieved charges
totaling up to eighty years in jail time on steroid related charges. They were
fined $1.2 million and the government has siezed about $18 million dollars worth
of anabolic steroids that includes counterfeit, diverted and smuggled supplies.
The Food Drug Administration has limited the number of anabolic steroids that
can be sold and because of this it is estimated that the black market makes
about $400 million a year on anabolic steroids alone.
Most pharmacies that manufacture anabolic steroids have improved their
security efforts. Some of the steroids have actually been taken off the market
which makes it even more difficult for the black market dealers to obtain legal
manufactured drugs. New ways for the dealers to make and buy the drug have been
created to serve the demand for them. The government now believes that most of
the steroids now produced and being sold are more of a health risk.
A spokesman for the Justice Department anabolic steroid offenses are “a
high priority item” for the government. One of the highest concerns is steroids
and there attraction to younger people because they are exposed to drug dealers
so much. Many of these kids buy drugs that are unsterile and have been
manufactured under filthy conditions.
So far in this report all I have been talking about is the bad things
that anabolic steroids have been asssociated with well now its time to talk
about some of the good things that they are good for. Anabolic Steroids are used
for some medical applications such as chronically ill patients during
nutritional support, patients with cronic anemias, patients undergoing kidney
dialysis, patients with osteporosis, patients with a defiiciency of testosterone.
Following trauma or major surgery patients usually respond to the stress
with a catabolic response which is attributed to increased body demands for
proteins and calories for wound healing and energy production. If these demands
by the body are not met a significant wasting of body tissues will occur. The
wasting of body tissue is vital to the patient. So doctors give patients
anabolic steroids in this stage till the patient gets back to his or her normal
Throughout my research of this topic I read alot of diffferent stories
about anabolic steroids. I read from the researchers that anabolic steroids show
few if any effects at all and I read from athletes that there is a very large
effect on muscle gain and endurance. I came across only one book though that
addressed this issue between researchers and atheletes. The book sayed that The
American College of Sports Medicine stated a report on the use and abuse of
anabolic steroids. It stated that for many people any benefits of anabolic
steroids are small and not worth the health risk. Yet almost all the athletes
who use anabolic steroids feel that the steroids had a great effect and that
they would not have been successful without them. The big gap between
researchers and athletes has caused a big contraversy athletes say one thing and
researchers say another. The researchers have found a reason that maybe is the
cause that anabolic steroid users see efects that researchers say are not
possible they call it the “placebo effect”.
The placebo effect works by the power of suggestion athletes believe
that the steroids will improve there performance so they do. The placebo effect
is real the performance is improved and the gains are not imagi