Anabolic Steroids Essay, Research Paper
If someone guaranteed you amazing results in the weight room with minimal effort by just taking a pill would you take it? You probably would! But, if you knew that these pills could potentially knock 20 years off your life. Would you take it then? You would be suprised to find out how many people would answer yes to that question. In the past three decades, steroids have become a serious problem, more than ever in the athletic field. It is reported that over 3 million athletes and bodybuilders alone have used anabolic steroids . Steroids are a drug that include the male sex hormones, principally, testosterone and estrogen, the female sex hormone. To begin quite simply, it is apparent to most people that men tend to be larger than women. Indeed, a clear cut example of a difference between the sexes is the relative muscle mass. In men the most important growth builder is testosterone, which is made from the cells of the testes. Approximately 8 mg of testosterone is created daily, most of which is metabolized by the liver and excreted through the body in urine form. Testosterone is also present in the blood plasma of women, being derived from the ovaries and adrenal glands, in amounts roughly 30 times less than that found in men. Among the many effects of these androgens is the general growth on the body tissues and an increase in muscle strength. 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.
Steroids have been around since the 1950`s and have been used by athletes as a means of improving appearance, muscle mass and strength. The first people to use anabolic steroids for athletic enhancement were the Russians who discovered the drug and had great success. Soon after scientists discovered how to make artificial testosterone and eliminate some of the dangerous side effects. This is when anabolic steroids were first born. Since then they have become very available in almost every country and local gym. Steroids were first developed for medical purposes. They’re used in controlling inflammation, strengthening weakened hearts, preventing conception, and alleviating symptoms of arthritis and asthma. There are only three legal uses for steroids, treatment for certain forms of cancer, pituitary dwarfism, and serious hormone disturbances. Unfortunately research has shown that steroids have been abused in almost every kind of sport including professional football, power lifting and bodybuilding. Athletes can use anabolic steroids in two different forms. The first is oral, which is a tablet to be swallowed. Oral steroids allow the body to store more creatine phosphate (short term energy source). The second form is an injectible which is a liquid injected into the muscle. This form of the drug promotes protein synthesis. Whether taken by injection or the pill it increases strength and endurance. Steroids also help in the healing process of muscular tissue by first injuring them, then the muscles heal quicker adding more fiber and increasing their bulk. Athletes are also more prone to use steroids due to the inexpensive cost of the drug. A ten week cycle of artificial testosterone costs only about one hundred dollars. Steroids are also very hard to trace because of their water base composition. They can pass through the body within two days. All these benefits of steroids help a athlete become more competitive and increase their chance of being a winner. Of course everybody wants better biceps and triceps but when using steroids to achieve this goal there is a large price to pay.
The drugs that most common athletes use are androgen-anabolic steroids, fake versions of testosterone. They retain nitrogen which helps in the synthesis of protein and the creation of new tissue. But because they are imitators of the male hormone, they tend to change the secondary sex characteristics. In men, steroids cause shrinkage of the testicles, decrease in sperm count, sterility, impotence, prostate enlargement and growth of female breast. Some of these side effects can not be reversed. Men who use steroids may become more or less interested in sex. The most severe effect of anabolic steroids is on the liver, this is called peliosis hepatis or blood filled cysts in the liver. If the cysts rupture they can cause liver failure which can kill a person. In women, steroids contribute to the growth of facial hair, enlargements of the clitoris, shrinkage of the uterus, sterility, deepening of the voice, decrease in breast size and irregularity of the menstrual cycle. In both men and women hair loss, liver ailments, acne, atherosierosis and cancer are very common. . When injected one risks the chances of developing hematoma and contracting AIDS .This dangerous drug shortens the life span up to twenty years and increases the chance of obtaining diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and hypertension. The side effects and reactions from using anabolic steroids are endless.
Along with the physical problems there are also mental reactions associated with the usage of steroids. This drug becomes very addictive and damaging to the mind. It causes violent episodes which an athlete can claim a legal insanity defense to it. They get so wrapped up psychologically that the negative effects doesn’t matter to them. Research has also discovered that steroids cause psychotic side effects sometimes referred to as “roid rages”. Along with these are wild, aggressive, combative behavior, depression, listlessness and delusions during and after performance. Even though the game is over athletes want to continue competing. Steroids mentally destroy the brain and ability to reason. Overall the usage of steroids is very damaging to the human body. Even though it physically builds up the body for better performance the risks of use are enormous. Steroids physically deteriorate and mentally destroy the body.
You would think that with all the above listed problems that can arise out of the use of these steroids, the individual would leave them entirely alone but this is not the case. Besides this, and to add to the risk, the top muscle men take doses far and above that which is prescribed and if they cannot get enough to take the quantity they wish they will get prescriptions from several doctors so that their quantity is almost limitless. This is where the real danger lies with these individuals. They are not satisfied to take the drug over a short period of time and as prescribed, but rather they take them over long periods and in much greater quantities because only in this manner do you gain the incredible size that some of the fellows possess today. Small quantities over short periods do not bring the same results and this is the prime reason they are so dangerous, simply because the user resorts to excess to achieve his goal. While these drugs are never recommended for healthy people, a number of physicians will write prescriptions anyway. It has been estimated that as many as 47% of weight lifters, and who knows how many bodybuilders, have received the drug from physicians and all of them were on a dosage that was two to four times greater than the recommended dosage.
In conclusion, steroids have a great impact on one’s body. But, you can’t say that two people will have the exact same effect while using the drug. Steroids help the body put on muscle and add strength in the short term. In the long run, steroids can have numerous negative effects on the body and can even cause death. When you take steroids you are playing with fire and are going to get burned. If you want to get in shape and improve your looks and strength the best possible way is to have a proper diet and adequate training time. This has been proven over and over again that it is the safest and most efficient way of getting healthy. Next time you see a bodybuilder with those huge 20inch biceps you will now know that his body is not as healthy as it looks. Further, there are now questions as to the validity of the testing procedure used to examine the potency of the anabolic steroids presently on the market shelves. This would suggest that the anabolic steroids may have but a fraction of their reported protein anabolic activity giving further support to the idea that improved nutrition may be the major cause of the observed effects of these steroids. It may well be that lifters through out this country are taking a big chance with their health for a very small result.