Effects Of Anobolic Steroids Essay, Research Paper
The Effects of Anabolic Steroids
You?ve all seen them, the enormously large muscle-heads at the gym, the participates of the World?s Strongest Man Competition, the amazing offensive tackles, and the lightning fast runners. They were all unnaturally strong, and looked like gods. You tend to obsess over how beautiful their bodies are, how strong they are, or how fast they can run. All you can think about is reaching that level of athletic excellence, and nothing will hold you back. At times like these some people tend to take the quick fit to get closer to their idols, in the form of steroids. But what individuals tend not see is the horrible side effects that accompany the use of these anabolic steroids. These powerful drugs have both positive and negative results from their use. Along with increased strength and size, users of steroids suffer from a wide range of sicknesses such as cancer, shrinkage of testicles, bad acne, hair loss, damage organs, intense mood swings, and impotence.
Anabolic steroids are a group of muscle building chemicals, which are synthetic versions of the male hormone, testosterone. Developed in the 1930?s, they were prescribed to aid in muscle tissue repair by those who had undergone surgery or had degenerative diseases. Now the patients do not only use them but also athletes. Starting in the 1940?s steroids were introduced into sports. Steroids were one of the main reasons that Russia?s 1952 Olympic weightlifting team came out with pile of medals. With these results other nations thought their competitors should have the same advantage, and the use of steroids spread like wildfire.(NIDA pg 2) But now steroids are illegal to use if not prescribed by a physician, and have been banned by nearly all-athletic organizations, both professional and amateur.
Just how popular is the use of steroids? Well, one survey states that the prevalence of self-reporting anabolic steroids use in adolescents ranges from 5%-11% of males and 2.5% in females.(AAP pg 2) So, the even at a young age kids decide to use steroids to their advantage. At this age they do not take time to look at the adverse effects of steroid but only the perks. Most individuals consume steroids in two ways. People either administer them orally or by intramuscular injection. Once taken there are a series of events that take place. First the steroids bind to androgen receptors at the cellular level, stimulating the production of RNA, resulting in an increase in protein synthesis.(AAP pg 2) Individuals typically use a combination of oral and injectable drugs during 6 to 12 week cycles when using anabolic steroids.
When you think of someone who uses steroids, you typically picture someone who is massive, and whose muscle mass is very well defined. A picture comes to mind of the giant bodybuilder, who is so big he can?t find any type of clothing that will fit the shapes and curves of his body. His thigh, arms and chest are much too massive to fit into any type of normal clothing. He has to rely on a tailor to make clothes that fit the proportions of their body. But at the same time this physique allows him to squat with his car on his shoulders. The possible growth and development is amazing. With much less work necessary, the results can be astounding. Athletes can get bigger, stronger and faster, with less effort than they could put forth before. The limits of athletes potential with steroids seem to be unbounded. These are the positive aspects to the use of steroids. One study showed that as much as ten pounds of lean muscle could be gained by a mature adult using steroids over a year?s period. The resulting size and strength increases would be greatly more easier attained than without use of steroids.(Taylor pg. 45) Also, the type of body structure that may males are looking for can be easily obtained through the use of steroids. Large pectoral muscles, as well and big biceps and a well-defined stomach are what many teenage users are after. They want the body that would stand out, and turn the heads of ladies on the beach. Society dictates what the current trends are, and our society has dictated that athletic looking men and women are in. But not everyone can be so fortunate to have a beautiful body. So through the use of steroids, people can attain the wonderful body that they desire. One ex-user commented that after he had used steroids and bulked up, he was much more popular with the opposite sex, and got much more respect from his male peers. (Deacon pg. 52)
Steroids are also used for therapeutic applications as well, although their use here is much less well known. Steroids can be used to promote healing in-patients who have recently undergone surgery; they also help protect blood for producing bone marrow after radiation therapy. Also, steroids can be used to help treat skeletal disorders such as osteoporosis broken bones because they aid in the reconstruction of the bone matrix. (Goldman pg. 201) The positive effects of steroids are quite obvious, and quite powerful. Unfortunately, the use of steroids tends to result in many damaging side effects in the users. The mournful stories of dominating athletes who used steroids, who are no longer great at their one time profession seems to do the newspaper pages quite regularly. Take Canada?s Dave Johnson, he won a Olympic gold medal in track and then was found to have taken steroids. His gold medal and all his Olympic glory was stripped form him.
They always say that they realized too late the damaging effects that the drugs had on their bodies. Steroids can have many different and adverse reactions with the human body. Some effects are only cosmetic: hair loss on the head, and an increase of hair on the back, chest and abdomen of males is sometimes present. Greater concentrations of acne have also been traced to the use of steroids, as has gynecomastia, the development of abnormal breast tissue in males, although this is much less frequent. (AAP pg 2) More dangerous results are symptoms such as heart disease, impaired glucose tolerance, hypertension, liver toxicity, jaundice and tumors have all been linked to the use of anabolic steroids. Steroids tend to increase blood pressure, which makes the heart pump harder, eventually weakening it. They also prevent the removal of cholesterol from the walls of the veins, which can also prevent the removal of cholesterol from the walls of veins, which can also have negative effect on the body. In the liver, elevated levels of bile can be present, as well as peliosis hepatis or blood pools in the liver. Also, liver cancer has been linked to the use of steroids. They can also cause tumor?s in the kidney, known as Wilm?s tumor, which is another form of cancer. Also, the extended use of steroids can cause the tendons to lose their elasticity, and begin to break or tear after extended use of steroids. (Goldman pg. 131) Another problem common to the use of steroids is a psychological phenomena commonly known as ?roid rage?. This constitutes a more aggressively natured person, who is more subject to mood swings. A typically calm, intelligent person could be transformed into a crazed senseless being. The slightest upsetting factor could set them off. These mood swings and shifts tend to be temporary and cease after discontinued use of the drugs, but some of the other effects are lasting, and can be extremely devastating. Less harmful, but important as well is the fact that steroids are banned by nearly every athletic organization, and if it is determined that an athlete used steroids, all medals, trophies, prized and glory can be stripped away. Athletes who train with the use of steroids are taking a huge gamble. Although steroids can have amazing results, and seem to be the greatest thing on earth, they also hold a cornucopia of terrible things in store for the person who uses them irresponsibly. They must evaluate for themselves if the potential physical prowess that they could attain through the use of steroids is worth the possibility of the devastating side effects. They must also keep in mind the consequences that they could encounter if they do use steroids, with are an illegal