Anabolic SteroidsDescription:Anabolic steroids are performance enhancing drugs. They are asynthetic form of the chemical testosterone that is normally found in the body.
By taking anabolic steroids, a person’s testosterone level can be raised up to ahundred times more than the usual amount of 2. 5 to 10 mg. Per day. The increasein testosterone increases anabolic activity, which results in greater musclebulk.
It also increases protein synthesis and androgenic activity (enhancedsecondary sexual characteristics) in males. The users of steroids want toincrease the anabolic effects and reduce the androgenic effects, but no steroidis known to have just anabolic effects. Use:Anabolic steroids can be taken in two ways, by injection or they can betaken orally. Both oral and injected steroids carry benefits and adverseeffects.
Orally taken steroids are well absorbed into the stomach and they areexcreted fairly rapidly. The bad side of taking oral steroids is that they aremore toxic than injected steroids. They are highly potent, which makes the riskof overdosing very high. Steroids that are injected are less toxic to the liverand are less potent than oral steroids on an equal dosage basis.
Injectedsteroids have a delayed take up, which makes them last longer. It also allowsthem to be detected in drug tests for a longer period of time. How they work in the body:When anabolic steroids are introduced into the body, under certainconditions they increase: protein synthesis, lean body mass, and the nitrogenbalance in the body. A steroid receptor is formed which stimulates thesynthesis of enzymes. With the stimulus of enzymes in the body, proteinsynthesis is also increased.
One enzyme system that is placed into the body bythe receptor is the ribonucleic acid (RNA)-polymerose system. This systempromotes cellular protein metabolism and synthesis which utilizes nitrogen. Byutilizing the nitrogen, the anabolic action is increased, which leads to largermuscle size and strength. Anabolic steroids also increase nitrogen retention inthe body. They move the nitrogen equilibrium to the positive side. This allowsthe body to utilize ingested protein better, but the balance does not lastforever.
The body’s homeostatic mechanisms regulate the balance and change itback to normal. This is one set back to anabolic steroid use. In order to gainlean body mass a person may have to eat up to 10,000 calories / day and mustcontinue a rigorous weight training program. If this is not followed, takingthe steroids would be worthless. Adverse Effects:Despite the increase in muscle size and strength, anabolic steroidscarry an even greater risk, the side effects.
The side effects can be permanentor even deadly. Serious side effects are seen in the liver, the cardiovascular,central nervous and reproductive/endocrine systems. One major side effect that can be found in the liver is hepatotoxicity. This is the poisoning of the liver. It shuts down the liver’s ability toprocess blood, which in turn shuts down the whole body.
Prolonged use ofanabolic steroids can cause cholestosis and jaundice (yellowish coloring of theeyes, skin and body fluids). Even though most adverse side effects in the liverare reversible upon discontinuation of steroids, fatalities can occur. Thefatalities occur from hepatic cholestosis, liver tumors or peliosis hepatitis(blood filled cysts that can rupture and cause bleeding and liver failure). Very noticeable effects occur in the reproductive system. In males thetesticles shrink by about 20%.
They become impotent. Their sperm count candecrease by 90%. Also gynecomastia can be seen in males. Gynecomastia is theenlargement of the breasts.
One adverse effect that can be seen in both malesand females using steroids is inappropriate hair growth. In females, anabolicsteroids can cause irregularities in their menstrual cycles. It causes thefemale voice to deepen and clitoral hypertrophy. Clitoral hypertrophy is theenlargement of the clitoris. Many of these things are irreversible, but somecan be changed with the discontinuation of steroid use. In the cardiovascular system adverse effects can be very deadly.
Whentaking steroids an increase in LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol and adecrease in HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol occurs in the bloodstream. This can carry a risk of coronary heart disease and myocardial infarctions. They can also cause retention of fluids. High blood pressure can cause anincreased risk of congestive heart failure and strokes. The adverse effects in the musculoskeletal systems are not lifethreatening, but they are very noticeable.
Younger steroids users can have apremature closure of the epiphyses (growth plates) in the long bones. Thisirreversibly limits the full adult height potential. With the use of steroids,muscle/tendon strength changes. The muscles become stronger, but the tendonsbecome stiffer and less able to withstand force.
This causes an increase inmuscle strains or ruptures. The central nervous system is also effected by the use of steroids. Inthe person taking steroids, aggressive behavior, self confidence and a sense ofwell being are seen. Also manic mood swings can occur.
These mood swings canrange from euphoria to sexual arousal to irritability and hostility. Cognitiveimpairment can also set in on the user. Cognitive impairment can involvedistractibility, forgetfulness, and confusion. History:The use of steroids is nothing new to the world.
Since the time of theGreek Olympics athletes have been using performance enhancing drugs in order toheighten their athletic performance. In 1886 the 1st person to die due toperformance enhancing drugs was a French cyclist. He took a speed-ball, a mixof cocaine and heroin, which eventually killed him. Physicians in the 20’s rantests on athletes by inserting monkey testicles into male athletes to help boosttheir vitality. Adolf Hitler supposedly administered the hormone testosteroneto himself and his troops in order to increase aggressiveness.
In 1953 thefirst anabolic steroid was introduced. It had five times more strength buildingeffects than natural hormones. In the 1960’s the IOC (International OlympicCommittee) started to ban performance enhancing drugs due to their popular use. At the 1976 summer games in Montreal, the IOC initiated the first testing forsteroids.
Today testing is done routinely on the collegiate and internationallevel. The USOC (United States Olympic Committee) can suspend an athlete for upto two years if caught using steroids. Repeat offenders may be suspended fromcompeting on the Olympic level for life. The NCAA does year round testingregardless if the athlete is in season or not.
Selected teams are notified twodays in advance of being tested, and 18 players are tested at that time. Positive testing results in a one year suspension of the student athlete. Signs of use:The physical signs that are portrayed by steroid users are extremelynoticeable. They include:Rapid weight gainAlterations in body composition, with marked muscle hypertrophyDisproportionate development of the upper torsoSevere acneNeedle marks in large muscle groupsDevelopment of male pattern baldnessGynecomastia (breast enlargement)Increased susceptibility to tendon strains and injuriesMore frequent hematoma or bruisingJaundiceElevated blood pressureHirsutism (abnormal development of facial / body hair)Atrophied breasts in femalesDeepening of the voice in femalesLegal penalties:The use of steroids can carry a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Also afine can be imposed in addition to the jail sentence, or by itself. The finecan be as high as $250,000. Statistics:260,000 students in grades 7 to 12 either use or have used steroids. The American Heart Assoc. estimates at least half of all Division Icollege football players have used steroids over a substantial period oftime.Black market steroids are topping sales of $400 million per year.One million Americans, half of them adolescents use black marketsteroids.In order to obtain good muscle mass building a person may have to consume 10,000calories / day or the steroids will be useless.Social Issues