Many individuals want a toned body, and they will go to extreme measures to accomplish this goal. There is a common misconception that steroid use is onlyprevalent in serious athletes. However, steroid use has become widely abused in many individuals, which include teenagers.
There is evidence that links steroid use to the ability to perform athletically as well as the desire for a well-toned, muscular body. New evidence has surfaced that suggests addiction is a major factor in why certain individuals continue to abuse steroids despite the dangerous health problems that accompany steroid use.
Anabolic Steroids Defined
The medical term for anabolic steroids is anabolic-androgenic steroids, which is comparable to the male sex hormone known as testosterone. Anabolic steroids, which are synthetic compounds, are similar to testosterone because they stimulate the growth of skeletal muscle and promote the growth of sexual features found in males.
The androgenic effect of anabolic steroids is the growth of male sexual features, and the anabolic effect is what contributes to muscle growth.
Anabolic steroids were invented in the 1930s by scientists as a way to treat the condition known as hypogonadism, which is a condition where the male testicles are not able to adequately produce testosterone. Males who have hypogonadism have testicles that are not developed enough to produce the amount of hormones needed for sexual function. There were several other conditions that steroids were developed to treat such as impotence, muscle wasting caused by degenerative diseases, and late puberty development.
Several years after the creation of anabolic steroids, researchers found the synthetic compounds were effective in growing muscle mass in laboratory animals.
After the results became known to the public, bodybuilders and weight lifters were among the first individuals who started using steroids. These individuals were also among the first who abused anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroid use has become a recreational and competitive drug since its creation decades ago.
The Dangers That Accompany Steroid Abuse
There are a variety of physical and mental health complications that have been connected to anabolic steroids. There are certain health consequences that can be reversed if the use of steroids is stopped. However, there are health complications that could be irreversible.
Anabolic steroids are artificial hormones, which cause an imbalance of the natural hormones that are present in the body. Although steroids are effective in treating certain genetic hormonal imbalances, the use of steroids in healthy bodies can cause problems that steroids have been effective in treating. There have been many males who experience a lower sperm production as well as testicular atrophy, which is when the testicles become smaller. When steroid use is stopped, these side-effects will reverse. However, males can experience irreversible side-effects such as male breast development and male pattern baldness.
When women use anabolic steroids, they will have enhanced male characteristics. A women who uses anabolic steroids will experience coarse skin, a decrease in body fat, and a reduction in breast size.
If steroid use continues, then many of these side-effects are permanent.
Furthermore, continued steroid use can have a negative impact on the cardiovascular system, which can result in a higher risk of stroke or heart disease. The use of steroids can also cause the formation of blood clots. Blood clot formations can be potentially dangerous because it can damage the heart. Other side-effects from steroid use include liver cysts and tumors that can result in internal bleeding. An individual who takes anabolic steroids can also develop acne and oily skin, which is an unappealing side-effect. When an individual uses shared needles or administers steroids through contaminated items, there is an increased risk of infection.
Can Anabolic Steroids be Addictive?
There is still developing information on the addictive properties of steroid use, which is not confirmed by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
However, evidence that warrants the claim that steroids are addictive is increasing and being accepted by many.
There are two points that validate the addictive theory of steroid abuse. The first factor is the behavior that is seen by those who abuse steroids and continue to show a need to use the drug. The second factor is the onset of withdraw symptoms when those who use steroids stop taking the drug.
The use of anabolic steroids usually starts when an individual seeks to improve his or her athletic capabilities or physical appearance. There are many individuals who feel that bigger muscles will make them more physically attractive, and there are other individuals who have a condition called muscle dysmorphia. Muscle dysmorphia is when an individual sees himself or herself as weak with underdeveloped muscle mass, but in actuality the individual is extremely muscular. This condition is comparable to the cognitive bias that is seen with those who have eating disorders, which happens when individuals see themselves as overweight when they are actually thin.
There are many steroid abusers who continue to seek out the drug even though they are aware of the potential problems that can arise, which is also seen in many other types of addicts. There are a variety of steroids that are illegal, which puts users at financial risk and physical risk when they abuse the drug. These risks are strong indicators of those who have a problem with addiction.
Those who abuse steroids also experience withdraw symptoms when they quit, which is another factor that is seen in addiction. The symptoms of withdraw, which are seen when one quits steroids, are loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, depression, decreased sex drive, mood swings, and fatigue.
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