Effects of Steroids
Mrs. Merna Karam.
Athletes who take steroids are facing many physical and psychological problems.
I. A. Introducing the topic.
C. Sports that steroids can be used in.
II. Types of steroids.
III. Physical effects:
A. Positive and immediate effects.
B. Negative and long time effects.
IV. Physiological effects.
V. A word of warning and advise to young athletes.
Effects of steroids
Although anabolic steroids have so many physical and psychological side effects
and they are illegal by all the sports organizations; still, some athletes persist in taking
them believing that these substances provide a competitive advantage. (Dr.Wadler).
Another sources of information still consist on the advantages of steroids and
believing that anabolic steroids can be safe if used in low dosage and short period of
time. (supremebodybuilding.com). So, as it is obvious there are many conflicting ideas
about the effects of steroids on athletes, and this made the effects of steroids a good
subject for research.
Anabolic steroids -- or more precisely, anabolic-androgenic steroids -- are the
synthetic derivatives of the naturally occurring male anabolic hormone testosterone. Both
anabolic and androgenic have origins from the Greek: anabolic, meaning "to build," and
androgenic, meaning "masculinizing." Testosterone's natural androgenic effects trigger
the maturing of the male reproductive system in puberty, including the growth of body
hair and the deepening of the voice. The hormone's anabolic effect helps the body retain
dietary protein, which aids in the development of muscles. "Although there are many
types of steroids with varying degrees of anabolic and androgenic properties, it's the
anabolic property of steroids that lures athletes, they take them to primarily increase
muscle mass and strength. (Dr.Wadler)
Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of the primary male sex hormone,
testosterone. Testosterone, produced primarily by the testes, is responsible for the
masculinization and muscle growth during male adolescence. Anabolic steroids are
administered primarily in the oral and injectable forms, and needle sharing has been
reported, especially among adolescents. These drugs are usually obtained from black
market sources, which often include distributors of other illegal drugs. (Steroids -
Dangerous side effects).
All steroid hormones influence metabolism throughout the body. During hormone
therapy, the body is exposed to excessive amounts of steroid hormone. Moreover, just as
occurring steroid hormones of differing biological activity usually happen
antagonistically. (pharmacological actions of steroids).
It is not only the football player or weightlifter or sprinter who may be using
anabolic steroids. Nor is it only men. White- and blue-collar workers, females and, most
alarmingly, adolescents take steroids -- all linked by the desire to hopefully look, perform
and feel better, regardless of the dangers.
There are several different types of anabolic steroids; it's a good idea to research
the different types of steroids before taking anything. One of the most popular steroids is
testosterone. It is mainly used for gaining weight, but is also used while dieting to help
preserve muscle and increase the metabolism. There are several different types of
testosterone, and well as numerous companies that produce it. The most popular brand of
testosterone is Sustanon. It is a blend of four different testosterones. A first time user can
easily gain 15-20 pounds in a matter of two months. Other steroids that are popular for
adding size and strength are dianabol, and anadrol. Steroids that are commonly used
while dieting, or "cutting", are finaplix, winstrol, primobolan, oxandrolone, and
clenbuterol. Other steroids that are used in with a combination of the above are, deca
durabolin, and equipoise. There are also a few products, which aren't steroids, but should
also be taken with the steroids. Nolvadex. Nolvadex helps stop and prevent
gynecomastia, or "bitch tits". If taken through out the cycle, a steroid user does not have
to worry about gynecomastia. Clomiphene Citrate and HCG. These two products are
usually used after a steroid cycle to help the body produce testosterone once again.
Nolvadex, and Clomiphene Citrate/HCG should always be on hand when taking anabolic
Individuals who use anabolic steroids, particularly those experienced in weight
training, will experience increases in strength and muscle significantly beyond those
observed from training alone. (Steroids - Dangerous side effects).
Anabolic steroids help increase strength and fitness, self-confidence, self-esteem,
self-image, and more. Anabolic steroids are the solution of many social and
psychological problems for people, either who use them to lose overweight or to make
his body look better. (supremebodybuilding.com).
Anabolic steroids, especially androgens secreted or administered in abnormally
large amounts can cause development of male characteristics in the female and
precocious sexual development in the male. (pharmacological actions of steroids).
If steroids are not well taken, many side effects might occur: liver and kidney
damage, acne, gynecomastia, aggression, and high blood pressure. Some steroids are very
toxic to the body, while others have very little side effects. Usually the case is, the more
toxic the steroid, the more powerful it is to the body. (supremebodybuilding.com).
Although anabolic steroids are derived from a male sex hormone, men who take them
may actually experience a "feminization" effect along with a decrease in normal male
sexual function. Some possible effects include:
• Reduced sperm count
• Development of breasts
• Shrinking of the testicles
• Difficulty or pain while urinating
On the other hand, women often experience a "masculinization" effect from anabolic
steroids, including the following:
• Facial hair growth
• Deepened voice
• Breast reduction
• Menstrual cycle changes
Physical health concerns associated with steroid use include liver and heart disease,
and stroke. (Steroids - Dangerous side effects).
In females, anabolic steroids have been associated with a number of adverse effects,
some of which appear to be permanent even when drug use is stopped. These include
menstrual abnormalities, deepening of voice, shrinkage of breasts, male-pattern baldness,
and an increase in sex drive, acne, body hair and clitoris size. Younger steroid users, both
male and female, are at risk of permanently halting their linear growth, which could result
in shorter stature than nature had intended. (Steroids –Dangerous side effects).
With continued use of anabolic steroids, both sexes can experience the following
effects, which range from the merely unsightly to the life endangering. They include:
• Bloated appearance
• Rapid weight gain
• Clotting disorders
• Liver damage
• Premature heart attacks and strokes
• Elevated cholesterol levels
• Weakened tendons
Anabolic steroids can halt growth prematurely in adolescents. "What happens is that
steroids close the growth centers in a kid's bones", says Dr. Wadler. "Once these growth
plates are closed, they cannot reopen so adolescents that take too many steroids may end
up shorter than they should have been." (Dr.Wadler)
Anabolic steroids can cause severe mood swings. People can go from bouts of
depression or extreme irritability to feeling of invincibility and out right aggression,
commonly called “roid rage”. This is a dangerous state beyond mere assertiveness.
Although anabolic steroids may have some immediate positive effects according to
strength and shape; but the negative side effects will last for a life time even after the
drugs are stopped and the hormone is purged from the body. A range of bio-chemical
changes starts to happen. Moreover, they can be deadly. So, as a word of warning to all
who reads my research, males or females, teens or adults, and every one, I say that don’t
risk with your life for just to win a game or to have more sports skills and strength, and
remember that this will be cheating and illegal. (Personal conclusion).
Dr. Wadler, Gary. Anabolic steroids. Informative article on steroid use and its side effect.
Friday, August 8, 2003. [http://www.espn.go.com/special/s/drugsand
Long term side effects. Side effects that come with long term use of steroids. Tuesday,
August 12, 2003. [http://www.q.co.za/culture/00leisure/000428-steroid.htm]
Pharmacological actions of steroids. Britannica. Jacob E. Safra – Ilan Yeshua. Chicago.
Volume: 15. P: 928.
Steroids – dangerous side effects. American college – clearing house for alcohol and drug
information. Wednesday, August 6, 2003.
Supremebodybuilding.com. Basic steroid information. Wednesday, August 6, 2003.