Steroids: Get Facts on the Drug and Its Side Effects
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Why Steroids Are Bad for You - WebMD

In order to trace the history and development of anabolic steroids from their beginning to their present day form, we first need to look back towards ancient times, when it was known that the testicles were required for both the development and maintenance of male sexual characteristics. In modernity, this concept was further developed, by a scientist named Berthold and his experiments on cockerels done in 1849. He removed the testes from these birds, and they lost several of the characteristics common to the male of their species, including sexual function. So, we knew as early as 1849 that the testicles functioned to promote what we consider to be primary male sexual properties; in other words, they are what "make men into men". Berthold also found that if the testicles were removed and then transplanted to the abdomen, the sexual function of the birds was largely unaffected. When the birds were dissected, it was found that no nervous connections were formed, but a vastly extensive series of capillarization took place. (1) This provided strong evidence that "the testes act upon the blood" (2) and he further concluded that this blood then had a systemic effect on the entire organism. Anabolic Steroid history, therefore, can be truly said to have made its first step with this simple series of experiments.

In 1954, a physician named John Ziegler attended the World Weightlifting Championships in Vienna, Austria, as the team's doctor. The Soviets dominated the competition that year, easily breaking several world records and winning gold medals in legions of weight classes. According to anecdotal reports, Ziegler invited the Soviet´s team doctor to a bar and the doctor told him that that his lifters had used testosterone injections as part of their training programs. Whether that story is true or not, ultimately, the Americans returned from the World Championships that year and immediately began their efforts to defeat the Soviets using pharmaceutical enhancement.

In the following years, little pink Dianabol tablets found their way into many weightlifter´s training program, fast forward a few years, and in the early 1960s, there was a clear gap between Ziegler´s weightlifters and the rest of the country, and much less of one between them and the Soviets. It was also in the 1960´s that another anabolic steroid had been developed and used to treat short stature in children with Turner Disease syndrome (13) Just prior to the ban on steroids in the Olympics, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) began a program with the goals of synthesizing new anabolic steroids for their athletes to use in various sports. Their body of research remains the most extensive collection of information on the use of steroids in athletes ever complied (5). Despite the small size of their country, they managed to consistently dominate the top ranks of various sports, competing with both the United States and the Soviet Union for total medals in both the Olympics and various World Championships. In 1972, the IOC began a full scale drug-testing program (8).

Their doping methods were so advanced, however, that they remained undetected for many years, until late 1989 when information was leaked to the western media about a government sponsored program of systematic anabolic steroid administration and concealment. Eventually, in the early 1990´s, the Germans had finally gotten caught, and the ensuing scandal was one which helped give anabolic steroids the bad reputation they have had ever since. Ironically, it was also in the early 1990´s that anabolic steroids had started to be used by the medical community to improve survival rates of AIDS and Cancer patients, when it was discovered that loss of lean body mass was associated with increased mortality rates respective to those diseases (14).

A similar story was being played out in the United States at about that same time. Before 1988, steroids were only prescription drugs, as classified by by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). FDA determines which drugs will be classified as over-the-counter versus those which will only be available through prescription. At this time, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, was invoked to restrict the access of steroids, making them available only by prescription. They were still not controlled substances at this time, however. In the early part of the new millennium, steroids have again been pushed to the forefront of the news by the introduction of prohormones which were first developed and marketed by Patrick Arnold. It is at this point that the history of steroids in baseball begins to become more prominent; this is in all probability because Major League Baseball had no steroid testing program in effect during this time. During his epic quest to break Roger Maris home-run record, Mark Maguire was spotted by a reporter to have had a bottle of Androstendione in his locker. Although androstendione is not a steroid, and is simply a prohormone, the word steroid was again found circulating in the news on a nightly basis.

Legal prosecution can be a serious side effect of illicit steroid use. Under federal law, first-time simple possession of anabolic steroids carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. For first-offense trafficking in steroids, the maximum penalty is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Second offenses double this penalty. In addition to federal penalties, state laws also prohibit illegal anabolic steroid use.Steroids: MedlinePlus

The word has different meanings. Steroids are chemicals, often hormones, that your body makes naturally. They help your organs, tissues, and cells do their jobs. You need a healthy balance of them to grow and even to make babies. "Steroids" can also refer to man-made medicines. The two main types are corticosteroids and anabolic-androgenic steroids (or anabolics for short).

They're medicines that quickly fight inflammation in your body. These lab-made steroids work like the hormone cortisol, which your adrenal glands make. Cortisol keeps your immune system from making substances that cause inflammation. Corticosteroid drugs, like prednisone, work in a similar way. They slow or stop the immune system processes that trigger inflammation. These depend on the dose and how long you take the drug. Short-term use can cause weight gain, puffy face, nausea, mood swings, and trouble sleeping. You might also get thinner skin, acne, unusual hair growth, and spikes in blood sugar and blood pressure. Because corticosteroids turn down your immune system, taking them makes you more likely to get infections.

Taking high doses of corticosteroids for a long time can cause serious side effects. Using them for more than 3 months can cause brittle bones that break easily (osteoporosis). Kids who take them for a long time might grow more slowly. Other side effects are muscle weakness, eye problems (including cataracts), and a higher risk of diabetes. They're man-made versions of testosterone, a male sex hormone that helps build bigger muscles. You take them by mouth or get a shot into a muscle. A doctor can legally prescribe them if your body doesn't make enough testosterone. An example would be boys with delayed puberty. Doctors also prescribe them to men with low testosterone and people who lose muscle mass because of cancer, AIDS, and other health conditions.

These steroids can cause bad acne and fluid retention. Long-term use can stop the body from making testosterone. In men, this causes smaller testicles, lower sperm counts, infertility, and breast growth. Women may have male-pattern baldness, facial hair growth, periods that change or stop, and a deeper voice. Teens who use them might stunt their bone growth and height. High doses can lead to extreme mood swings, anger, and aggression called "roid rage."

Steroids: MedlinePlus

Stopping them abruptly is a bad idea. It can trigger mood swings, fatigue, restlessness, achy muscles, and depression. Halting anabolics may knock down your sex drive. If you were taking steroids to treat an illness, those symptoms may come back, too. It’s safer to slowly reduce, or taper, your dose. Your doctor can tell you how. Any symptoms you get as a result will be less severe. THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Anabolic steroids are synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone. The proper term for these compounds is anabolic-androgenic steroids. "Anabolic" refers to muscle building, and "androgenic" refers to increased male sex characteristics. Some common names for anabolic steroids are Gear, Juice, Roids, and Stackers.

Anabolic steroids work differently from other drugs of abuse; they do not have the same short-term effects on the brain. The most important difference is that steroids do not trigger rapid increases in the brain chemical dopamine, which causes the "high" that drives people to abuse other substances. However, long-term steroid abuse can act on some of the same brain pathways and chemicals—including dopamine, serotonin, and opioid systems—that are affected by other drugs. This may result in a significant effect on mood and behavior.

Even though anabolic steroids do not cause the same high as other drugs, they can lead to addiction. Studies have shown that animals will self-administer steroids when they have the chance, just as they do with other addictive drugs. People may continue to abuse steroids despite physical problems, high costs to buy the drugs, and negative effects on their relationships. These behaviors reflect steroids' addictive potential. Research has further found that some steroid users turn to other drugs, such as opioids, to reduce sleep problems and irritability caused by steroids.

In certain cases of severe addiction, patients have taken medicines to help treat symptoms of withdrawal. For example, health care providers have prescribed anti-depressants to treat depression and pain medicines for headaches and muscle and joint pain. Other medicines have been used to help restore the patient's hormonal system. This publication is available for your use and may be reproduced in its entirety without permission from the NIDA. Citation of the source is appreciated, using the following language: Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Corticosteroid drugs — including cortisone, hydrocortisone and prednisone — are useful in treating many conditions, such as rashes, lupus and asthma. But these drugs also carry a risk of serious side effects. Working with your doctor, you can take steps to reduce these side effects so that the benefits of corticosteroid treatment outweigh the risks.

Corticosteroids mimic the effects of hormones your body produces naturally in your adrenal glands, which sit on top of your kidneys. When prescribed in doses that exceed your body's usual levels, corticosteroids suppress inflammation. This can reduce the signs and symptoms of inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and asthma. Corticosteroid drugs are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, asthma, allergies and many other conditions. They also treat Addison's disease, a condition where the adrenal glands aren't able to produce even the minimum amount of corticosteroid that the body needs. And these drugs also help suppress the immune system in order to prevent organ rejection in transplant recipients. With so many issues on steroids, does anybody wonder why steroids become so popular? How does steroids came into existence? Is it thru an in-depth research or just by mere discovery? From the different sources on the internet as well as other publications and journals, steroids were so popular because of its effects and the issues that always come with it. Whether we...