Effects of anabolic steroids (hormones)


There are not to be confused with the various corticosteroid drugs often prescribed by doctors for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease. Anabolic steroids have only a very limited use in ordinary medicine, such as building up muscle in a patient who has been bedridden for some time.

They are misused by some athletes and body builders in order to increase muscle size and strength. Because they are derived from the male hormone testosterone, they may also have the effect of stimulating aggression. Some athletes claim the drugs help them train harder and recover more quickly from injury.

Their use is prohibited by sporting bodies and athletes found using steroids are liable to be disqualified and banned from competition.

There are many potential problems associated with these drugs:

often steroids are injected using shared equipment, with the attendant risks of HIV and other infections;

in young people, steroids can restrict growth;

in men, they have side-effects on the reproductive system, such as reduced sex drive and lowered sperm count;

in women, 'masculine' side-effects such as deeper voice and smaller breasts may be permanent even when the drug use has stopped;

they can cause liver damage leading to jaundice or cancer of the liver.

These drugs circulate in some public gyms and health clubs. It is illegal to supply them without a prescription, but not illegal to possess them.








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