Steroids And Their Affects On The Human Body

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Steroids and Their Affects On The Human Body Drugs have been used in sports almost as long as sports themselves havebeen around. The ancient Incas discovered that the ashes from burned leaves ofthe Coca tree gave the people great stores of energy, and made sleep unnecessaryfor hours or even days, it was later discovered to be the stimulant cocaine. They would take it before long hunts, battles, and even found it useful inancient sport competitions. It wasn't until 1886 that the first drug-relateddeath in sports occurred. A bicyclist took a mixture of cocaine and heroine, called the 'speedball,' and died from it. Little were the doctors aware theepidemic that would follow in the next century.

Anabolic steroids, developed in the 1930's in Europe, are drugs thathelp to build new body tissue quickly, but with drastic side effects. Anabolicmeans the ability to promote body growth and repair body tissue. It comes fromthe Greek word anabolikos meaning 'constructive.' Steroids are basically madeup of hormones. Picture: One woman training to make the 1984 US women's basketball teamused them, her muscles started to bulge, her voice grew deeper, and she even hadthe beginnings of a mustache. These are all the usual symptoms of anabolicsteroids. Steroids were not always used for sports, they started out the same waymost drugs did, medicinal purposes. Victims of starvation and severe injuryprofited from it's ability to build new tissue quickly

They also helpedprevent muscle tissue from withering in patients who had just had surgery. Steroids are used to treat Addison's disease. Anabolic steroids are drugs that come from hormones or from combinationsof chemicals that achieve the same result as hormones. Hormones may be given toan individual in their natural state, or in a synthetic one. The syntheticstate is sometimes more potent than the natural one. Testosterone andprogesterone are hormones used in steroids, another kind comes from the adrenalglands, which secrete various necessary bodily chemicals. The steroidsthemselves can be taken orally, as tablets or powders, and can also be liquidsthat are injected into the muscles.

The steroids taken by athletes contain testosterone or chemicals thatact in similar way to testosterone. Testosterone is found in men and women, butin women it is present in much smaller amounts, mainly because it is produced inthe testicles in men. More than one hundred and twenty steroids are based onthe hormone testosterone. There are many brand names, such as Durabolin, Winstrol, Pregnyl, and Anavar. Basically anabolic steroids control the bodily functions that arenormally under control of the bodies natural testosterone. As well as turningwomen into men and men into manly men it has a stimulative effect on skeletalmuscle mass, some visceral organs, the hemoglobin concentration, and the redblood cell number and mass.

Of course, most people take anabolic steroids illegally to stimulategrowth in muscle cells. Once a person is born, he/she will not grow anymoremuscle cells throughout their life. So when muscle mass increases it is theindividual cells growing in girth to compensate for either an increase in work, or the release of androgen hormones(found in all anabolic steroids.) Exercisealone can stimulate the girth of muscle cells to increase by anywhere fromthirty to sixty percent. The presence of androgen hormones allows for evengreater growth. Anabolic steroids act like our natural androgen hormones inthat they stimulate anabolic metabolism in the muscles. Anabolic metabolisminvolves the buildup of larger molecules from smaller ones and includes all theconstructive processes used to manufacture the substances needed for cellulargrowth and repair. As a result of steroids stimulating anabolic metabolism, muscles increase in size to a substantially greater size than they would havebeen if the individual only exercised.

Doctors take different views on prescribing steroids. Most dislike theuse of them in sports, and some will not prescribe them at all for use in sports. They see them as dangerous for healthy individuals, and the taking of drugs toget a winning edge they see as cheating. Others don't like steroids, but willprescribe them, knowing their patient, if not given them by their doctor, willget them from somewhere else. This way they can regulate them, tell the patientthe correct way to use them, and keep an eye on them. Still others doctorsconsider steroids safe when administered under medical supervision, whichincludes carefully regulating dosages and watching for the first signs oftrouble.

A fourth view doctors take is recognizing the possibility that althoughsometimes steroids do serious harm, the same can be said of minor drugs, such asaspirin. Millions of people take aspirin daily, because the benefits greatlyoutweigh the risks, and suffer no harm as a consequence, and the doctors feelthe same is true about steroids. When under medical supervision, doctors feeltheir patients are safe because of their good physical condition and the drugscan be stopped if trouble begins to show. They feel that with steroids, muchlike with aspirin, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks. None *of these views can be proven correct or incorrect, but one thingis certain.

Steroids used without medical supervision do the greatest harm. The athletes generally do not know how much to take and take doses too largeright from the start. Many doctors believe that steroids can lead to heart attacks and evenstrokes. Steroids cause extreme bloating because they create an imbalance ofchemicals in the body and to regain that balance the body holds water. Thisextra fluid raises the blood pressure and could cause strokes and heart-attacks. Steroids are also suspected of bringing on liver and kidney failure. Thesteroids seem just as capable of destroying tissues as creating it.

Women are seen as being especially endangered by steroids because of theincreased amounts of testosterone. Testosterone steroids are androgenic drugs, which means they promote masculinity, as seen in the young basketball playermentioned above. Although women produce small amounts naturally, it is a malehormone. The testosterone present is kept in balance with estrogen, the femalehormone. Like testosterone for males, estrogen gives females their femininecharacteristics. The woman may bald, grow excess bodily hair, including amoustache, they lose the gentle curves of their body, their skin roughens, weight is gained, and the voice deepens.

An unborn child is also endangered, female's unborn babies will develop such male traits as extra hair, and allunborn children, according to a few doctors, are subject to be handicapped anddeformed. Men also are endangered. They may experience a shrinking of thetesticles, called atrophy, accompanied by a lowered sperm count, a lessening ofsexual desire, infertility, and an enlargement of the prostate gland that menunder fifty usually do not suffer from. Men will often develop breasts likethose of a woman. Steroids are dangerous when used incorrectly, and should be used onlyunder medical supervision.

It has undesired side effects for men, women, andeven the unborn. When abused steroids are no longer anabolic, they stopbuilding the bodies tissue and start tearing it down as anything will when usedin excess.

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