Man-made or synthetically developed variations of testosterone (a natural male hormone) are commonly termed as anabolic steroids. The proper name for these compounds are termed as AAS or also known as Anabolic Androgenic Steroids where androgenic refers to male characteristics such as muscle mass, body hair, and specific organs development and anabolic refers to the build-up of muscle tissue.
Anabolic Steroid Use
Anabolic steroids generally are or at sometimes illegally are used for enhancing athletic performance, improve physical appearance and promote muscle growth. Occasionally, legal prescriptions of anabolic steroids are prescribed by doctors in order to treat men specific health conditions which are commonly caused by certain hormonal deficiency and diseases such as lean muscle mass, delayed puberty, AIDS and cancer.
Anabolic Steroid Abuse
Steroid abusers may take ten to one hundred times higher doses of anabolic steroids than the dose prescribed by the doctors as the treatments of the medical issues. Usually, steroid is either directly taken orally or injected into the muscle. There are also gels or cream based steroids which are also available and supposedly used for skin massage.
Anabolic steroids are not usually taken continuously; it is supposed to be taken intermittently. It is an attempt to recover the body’s endocrine system along with avoiding side effects. Body’s ability to use the drug effectively is reduced by constantly using of anabolic steroids. Additionally, body’s natural process of producing testosterone also might get stopped.
The pattern of taking steroids for a certain period of time, stopping in-between and restarting it again is called steroid cycling. Steroid stacking refers to combining several kinds of steroids while attempting to improve its effectiveness.
The Development of Gynecomastia Can Be Caused By Steroids:
Gyno (a common nickname) or development of gynecomastia usually occurs after stopping the steroid cycle. Body’s endocrine system is signaled about the enough level of testosterone, by the consumption (oral or injected) of steroids which prompt a reduction in the production of testosterone. Human body takes time to begin producing normal testosterone level after discontinuing the steroid cycle. Meanwhile, the level of estrogen, the female hormone, is highly relative in comparison to the level of testosterone.
At this point of time, the user of steroid may feel and see development of male breasts. The formation of the gyno-male gland already starts to happen when the levels of estrogen and testosterone start normalizing gradually and the natural evaporation of this condition is rare.
Some of the most abused anabolic steroids includes are:
Usages And The Side Effects Of Steroids:
Both the amateur and professional athletes and body builders often try to build up their muscle strength and improve athletic performance by using anabolic steroids. This type of use is neither safe nor legal. In fact, there is a direct link between negative side effects and the usages of anabolic steroids, which are:
- Body and facial acne
- Change of vocal tone
- Painful stages of gynecomastia
- Certain hormonal changes in men
- High blood pressure
- Cancer and other liver disease
- Heart attacks and other heart problems
- Renal failure
- Aggressive and improper way of behaving
- A common side effect called aromatization which every bodybuilder fears
Various kinds of procedures including aromatization occur in human body while injecting or ingesting anabolic steroids. During this process, the anabolic steroids get the converted to a female-like or estrogen-like compound where the ratio of estrogen and testosterone get shifted due to this conversion which results in an abundance of estrogen, the female hormone.
Human body may experience a negative kind of feedback mechanism caused by anabolic steroids. Due to the negative mechanism, normal production of testosterone gets reduced and the development of female-like breast tissue occurs due to these imbalances. Glandular breast tissue will start to accumulate slowly due to the continuation of using anabolic asteroids. Unfortunately, after the formation of this tissue; breast will not get back to normal proportions even after discontinuing the steroid.
Presently, no drugs are available there to treat the resulting gyno or gynecomastia. The only treatment available is surgery of male breast reduction.
A Common Misperception Regarding Estrogen Blockers:
As there is increase in the estrogen-blood levels, sometimes these estrogen blockers are taken in attempt to block the estrogen effects. Consuming estrogen blocker may help reducing the gynecomastia development if the timing is right. However, the safety and effectiveness of these estrogen blockers has not been yet rigorously studied.
How Does The Brain Get Affected By Anabolic Steroids?
There is a vast difference between anabolic steroids and other illegal drugs since they do not create high. However, several brain pathways can get affected by the long-term use of steroids, other drugs and chemicals which can also have a significant impact on mood or behavior. Several psychiatric issues like aggression are also caused by the usage of anabolic steroid. Even though there are reports claiming made by several men that after taking steroids one feel quite positive, but there are the possibilities of extreme mood changes, extreme bouts of anger and even leading to violence.
Signs Of The Addiction Of Steroid:
Though Anabolic steroids are addictive, these are not similar to other illicit drugs when it comes to causing the same type of addiction. The common symptoms of addiction:
- Continuing to take steroids without caring about the negative impacts on social relationships and physical issues
- Significant amount of investment in terms of money and time, done on the drug consumption
- Experiencing hormonal imbalance, fatigue, loss of appetite, ceasing, steroid cravings, insomnia and mood swings
- Untreated depression which may lead to suicide
Facts To Know About Steroid Abuse And Ways To Prevent It:
Researches and surveys found that approximately four percent students in high school are abuser of anabolic steroid pills or injections which are not prescribed by a doctor. Most importantly, these drugs are easily available on the internet, training centers and gyms which can be accessed by the young people very easily.
Usually over-the-counter supplements contain anabolic steroids which may not be mentioned on the label. Anabolic steroids, which are meant for the animals, are often abused by young people who get access to veterinary steroids. It is often easier to obtain these less expensive steroids over the anabolic ones which are designed for the consumption of human being. According to the reports, twenty-five percent of steroid users share the needles which can spread up HIV and other dangerous infections. Young men and adult males need to get proper physical training and nutrition and stay away from anabolic steroids in order to achieve their athletic goals.