Steroids And Their Effect On The Human Body
Steroids In Sports
Drugs have been used in sports almost as long as sports themselves have been around. The ancient Incas discovered that the ashes from burned leaves of the Coca tree gave the people great stores of energy, and made sleep unnecessary for 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 in ancient sport competitions. It wasn't until 1886 that the first drug-related death in sports occurred. A bicyclist took a mixture of cocaine and heroine, called the "speedball," and died from it. Little were the doctors aware the epidemic that would follow in the next century. Anabolic steroids, developed in the 1930's in Europe, are drugs that help to build new body tissue quickly, but with drastic side effects. Anabolic means the ability to promote body growth and repair body tissue. It comes from the Greek word anabolikos meaning "constructive." Steroids are made up of hormones. Steroids were not always used for sports, they started out the same way most drugs did, medicinal purposes. Victims of starvation and severe injury profited from it's ability to build new tissue quickly. They also helped prevent 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 combinations of chemicals that achieve the same result as hormones. Hormones may be given to an individual in their natural state, or in a synthetic one. The synthetic state is sometimes more potent than the natural one. Testosterone and progesterone are hormones used in steroids, another kind comes from the adrenal glands, which secrete various necessary bodily chemicals. The steroids themselves can be taken orally, as tablets or powders, and can also be liquids that are injected into the muscles. The steroids taken by athletes contain testosterone or chemicals that act in similar way to testosterone. Testosterone is found in men and women, but in women it is present in much smaller amounts, mainly because it is produced in the testicles in men. More than one hundred and twenty steroids are based on the hormone testosterone. There are many brand names, such as Durabolin, Winstrol, Pregnyl, and Anavar. Anabolic steroids control the bodily functions that are normally under control of the bodies natural testosterone. As well as turning women into men and men into manly men it has a stimulative effect on skeletal muscle mass, some visceral organs, the hemoglobin concentration, and the red blood cell number and mass. Of course, most people take anabolic steroids illegally to stimulate growth in muscle cells. Once a person is born, he/she will not grow anymore muscle cells throughout their life. So when muscle mass increases it is the individual cells growing in girth to compensate for either an increase in work, or the release of androgen hormones (found in all anabolic steroids.) Exercise alone can stimulate the girth of muscle cells to increase by anywhere from 30 to 60 percent. The presence of androgen hormones allows for even greater growth. Anabolic steroids act like our natural androgen hormones in that they stimulate anabolic metabolism in the muscles. Anabolic metabolism involves the buildup of larger molecules from smaller ones and includes all the constructive processes used to manufacture the substances needed for cellular growth and repair. As a result of steroids stimulating anabolic metabolism, muscles increase in size to a substantially greater size than they would have been if the individual only exercised. Doctors take different views on prescribing steroids. Most dislike the use 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 to get a winning edge they see as cheating. Others don't like steroids, but will prescribe them, knowing their patient, if not given to them by their doctor, will get them from somewhere else. This way they can regulate them, tell the patient the correct way to use them, and keep an eye on them. Still others doctors consider steroids safe when administered under medical supervision, which includes carefully regulating dosages and watching for the first signs of trouble. A fourth view doctors take is recognizing the possibility that although sometimes steroids do serious harm, the same can be said of minor drugs, such as aspirin. Millions of people take aspirin daily, because the benefits greatly outweigh the risks, and suffer no harm as a consequence, and the doctors feel the same is true about steroids. When under medical supervision, doctors feel their patients are safe because of their good physical condition and the drugs can be stopped if trouble begins to show. They feel that with steroids, much like with aspirin, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks. None of these views can be proven correct or incorrect, but one thing is certain. Steroids used without medical supervision do a lot of harm. The athletes generally do not know how much to take and take doses too large right from the start. Many doctors believe that steroids can lead to heart attacks and even strokes. Steroids cause extreme bloating because they create an imbalance of chemicals in the body and to regain that balance the body holds water. This extra fluid raises the blood pressure and could cause strokes and heart-attacks. Steroids are also suspected of bringing on liver and kidney failure. The steroids seem just as capable of destroying tissues as creating it. Women are seen as being especially endangered by steroids because of the increased amounts of testosterone. Testosterone steroids are androgenic drugs, which means they promote masculinity. Although women produce small amounts naturally, it is a male hormone. The testosterone present is kept in balance with estrogen, the female hormone. Like testosterone for males, estrogen gives females their feminine characteristics. The woman may bald, grow excess bodily hair, including a mustache, they lose the gentle curves of their body, their skin roughens, they gain weight, and the voice gets deeper. An unborn child is also endangered, female's unborn babies will develop such male traits as extra hair, and all unborn children, according to a few doctors, are subject to be handicapped and deformed. Steroids are dangerous when used incorrectly, and should be used only under medical supervision. It has undesired side effects for men, women, and even the unborn. When abused, steroids are no longer anabolic, they stop building the bodies tissue and start tearing it down as anything will when used in excess. Steroids are only useful if prescribed by a doctor, and used with caution!
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