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Steroids (Anabolic-Androgenic) Facts

anabolic steroids facts information

The derivatives promote the growth of skeletal muscle and increase lean body mass. German soldiers were given steroids to increase their strength and aggression. Several other effects are gender- and age-specific. Choose the Right Birth Control.

How do people abuse anabolic steroids?

Jaundice can also signal other dangerous conditions of the liver, such as hepatitis, so a physician should always treat it. How Much is Enough? Icon Group International, Anabolic steroids are taken orally or injected, typically in cycles of weeks or months referred to as "cycling" , rather than continuously. Research shows that aggression and other psychiatric side effects may result from anabolic steroid abuse.

Thus, AASs are one kind of steroid. They are not to be confused with an entirely different group of steroids called corticosteroids — of which prednisone and cortisone are examples — which are commonly used to treat illnesses such as arthritis, colitis, and asthma. In contrast to anabolic steroids, corticosteroids can cause muscle tissue to be wasted. AASs are also referred to as ergogenic drugs, which means performance-enhancing.

Street or slang terms for AASs include "roids" and "juice. Soon after testosterone was first isolated and synthesized in the laboratory in , a number of synthetics were created to be used as medicines.

The synthetic forms were developed because natural testosterone did not work very long when given as a pill or injection it is subject to rapid breakdown in the body. Bodybuilders may have begun using AASs to build muscle size and strength as early as the s.

Olympic athletes started to use these drugs in the s. Most of this use went undetected, however, because the technology of drug testing did not allow reliable detection of AASs in the urine until the Olympic Games. In the same year, a study reported that 6. This study made it clear that elite athletes were not the only ones taking these drugs.

Schedule III Controlled Substances are recognized to have value as prescribed medicines, but also have a potential for abuse that may lead to either low to moderate physical dependence or high psychological dependence.

Table 1 lists the names of some AASs that bodybuilders have used. Two naturally occurring steroids, dehydroepiandrosterone DHEA and androstenedione, are used by the body to make testosterone and estrogen Corrigan, The benefits and adverse effects of synthetic DHEA and androstenedione are mostly unknown, but they are commonly believed to have anabolic and androgenic effects.

Testosterone has a four-ring structure composed of nineteen carbon atoms. Accordingly, the carbon atoms are labeled by number from one to nineteen see Figure 1. Many synthetic forms of testosterone are made by adding either an alkyl group or an ester to the seventeen-carbon atom. An alkyl group is a chain of carbon and hydrogen atoms. An ester is formed by reacting an acidic chain of carbon and hydrogen atoms to the-OH group on the seventeen-carbon atom.

In general, when an alkyl group is added to the seventeen-carbon atom, the resulting drug can be taken as a pill; however, these so-called seventeen-alkylated AASs are relatively toxic to the liver and are more likely to cause negative effects on cholesterol levels.

By contrast, when an ester is formed at the seventeen-carbon atom, an injectable form of testosterone is created that is less toxic to the liver and cholesterol levels.

Other AASs are created by making modifications at other carbon atoms. The most accepted use is for treating boys and men unable to produce normal levels of their own testosterone, a condition known as testosterone deficiency orhypogonadism.

AASs are also used to treat a rare skin condition called hereditary angioedema, certain forms of anemia deficiency of red blood cells , advanced breast cancer, and endometriosis a painful condition in females in which tissue usually found only in the uterus develops in other body parts. AASs are also combined with female hormones to treat distressing symptoms that can accompany menopause. Experimentally, AASs have been used to treat a condition in which bone loss occurs osteoporosis , to treat impotency and low sexual desire, and as a male birth control pill.

Most of these medical uses are uncommon, either because the conditions are rare such as angioedema or because other treatments are preferred such as erythropoeitin for anemia. Nevertheless, AASs are important medicines to have available. Nonmedically, AASs are used to enhance athletic performance, physical appearance, and fighting ability. Since society endows people who look physically fit and attractive with many benefits and recognition, some individuals see AASs as a means to those benefits.

Three groups of AAS users have been described:. Whether AASs actually work to improve performance and appearance has been debated. Invariably, users believe AASs do work, but some scientific studies have failed to show an effect.

However, there are serious limitations to how these studies were done and what they could show. By contrast, AASs probably do not improve performance of aerobic or endurance activities Yesalis, AASs have been associated with a variety of undesirable effects. The most severe consequence attributed to their use is death. In humans, the distinction between fatalities that occur among relatively healthy athletes who use AASs and patients with illnesses such as anemia who are prescribed AASs is important, because ill patients are already at a higher risk for an early death.

Clearly, anyone using AASs should have their health monitored by a physician. Another serious, life-threatening consequence has been violent aggression toward other people. Both the medical literature and newspapers contain reports of previously mild-mannered individuals who committed murder and lesser assaults while taking AASs Thiblin et al.

Although reports of severe violence generate both alarm and widespread attention, the total number of such reports is small. Moreover, the effects of AASs on violent behavior vary widely depending on the social circumstances and the characteristics of the individual. Although an increase in feelings and thoughts of violence does not always lead to violent behavior, it can be very distressing to the individual and to those around him or her.

AAS users commonly report that they feel energetic, confident, and even euphoric during a cycle of use. They may have a decreased need for sleep or find it difficult to sleep because of their high energy level. Such feelings may give way to feeling down, depressed, irritable, and tired between cycles of use. With continued use of high AAS doses, moods may shift suddenly, so that the user feels on top of the world one moment, irritable and aggressive the next, and then depressed or nervous.

During a cycle on AASs, huge quantities of food may be consumed to support the body's requirements for muscle growth and energy. During the "off cycles," appetite may diminish. The term "psychosis" means that a person cannot distinguish between what is real and what is not. For example, a person may believe that other people intend harm when no real threat exists; or a person may believe that an impossible, life-threatening stunt can be performed with no problem.

Such false beliefs are called delusions. The psychotic person may also experience hallucinations, such as hearing a voice that is not there. Fortunately, most psychiatric effects of AASs tend to disappear soon after AASs are stopped, although a depressed mood may last for several months.

Obviously, when suicides, homicides, or legal consequences from assault have occurred, they cannot be reversed simply by stopping one's use of AASs. Most commonly, AASs cause the liver to release extra amounts of enzymes into the bloodstream that can be easily measured by a blood test.

The liver enzymes usually return to normal levels when AASs are stopped. The liver also releases a substance called bilirubin, which in high amounts can cause the skin and eyes to turn yellow a condition called jaundice.

As many as 17 percent of patients treated with the seventeen-alkylated AASs develop jaundice Yesalis, Nonmedical AAS users can also develop jaundice.

Although untreated jaundice can be dangerous and even fatal, jaundice usually disappears within several weeks of stopping AASs. Jaundice can also signal other dangerous conditions of the liver, such as hepatitis, so a physician should always treat it. Another condition that occurs among patients treated with AASs is peliosis hepatis, in which little sacs of blood form in the liver.

Death can occur from bleeding if one of the sacs ruptures. Finally, liver tumors may occur in 1 to 3 percent of individuals including athletes using high doses of the seventeen-alkylated AASs for more than two years Yesalis, Rare cases of liver tumors have been reported with other types of AASs as well.

Some of the tumors are cancerous, and although more than half of the tumors disappeared when AASs were stopped, others resulted in death. AASs can cause changes in cholesterol levels Yesalis, Low amounts of a certain kind of cholesterol high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood are known to increase the risk of heart attacks. AASs, especially the seventeen-alkylated ones, cause a lowering of this so-called good form of cholesterol.

When AASs are stopped, however, cholesterol levels return to normal. Another risk factor for heart attacks and strokes is high blood pressure. Studies have shown that AASs can cause small increases in blood pressure, which return to normal when AASs are stopped.

As a result of strenuous exercise, many athletes develop an enlarged heart that is not harmful. Some, but not all studies, suggest that AAS users can develop a harmful enlargement of the heart.

As noted previously, heart attacks and strokes have been reported in AAS users, but studies are needed to determine if AAS users have a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes than non-users Yesalis, In males, the prostate gland can enlarge, making it difficult to urinate; the testes shrink; and sterility can occur. The effects on the prostate, the testes, and sterility reverse when AASs are stopped; however, at least one case of prostate cancer has been reported, an exception to reversibility.

Males can also develop enlarged breast tissue from taking AASs, an effect medically termed "gynecomastia" it is referred to by male users as "bitch tits". Athletes and other abusers take them typically in cycles of weeks or months, rather than continuously, in patterns called cycling. Cycling involves taking multiple doses of steroids over a specific period of time, stopping for a period, and starting again. In addition, users frequently combine several different types of steroids to maximize their effectiveness while minimizing negative effects, a process known as stacking.

Effects Anabolic steroids are synthetic derivatives of the male hormone testosterone. The full name is androgenic promoting masculine characteristics anabolic building steroids the class of drugs.

These derivatives of testosterone promote the growth of skeletal muscle and increase lean body mass. Anabolic steroids were first abused nonmedically by elite athletes seeking to improve performance.

Today, athletes and others use steroids to enhance performance and also to improve physical appearance. Major side effects include liver tumors, jaundice, fluid retention, severe acne and trembling.

Aggression and other psychiatric side effects, including wild mood swings involving violence, may result from anabolic steroid abuse. Other medicines have been used to help restore the patient's hormonal system. National Institute on Drug Abuse website. Explores the latest research on anabolic steroid use, including health consequences of steroid abuse, the effects it can have on behavior, prevention research, and effective treatment approaches. Skip to main content. What are anabolic steroids?

Points to Remember Anabolic steroids are synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone. Health care providers can prescribe steroids to treat various medical conditions. They are also applied to the skin as a cream, gel, or patch. Some athletes and other people abuse steroids by cycling, stacking, and pyramiding them.

Abuse of anabolic steroids may lead to short-term effects such as mental problems. Continued 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. Anabolic steroid abuse may lead to serious long-term, even permanent, health problems. Several other effects are gender- and age-specific.

In certain cases of severe addiction, patients have received medicines to help treat symptoms of withdrawal. 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: Department of Health and Human Services. Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products.

Synthetic Cathinones "Bath Salts".

Iamges: anabolic steroids facts information

anabolic steroids facts information

In males past the age of puberty , side effects include increased urinary frequency, breast tenderness and enlargement, and frequent erections. Painful lumps in the male breast may persist after stopping AASs, and they sometimes require surgical removal. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

anabolic steroids facts information

Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. Many are also concerned about the potential for harmful effects with AASs, especially when the patterns of illicit use are considered. Researchers reported also that users may suffer from paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability, delusions, and impaired judgment stemming from feelings of invincibility.

anabolic steroids facts information

Street or slang terms for AASs include "roids" and "juice. Athletes call anabolic steroids 'roids, juice, pump, or hype. Anabolic steroids facts information liver may develop tumors, and infertility is common. Although these products have different labeled uses, they are very similar in action and side effects and may be used interchangeably, subject to differences in route of administration and duration of action. Many are also concerned about the potential for harmful effects with AASs, especially when the patterns of illicit use are considered.