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Use of Anabolic Steroids: Adverse Effects

Modern science and medicine have developed many substances designed to make human life more comfortable. These include a variety of medications and supplements, such as vitamins. However, in most cases, these elements should be used strictly according to the doctor’s prescription to avoid the appearance of side effects due to improper use or incompatibility of drugs. Cases of incorrect dosage or use of substandard, untested substances are also widespread. One of the groups of such problematic substances is anabolic steroids, a favorite remedy for bodybuilders. The purpose of this essay is to analyze the adverse effects associated with taking anabolic steroids, as well as to consider situations where their use is justified.

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The popularity of this substance can be explained very easily when studying its primary effect. Anabolic steroids, which are artificial materials similar to testosterone, are most commonly used by various athletes and bodybuilders to increase their training results (“Anabolic Steroids,” 2019). The substance, due to its similarity to the male hormone, promotes muscle growth and bone strength. Anabolics are often mentioned in this context, and that is why their use by athletes is associated with many problems. Although a specialist referral is required to take this substance, a large number of people buy it illegally (“Anabolic Steroids,” 2019). Besides, there is a correct administration problem, mainly expressed that the dose of illegal anabolic steroids is ten times higher than those prescribed by doctors. Bodybuilders often use several types of substances simultaneously or increase the quantity too quickly. Each of these methods leads to the manifestation of side effects and various kinds of deviations.

The effects caused by anabolic steroids come from the nature of the substance and the similarity to testosterone. With this substance abuse, the male hormone level in the human body does not increase naturally. According to Horwitz, Andersen, and Dalhoff (2019), one of the manifested effects is a decrease in the natural amount of testosterone produced. The body gets used to constant doses from the outside. Therefore, it reduces its production, returning to normal hormone levels only if you continue to take anabolic steroids. A decrease in testosterone’s natural generation leads to such dire consequences as a decrease in libido, a decline in spermatogenesis, and impotence (Horwitz et al., 2019). However, it should be noted that women, on the contrary, experience somewhat the opposite effect in the form of increased sexual desire, but suffer from clitoral hypertrophy.

Anabolics have a profound effect on the cardiovascular system, primarily due to its usual field of use. Studies show that long-term use of these substances leads to a permanent increase in blood pressure (Horwitz et al., 2019). Together with increased cholesterol production in the body, this means an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including thrombosis. Thus, statistics show that the constant use of anabolic steroids directly endangers human health and can threaten much earlier death.

In light of the effects discussed above, taking anabolic steroids as medications can seem extremely risky. However, doctors carefully measure the dose so that there are no side effects. Besides, such drugs are used for medical purposes when testosterone levels in the body are low. Thus, anabolic steroids can be prescribed to a teenager suffering from delayed puberty (“Anabolic Steroids,” 2019). Also, the drug helps in cases where this or that genetic disorder is observed. Therefore, anabolic steroids are used to allow the young man to grow at a normal pace. However, in the United States, the use of such substances can be carried out strictly as directed and only under close supervision.

Thus, anabolic steroids are a synthetic substitute for testosterone, designed to help people suffering from testosterone deficiency. Since it is a hormone, the use of anabolic steroids must be strictly controlled not to cause hormonal disruption. The adverse effects of this phenomenon can be problems with potency, the cardiovascular system, acne appearance, and physical changes in the body’s structure. Therefore, although this drug may be used to achieve athletic performance, its use can only be started after consulting a doctor.


Anabolic Steroids. (2019). Web.

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Horwitz, H., Andersen, J. T., & Dalhoff, K. P. (2019). Health consequences of androgenic anabolic steroid use. Journal of internal medicine, 285(3), 333-340.

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