Some athletes take a form of steroids — known as anabolic-androgen steroids or just anabolic steroids — to increase their muscle mass and strength. The main anabolic steroid hormone produced by your body is testosterone. Testosterone has two main effects on your body: Anabolic effects promote muscle building.
The use of steroids continues to make news and sports headlines as athletes and bodybuilders use them illegally to gain an advantage on the playing field.
- Anabolic steroids refer to hormones that are either taken orally or by injection that influence the body’s hormonal system to produce extra testosterone.
- The goal of taking anabolic steroids is to increase muscle mass.
- Anabolic refers to this muscle-building capability.
- Anabolic steroids should not be confused with catabolic corticosteroids, which are used routinely as anti-inflammatory medications to help treat illnesses in which inflammation is part of the disease process.
- In today’s society, anabolic steroid use has become common to augment sports performance, and abuse of these drugs begins as early as middle school.
- include growth hormone and testosterone itself. These medications are legally prescribed by health-care providers, but this group of drugs is often used illegally and abused to help increase athletic performance and improve body appearance. When used in a well-nourished body, anabolic steroids will cause weight gain primarily due to an increase in muscle mass.
While anabolic steroids may have beneficial effects when taken under medical supervision, they have many serious and sometimes irreversible side effects. These side effects are due to abnormally high levels of testosterone in the body and may include , elevated cholesterol levels, liver damheart failureage, , acne, baldness, as well as aggressive and violent behavior.
There are a variety of common anabolic steroids. Some mimic the actions of testosterone directly, while others cause the body to produce excess testosterone by interfering with the normal hormone regulation system in the body. The end result is the same. Excess testosterone is available to affect cell and organ function in the body.