The cult of the body has come to stay. It’s a fact we can’t deny and doesn’t come without criticism. While some people see this cult as a way to stay in shape and take care of themselves, others take it to another level.
Some people turn to the use of anabolic steroids in the pursuit of a more muscular and defined body. These substances have the ability to promote muscle growth and enhance physical performance, but their consumption comes with a series of health risks and issues. In this article, we will explore in detail what anabolic steroids are, the problems that can arise from their use, the associated risks, and how they are consumed. Stay tuned for some interesting facts about these compounds at the end!
What are anabolic steroids?
Anabolic steroids are chemical substances used to stimulate the growth and development of tissues, especially muscle tissues. These substances are derived from testosterone, a natural hormone that plays a significant role in muscle development and strength.
However, anabolic steroids are not only used in the sports arena. In fact, in medicine, they are employed to treat certain physical conditions, such as muscle loss in patients with chronic diseases. Nevertheless, their use has become widespread in the world of sports and bodybuilding, where they have gained great popularity because they yield quick results in terms of muscle gain and enhanced physical performance. Though these results come with a fine print.
How are anabolic steroids consumed?
Anabolic steroids can be consumed in various ways, including oral administration or injection. Some users also combine various types of steroids in what is known as a “stack” or “cycle”, hoping to maximize results. An Anabolic Androgenic Steroid (AAS) cycle is a dosing and administration plan based on a strategic combination of steroids with the goal of maximizing results, minimizing side effects, and reducing the overall economic cost of the steroids to be used.
How long does an anabolic steroid cycle last?
The duration of anabolic steroid cycles varies depending on the individual and the types of substances used. A typical cycle can last from a few weeks to several months. However, the duration of the cycle is not without risks, as prolonged use can increase the likelihood of side effects and health damage.
What problems does the consumption of anabolic steroids cause?
Although the use of anabolic steroids can lead to a rapid increase in muscle mass and performance, it also comes with a range of health problems. The consumption of these substances without control and without medical supervision can have negative effects on the body. One of the most common problems is the disruption of the body’s natural hormonal balance, which often results in decreased production of natural testosterone. This typically leads to testicular atrophy, erectile dysfunction, and other sexual health issues in men, as well as menstrual disturbances and virilization in women.
These consequences can be even more severe if the consumption of anabolic steroids begins during adolescence.
The consumption of these substances without control and without medical supervision can have negative effects on the body.
What are the long-term effects if I start taking anabolic steroids during adolescence?
The use of anabolic steroids in adolescents and young individuals who are still in the growth stage can interfere with natural hormonal processes and cause a range of physical and psychological problems. The primary concern is growth arrest, as anabolic steroids can prematurely close growth plates in the bones, resulting in a final height shorter than what would have been achieved without the use of these substances.
However, there are other issues such as hormonal changes that affect the production of sex hormones and essential growth processes; an increased long-term risk of cardiovascular problems such as hypertension, heart disease, and stroke when initiated at a young age; as well as liver damage, especially if combined with excessive alcohol or other substances.
Additionally, there is an increased risk of depression, aggressive behaviors, mood swings, and other psychological disorders, as well as the development of physical and psychological dependence on these substances, making it difficult to stop using them even when recognizing the health risks.
What you didn’t know about anabolic steroids
The list of consequences doesn’t end here and goes further. Although these changes may not be as common as those we have already discussed, it doesn’t mean they won’t happen to you too if you fall into frequent anabolic steroid use. So, if everything mentioned above didn’t seem sufficient, here are some lesser-known effects:
- Voice changes: In some cases, the use of anabolic steroids can cause changes in the voice, making it deeper and more masculine due to increased production of male hormones.
- Severe acne: Anabolic steroids stimulate the sebaceous glands, which can lead to increased skin oil production and cause severe acne, especially on the back and chest.
- Impact on the immune system: The consumption of anabolic steroids suppresses the immune system to varying degrees, increasing the risk of infections and negatively affecting the body’s ability to fight them.
- Baldness: In individuals genetically predisposed to baldness, anabolic steroids accelerate hair loss by increasing dihydrotestosterone levels, a hormone related to male pattern baldness.
While anabolic steroids may offer short-term muscle and performance gains, their use is associated with health problems and significant risks. It’s important to remember that the path to a healthy and muscular body should be based on a balanced diet, regular exercise, and body care under the supervision of healthcare professionals. After learning about all the potential side effects, are you considering a cycle, or do you prefer to take it slow?
Author: Andrés Suro (Sexual Coach at MYHIXEL)
Psychologist specialized in the social area and expert in sexology applied to education.
PS: Remember you can book a private consultation with me at MYHIXEL CLINIC. Book your appointment here.