Steroids: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Like it or not, one has to accept the presence of steroids and their large scale use in the fitness and body building space.

Anabolic Steroids do have the following benefits and uses:

  • They help pack on the muscle mass and improve bone density
  • They are used therapeutically in medicine to stimulate bone growth and appetite
  • Anabolic steroids have virilziing and androgenic properties that can induce male puberty,Steroids
  • They are also used to treat chronic wasting conditions, such as cancer and AIDS

Anabolic steroids have long been used to increase weight, lean muscle mass and improve strength however their use in athletics and bodybuilding has always been controversial since it is construed as a form of ‘cheating’ that gives one an unfair advantage in competitive sport.

Use of steroids is generally referred to as doping and banned by all major sports organizations due to the fact that is a form of cheating and also due to the fact that many adverse health conditions result from their use.

Since laws are in place that restricts the use of anabolic steroids, there is a thriving illegal trade of these drugs on the black market.

Not only is this against the law it could be dangerous in more ways than one, since fake or adulterated steroids are also sold under this guise which could be not just detrimental but actually dangerous. Long term or excessive use of steroids can have the following side effects:

  • Steroid use can have a negative impact on cholesterol; increasing LDL (the good cholesterol) levels and diminishing HDL (the bad kind)
  • They can cause high blood pressure
  • Liver damage
  • Structural changes in the heart
  • Cardiovascular disease and coronary artery disease can also result
  • Heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrest
  • There are also several psychological effects that can result, such as increased aggression and violence
  • Steroids can be dependence inducing, making many dependent upon the drug which can cause withdrawal symptoms when withheld.
  • Mood disturbances, hypomania and depression can also be the side effects of use.

So while it is tempting to make fast gains from the use of anabolic steroids, it is at best a dangerous short cut, with potentially life threatening consequences, and this use is best avoided unless there is a medical requirement that indicates its requirement or use.