The competitive drive can force athletes to look for new ways to gain an edge. Unfortunately, this often leads many to use dangerous steroids which can have serious long-term effects on their health. If you’ve considered using performance-enhancing steroids to improve strength and increase muscle mass, learn the potential side-effects associated with these illegal drugs.
The Dangers of Steroids
Hormones play a major role in our health and body function. By disturbing the natural balance of hormones, steroids promote a range of disturbing and dangerous side-effects that affect people differently based on gender. These include:
- Gynecomastia (enlarged breasts)
- Shrunken testicles
- Prostate gland enlargement
- Enlarged clitoris
- A deeper voice
- Increased body hair
- Absent or infrequent periods
In Both Men and Women
- Increased risk of tendon rupture and tendinitis
- Severe acne
- Liver tumors and other abnormalities
- Increased “bad” cholesterol and decreased “good” cholesterol
- Heart and cardiovascular problems
- Rage, violence and aggressive behavior
- Depression and other psychiatric disorders
In addition to these troubling side-effects, steroids can sometimes lead to infectious diseases such as hepatitis or HIV resulting from shared needles. Steroids can also inhibit growth and development in teenagers, causing shorter heights and future health problems.
When they are focused on achieving greater gains, many young athletes disregard the impact their current choices can have on their futures. If you’ve thought about taking steroids, consider the long-term consequences and how they might affect the quality of your life five, ten and 20 years down the road. In most cases, the long-term costs significantly outweigh the short-term benefits that come with performance-enhancing drugs.