What are the causes of Steroids Intake?
You must have heard cases of athletes getting convicted for taking performance enhancing drugs?
Do we know what they are? Steroids are the hormones used by athletes to enhance performance.
Steroidal use has increased overtime, especially in the field of medicine. Steroids have been distinguished into 2 types- Anabolic steroids and catabolic steroids (where anabolism refers to formation of complex substances and catabolism refers to breakdown into simpler units).
Anabolic steroids are the androgenic steroids which are responsible for the production of testosterone, part of it is responsible for the sexual characteristics and the other part, the anabolic part is responsible for the increase of body mass with the help of increase in body protein. They are either taken intravenously or orally.
On the other hand catabolic steroids also known as corticosteroids produced in the adrenal gland located above the kidney. The hormones include aldosterone which plays a major role in the body’s stress response against inflammation. Commonly prescribed medication includes prednisone and prednisolone. They are also either taken intravenously or orally.
Now we just have to worry about anabolic steroids as catabolics have their uses in medicine and illness. Anabolic steroids due to their tremendous effects are used commonly by athletes as a performance enhancer which has been counted as a drug abuse issue.
Anabolic steroids are often taken in cases where the hormone production in our body is not enough. Unnecessary intake of steroids lead to increase in Hormonal level and many problems like High Blood Pressure, elevated cholesterol liver damage, heart problems, acne , baldness or behavioral changes caused due to excessive testosterone levels.
Some steroids mimic the functions and some actually interfere with the hormonal formation. In any way they both cause side effects caused due to excessive testosterone in the body. Now talking more about their side effects,
They increase testosterone levels leading to aggressiveness, acne. Excessive use can increase the interference with the normal hormone formation which can cause reduction in testicular size leading to infertility. It can also cause baldness in men. It can also lead to increase of oestrogen levels leading to enlargement in breasts. The disease is known as gynaecomastia.
In females increased levels of testosterone may lead to deepening in voice, excessive hair growth and irregular menstrual cycle.
This may also lead to increased no. of sebaceous glands which can cause acne. It can also lead to damage of liver or causing liver cancer/cirrhosis. The heart muscles grow like any other muscle in the body leading to inappropriate pumping of blood (cardiomyopathy) and sudden cardiac deaths. Also cholesterol levels due to its like nature with steroids increase which can lead to blockage of the arteries leading to improper blood flow and heart attacks. It also leads to increase in blood sugar levels and can cause high blood pressure as well. Psychiatric effects of steroid contain depression and aggression is common. ‘Roid rage’ or the act of violence or depression and suicides may be the effects.
In adolescents who haven’t completed growing stunted growth of bones and muscles are witnessed with a premature sexual maturity.
How do we deal with this drug abuse issue?
Since they stay in our body for a longer period of time it is easier to take a urine test to identify them however some steroids are designed in a way that they can cause issues in detection however the drug masking them can be identified.
Immediate steps should be taken by elders if they find out drug abuse cases. Increase in body mass is a common way to find out. They can cause adverse effects on the human mind , however they will not cause a very strong addiction . Proper counselling should be undertaken by children to escape the drug abuse. Parents should counsel their children and make them aware about the effects of drugs and should monitor their children well since prevention is better than cure.