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21 Reasons Why Athletes Should Not Use Steroids

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

Most athletes want to be bigger, faster and stronger. Unfortunately, many athletes take the wrong approach, turning to androgenic anabolic steroids, highly dangerous drugs that aren’t just risky from a medical standpoint, but actually illegal in the U.S. without a prescription. Additionally, anabolic steroids are banned from most sports organizations (at all levels).

What are androgenic anabolic steroids?

Androgenic anabolic steroids (also referred to in this post as “AAS” or “anabolic steroids”) are synthetic drugs made to mimic testosterone, a naturally occurring male hormone that, among other things, contributes to building muscle.

Many athletes and gym enthusiasts abuse these drugs with the hope of increasing their physical performance and/or appearance.

Why should anabolic steroids not be used?

While AAS may offer some benefit in building muscle mass, the risks – not to mention the ethical and legal issues surrounding their use – outweigh any potential benefits. Physical side effects associated with steroid use may include:

  1. Hypertension
  2. High cholesterol
  3. Severe acne
  4. Hair loss / baldness
  5. Damage to the liver
  6. Risk of HIV and other diseases associated with needle-sharing

In men, risks include:

  1. Atrophy (shrinking) of the testicles
  2. Loss of sex drive
  3. Decreased sperm production
  4. Breast and prostate enlargement
  5. Decreased hormone levels
  6. Sterility

In women, risks include:

  1. Irregularity of menstrual cycle
  2. Infertility
  3. Development of masculine traits (e.g. facial hair, deepened voice)

In addition to these physical side effects, many steroid users report the following psychological side effects:

  1. Depression
  2. Extreme irritability
  3. Delusions
  4. Hostility and aggression
  5. Impaired judgment
  6. Mood swings

(Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency, Diversion Control Division)

Just Say ‘No’ to Steroids

Not only are steroids dangerous for your mental and physical health, but using the drugs without a prescription can have serious legal, professional and social ramifications. There are better ways to build muscle and improve your performance! For more information, talk to a sports medicine doctor near you.

Schedule With a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor

To schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics, call (713) 756-5546. You can also schedule your appointment online.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.