People of all ages, genders, and backgrounds abuse anabolic steroids. While it might seem like a harmless way to improve muscle tone and enhance performance in athletic sports, steroids can cause both short- and long-term harm to your body and impair your physical and mental health. The side effects of steroid use present differently in men and women, so it's important to learn more about what can happen to you if you use them. If you or someone close to you needs help finding rehabs, call Indianapolis Drug Treatment Center at 317.682.1670 to get more information.
The term "anabolic steroids" (or simply steroids) refers to types of testosterone (a male sex hormone) that are synthesized in a lab. Many people confuse these steroids with corticosteroids, which are immunosuppressants and not at all related to the kind of drug abuse that we're focusing on. The effects are anabolic steroids are vastly different than the effects of corticosteroids.
There are many legitimate medical uses for anabolic steroids. Hormones are substances that, in small doses, control a broad range of bodily functions. One of the things that the hormone testosterone is responsible for is muscle growth. Physicians may prescribe them to treat issues related to delayed growth during puberty or to help counteract muscle loss resulting from illnesses like AIDS or cancer.
Some athletes, body builders, or even regular people take this drug (either orally or by injecting them) hoping to make use of one of the most notorious side effects of steroid use, which is bulking up. There are numerous adverse effects of anabolic steroids, however, and addiction to steroid symptoms can start presenting quite quickly.
Common Side Effects of Steroid Use
Further, there are gender-specific side effects of steroid use. In men, they may cause:
In women, side effects of steroid use include:
Not all of them. Some take a relatively short time to appear, while others get progressively worse with time. Some symptoms are short term, such as:
The long-term side effects that you may experience are:
Abusing steroids can lead to a chemical dependence and addiction. Like other addictions, the symptoms are complex and not always physical. If someone is unable to stop using steroids, they might be addicted. Once the abuse ceases or diminishes, they may experience withdrawal symptoms.
Once your body develops a tolerance, suspending steroid use causes an imbalance. That's when the withdrawal symptoms begin, including:
If you suspect that you or someone you care about is abusing steroids, you should seek professional help. Detoxing and withdrawal can be very stressful on the body and relapses may occur. For that reason, it's important to equip yourself with help from trained professionals and create a comprehensive treatment plan.