Anabolic Steroids Medical Issues With Anabolic Steroid essay

Download this essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from essay:

Anabolic Steroids

Medical Issues with Anabolic Steroid Use

Medical Issues Associated with Anabolic Steroid Use

This paper is review of the article "Medical Issue Associated with Anabolic Steroid Use: are they exaggerated?" The review deals with the medical issues related to the use of anabolic steroids by athletes and bodybuilders. They use such exogenous sources of testosterone in order to attain attributes which would help them in enhancing their performance in sports or other related games. These anabolic steroids provide many advantages like increase in lean body mass, aggression in behavior and maturation of male secondary characteristics. They are taken orally or parenterally and in a cyclic manner. They can also be used along with other drugs to increase efficacy.

Although an athlete may gain all these advantages but he also faces adverse effects of these drugs as they affect multiple systems of our body like heart, liver, brain and bones. However, it is also important to mention that there is little evidence of the serious complications of the use as these changes are transient and get reversible once the athlete stops the use.

The article neither promotes nor discourages the use of the anabolic steroids. It is just a profound discussion on different medical problems related to the use and a view of reports of cases where adverse effects of steroids were seen. It, however, suggests that physicians should cooperate with the athlete and provide him enough information about its controlled use and the health risks so the athlete should decide himself what to do to trade off the harmful effects of steroids.

Critical Evaluation

The article as the title suggests: "The Medical issues associated with anabolic steroid use: are they exaggerated?" By Jay R. Hoffman and Nicholas A. Ratamess reviewed in 2006, discusses the possible adverse health effects of anabolic steroids and gives an apprehensible account of different medical conditions to decide whether their ill effects are dreadful or just being overstated by the medical consultants and physicians dealing with the athlete circle.

Anabolic steroids are synthetic derivatives of male sex hormone testosterone. High testosterone levels cause increased protein synthesis, improvement in muscle size and cause maturation of secondary male characteristics. It was discovered in 1939 that exogenous testosterone enhance the athletic performance. Today the use of such drugs is popular among weight lifters, athletes of the Olympics and Football League players.

Through the use of anabolic steroids, an athlete attains many structural and physiological benefits leading to good performance which include increase in lean mass, increase in bone mineral density, increased glycogen storage, increased neural transmission, increased pain tolerance and aggression.

Anabolic steroids can be taken through both oral and under parenteral administration. Athletes use these steroids in combination with other similar drugs in order to increase the potency of the product through synergistic effect. The use is cyclic which may be interrupted after a period of time such as weeks or several months. Proper management of the drug cycles reduces the negative effects to a large extent.

Medical community has long been trying to stop the anabolic steroid use because of the harmful heath effects it poses but the efforts have not been proved useful. Rather the athletes have lost confidence in the physicians and they make its unprescribed use by consulting friends, Internet or supplier companies.

However, recent literature shows that these health hazards have been exaggerated by the medical practitioners. There is evidence that the ill effects disappear once the steroid use is halted. Other than that, the proper usage is another factor that can combat the undesired impact of steroid on health to a greater extent. An athlete is more likely to get the substance dependence disorder if he uses the products excessively without cycling off. There are a number of adverse health effects reported in medical circles related to the use of anabolic steroids. They affect many of the body systems like cardiovascular, endocrine, dermatological, hepatic, musculoskeletal and psychological. Although there is paucity of enough reported evidences but still there is enough debate done by the author on the negative consequences.

The use of Anabolic steroid may bring about cardiovascular changes in the athletes which may lead to significant disorders. Over the past 20 years, there are reports of body builders acquiring myocardial infarction which is a cardiovascular disease. However, there are mixed cases of both normal and diseased individuals. It is further justified in medical sciences and athletic circle that there is no proof of direct relation of anabolic steroid use and myocardial infarction as many other factors such as diet, genetic predisposition etc. may also be involved.

Anabolic steroid use or abuse is also associated with an increased risk for liver diseases as liver is the main clearing house of steroids. Hepatic carcinomas mainly of female predominance have been reported. Among men, the disease has more chance to occur if there is previous history of liver disease. However, there may be elevation of certain liver enzymes aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and creatine kinase (CK), but no change is often-regarded more sensitive gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase (GGT) concentration (Dickerman, Pertusi, Zachariah and et al. 1999). The sustenance of GGT further proves that no serious disorder may result because of elevations in enzyme levels.

Similarly, anabolic steroids and bone growth has been examined together to establish a relationship between the two factors. Anabolic steroid use results in significant elevations in estrogens level which causes premature closure of the growth plate. However, there does not appear to be any reports which support the occurrence of premature stunted growth in adolescents using anabolic steroids. Increased dosage, however, may pose serious risk in this regard.

According to the author, there is another issue which is most commonly raised with the anabolic steroid use. It is the psychological and behavioral effects which is somewhat true. But this may also have both positive and negative effects e.g., aggression may be useful for athletic performance but it may have serious consequences outside the athletic environment. Athlete may also experience mood swings and other psychotic disorders.

Some additional adverse effects discussed by the author can be summarized as acne, male pattern baldness, gynecomastia (enlargement of male breast), decreased sperm count, testicular atrophy, impotence, and transient infertility. The author has discussed several reports related to all of these disorders.

There is a possibility that female use anabolic steroids. Hence, it is important to mention the harmful effects of steroids on females as well. It may cause masculinization, altered menstruation and the most important point to mention is, in contrast to men, the adverse effects in females may not be transient. It means that females may have long-term ill effects even after they have quitted its use.

Lesser reports have been available on the long-term adverse effects. Little information is available concerning steroid-related diseases or associated deaths in these former athletes who are now well into middle age. Author believes that research should focus on these former athletes to ascertain possible long-term effects from exogenous steroid use.

The author further emphasizes that despite conservative approach taken by medical doctors, clinical treatment in recent years with anabolic steroids has increased lean tissue and improved daily functional performance in AIDS patients, patients receiving dialysis, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and patients of myocardial infarction.

The author concludes with a non-directive approach regarding the use of anabolic steroids. He does not support the use but provides a profound comparison of the medical approach and the experimental practices of the athletes. The article finally emphasizes that in order to increase the credibility of athlete, he should be given proper awareness about the drug use and its alternative means rather than criticizing its use. However, the author has neglected the ethical issues related to the use of anabolic steroids which are another barrier in the way (Simon, 1984).


The medical literature is replete with cases of liver damage, heart attacks, behavior problems and premature deaths (Maravelias, Dona, Stefanidou and et al., 2005). Conversely according to assumed prevalence of these anabolic steroids in the United States, the number of cases with adverse events is relatively low (Angel, Chester, Green, and et al., 2012). There are several points in the study which do prove that anabolic steroids if carefully used with several factors kept in consideration may minimize the negative influences. Age of the athlete is an important factor. Extremely young or old people may not tolerate changes in androgen. Similarly gender is another factor as females are more sensitive towards the androgenic use and may have long-term effects (Pavlatos, Fultz, Monberg and et al., 2001). Proper dosage also carries weight-age (Perry, Lund, Deninger and et al., 2005).

According to research report series published by 'national institute of drug abuse', almost all data on the long-term effects of anabolic steroids in humans come from case reports rather than formal epidemiological studies. Serious adverse effects are under recognized or under reported. Data from animal studies seem to support the possibility that they may have harmful effects but there…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Anabolic Steroids Medical Issues With Anabolic Steroid" (2012, October 16) Retrieved November 29, 2016, from

"Anabolic Steroids Medical Issues With Anabolic Steroid" 16 October 2012. Web.29 November. 2016. <>

"Anabolic Steroids Medical Issues With Anabolic Steroid", 16 October 2012, Accessed.29 November. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Athletes and Steroids Historical Issue in Sports

    Athletes and Steroids Historical issue in sports The use of steroids by athletes is unfair and can be very dangerous to both the body and mind Athletes today are quite competitive, and every athlete desire is to be the winner. The audience has extremely high expectation for the athletes, and most athletes do not wish to disappoint the expectations of the spectators. The coaches put too much pressure to the athlete, which sometimes

  • Steroids an Introduction to Purpose Uses

    Steroids -- an Introduction to Purpose, Uses and Abuses TYPES OF STEROIDS HOW STEROIDS WORK USERS OF STEROIDS MEDICAL USE OF STEROIDS HOW ARE STEROIDS ABUSED EFFECTS OF STEROIDS ON HEALTH EFFECTS OF STEROIDS ON BEHAVIOR PREVENTION & TREATMENT OF STEROID ABUSE Steroids are used for many purposes. This paper highlights the introduction of steroids i.e. its basic function. It also explains the multiple uses of steroids by people from different fields of profession. Normal perception of people is

  • Steroid Use Controversies of the

    E., their use of anabolic steroids (and whether they had ever been offered steroids), their involvement in power sports, appearance and eating problems, and problem behavior. Background information about the participants included their degree of urbanization, parental socioeconomic status and the region to which they belonged. Analyses of the study's results show that the prevalence of steroid use among Norwegian youth was lower (lifetime use was 0.8% and 12 months prevalence

  • Steroids Should Not Be Banned a Steroid

    Steroids Should Not Be Banned A steroid is an organic compound that occurs in plants and animals. They have many functions, including respiration, tissue building, and the production of sex hormones. Anabolic steroids are drugs that mimic the effects of testosterone on the body, increasing protein synthesis within cells. This causes cellular tissues to build up in muscles, the ability for those muscles to work harder under stress, and of course,

  • Steroids in Sports Dangerous

    Athletes may take simulants, narcotic analgesics, anabolic steroids, beta blockers, diuretics, peptide hormones, or engage in blood doping, a technique to increase packed cell volume by re-infusing previously drawn blood. Drug testing is not standardized enough and is too widespread to identify drugs reliably, therefore failing to serve as a valid deterrent. (Doping in sports, p. 211). But Canseco also may not be the best of messenger-ex-athletic stars, since he

  • Sports Steroids in Sports

    This is especially true if, as has been suggested (Staudohar 2005), that despite stricter testing procedures, professional athletes still use anabolic steroids and human growth hormone in large numbers that greatly exceed those acknowledged or caught by their respective league governing bodies. By process of elimination, it would appear that the primary impetus for anti- steroid regulations in professional sports is public perception, and that favorable public relations and maintenance

  • Anabolic Steroids This Drug Has

    , 2008). Summary: An attached handout From all the data and evidences provided above it is evident that all these anabolic drugs are very harmful for health as: These drugs not only affect you mentally but also physically and the long-term use of these drugs can cause some irreversible damage. These drugs may improve the performance of the athletes for a very short period of time but in the long run they can cause

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved