Watching For Signs
The Better Life Experts | April 28, 2009

Young men, as well as young women, take risks especially with regards to sports. Teenage self esteem is tied closely to the physical body and it is difficult during these formative years to separate the two. Girls are generally influenced by media models who are dangerously thin, and in an effort to imitate fashion, may develop eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. Young boys, however, tend to be manipulated by images of muscular bodies. As a result, some teenagers are drawn to the use of steroids in order to compete or even “level the playing field” with other young men who use steroids. But before we discuss the dangers of steroids, here are some facts about steroids as they are produced by our bodies and the important role they serve in maintaining good health.

There are three general categories of steroid hormones within the human body:
  • Sex steroids are a type of sex hormone that is responsible for sex differences and they support reproduction. Included in this group are androgens, estrogens, and progestagens.

  • Corticosteroids include glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. Glucocorticoids regulate many aspects of metabolism and immune function, whereas mineralocorticoids help maintain blood volume and control our urinary output of electrolytes. Most medical 'steroid' drugs are corticosteroids.

  • Anabolic steroids are a class of steroids that interact with androgen receptors to increase muscle and bone synthesis. There are natural and synthetic anabolic steroids. When we hear the word “steroid” today, it usually refers to anabolic steroids. Synthetic anabolic steroids, however, tend to be abused most often by young men, in part, because they are easily obtained (albeit illegally) and can increase weight, muscle size, strength and endurance fairly quickly. Anabolic steroids may also help muscles recover at a faster rate after workouts and enhance athletic performance during sports.
The downside of using the steroids often sold at gyms, sports competitions, or via mail and over the internet is vast. Quality and purity of these drugs is unknown. The possible health side effects of unsupervised, prolonged usage of steroids can include liver damage, increased risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. Other common problems include changes to the reproductive system, impaired glucose tolerance (which can lead to type 2 diabetes), high blood pressure, edema, decreased immune function, etc. Combined with alterations in behavior as well as psychological problems, steroid usage becomes a “no brainer” in the sense that these drugs should only be used by a medical professional in an appropriate setting for specific reasons. They should never be used indiscriminately by anyone (and especially not young people) in order to enhance athletic performance.

This form of drug abuse can damage young healthy bodies and adults should be aware of some of the warning signs of steroid use before long term health problems and addiction occurs. Getting the advice of a health professional if steroid use is suspected can be the difference between life and death for a teenager. These are dangerous drugs and adolescents typically either don’t realize it or they fool themselves into thinking they will be alright by minimizing the risks associated with steroid use.

The following list details some signs of possible steroidal use:
  • Compulsive weight training
  • Quick gains in weight and muscle growth that don’t seem normal
  • Persistent unpleasant breath odor
  • Aggressiveness and mood swings
  • Unexplained darkness of skin or purple (or red) spots on the body
  • Swelling of feet or lower legs
  • Jaundice of the whites of the eyes
This is a partial list only and a medical professional must be the person who diagnoses and treats this problem. Abrupt withdrawal from steroids can be deadly and should be undertaken with the supervision of a doctor.

There are better ways for young men to achieve safe and effective muscle growth. Maximizing training programs together with sports nutrition can have an impact on improving sports performance. Supplying a growing body with the right nutrients as well as appropriate exercise will produce beneficial results without the dangerous use of steroids.
BBBOnLine Reliability Seal © 2011 Better Life Unlimited™
A division of Better Life Institute © (BLI, Inc.)
 Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
SecurityMetrics Credit Card Safe