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Abusing Anabolic Steroids
Author: du Toit
Abusing-Anabolic-steroids

Types Of Steroids

The adrenal glands in your body make several different types of steroids. These steroids include the following:

  • Sex hormones are the male hormones (including testosterone) that are collectively known as androgens or anabolic steroids, as well as the female hormones (which include estradiol, a type of estrogen).
  • Corticosteroids are hormones that include cortisone and cortisol and are thought to have a role in the immune system.
  • Mineralocorticoids are hormones that maintain the balance of sodium and potassium in the body and include aldosterone.
  • Bile salts or bile acid are steroids that are made in the liver and do not actually function as hormones but are essential for digestion and absorption of fats.
  • Sterols are also called steroid alcohols and include cholesterol, which is vital to animal cell membrane structure and function and a precursor to fat-soluble vitamins and steroid hormones Other sterols help your body to produce vitamin D from sunlight and to build cell walls.

What Are Anabolic Steroids Used For?

Current legitimate medical uses are limited to certain kinds of anaemia, severe burns and some types of breast cancer.

They are often used illegally by bodybuilders and athletes. Taken in combination with a program of muscle-building exercise and diet, anabolic steroids contribute to increases in body weight and muscular strength.

Damage From Anabolic Steroids

Steroid users subject themselves to more than 70 side effects ranging in severity from acne to liver cancer.

The liver and cardiovascular systems are most seriously affected by steroid use. In men, the use of anabolic steroids can cause withered testicles, sterility and impotence. Anabolic steroid use in women can lead to irreversible masculine traits together with breast reduction and sterility.

Psychological effects in both genders include depression as well as extremely aggressive behaviour known as ‘roid rage’. While some side effects appear quickly, others such as heart attacks and strokes may not show up for years.

Signs Of Steroid Use

Signs of steroid use include the following:

  • quick weight and muscle gains (when used in a weight training program)
  • aggressiveness and combativeness
  • jaundice
  • purple or red spots on the body
  • swelling of feet and lower leg
  • trembling
  • unexplained darkening of the skin
  • bad breath

How do I get help for myself or my loved one?

The first step in getting help is finding out whether you have a problem. A psychologist with specific training in the treatment in this area can effectively perform a professional assessment and, if required, will recommend the most appropriate treatment. Read more about clinical psychologist Emile du Toit and how he is best suited to assist you in person or virtually online.

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