At the basic, steroids are organic compounds with seventeen carbon atoms arranged into four rings. These can also be defined as synthetic hormones designed to treat medical ailments. However, they are one of the world’s most controversial drugs.
Steroids are developed as medical treatments and they come in two varieties. Anabolic steroids which have a similar function as testosterone, a male hormone. They interact with androgen receptors to increase muscle, change the physical health, and improve performance and appearance. Corticosteroids are less controversial; they are used to treat allergic reactions and autoimmune diseases.
Are Steroids Harmful to the body?
Some steroids can be incredibly harmful to those who use them. Conversely, some types of steroids are used to help people with inflammatory conditions. Since anabolic steroids are synthetic forms of testosterone, they will influence many of the characteristics of gender in the person abusing the substance.
The side effects of steroids
- Developing of the voice in women.
Androgen are responsible for the male secondary sex characteristics, the development of deep voice is one of them. Prolonged exposure and high doses to androgenic anabolic steroids are what causes these changes.
Women develop menstrual cycle disruption and irregularities also known as Amenorrhea. This results due to the disruption of endocrine balance as it relates to androgens and estrogens in the body.
- Growth of breast tissue in men.
This is a result of hormonal changes that occur with the use of synthetic anabolic steroids.
- Fertility issues in men,
This is us a result of high testosterone levels in the body that suppresses the brains ability to stimulate the testicles, resulting in to shrinking of the testicles. High levels of testosterone specifically suppresses two hormones in the brain, Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
- Fertility issues
Anabolic steroids may increase risk of abnormal heart rhythm and stroke. This is as a result to changes is heart muscle structure and problems with the hearts electrical signals. These changes would then increase the likelihood that people taking steroids would suffer from atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm disorder which is itself a major cause of stroke.
- Kidney failure
This result to a condition known as focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, the disease typically occurs when the kidneys are overworked as a result develops protein leakage from the body.
- Emotional problems
Steroids have also been associated with emotional problems that have been known to lead to violence, depression, paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability, delusions, and impaired judgment. Some steroid abusers report that they have committed aggressive acts, such as physical fighting or armed robbery, theft, vandalism, or burglary. These acts are a result of secondary hormonal changes.
Steroid use may lead to dependency. This is illustrated in the feeling that the person cannot function normally without the steroids in their system.
There or other natural alternatives that are used to achieve the same results as the synthetic steroids. Herbal therapy is a holistic therapy, integrating emotional, mental and spiritual levels. There are some “drug like” plants remedies that actions approach that of pharmaceuticals. Digitalis is one of these plant examples. Most of the plants possess antioxidant activities.