Many people are willing to go to dangerous extremes to achieve that perfect six pack; yet Dr. Anoop K. Agarwal, Professor of Pharmacology reveals the dangers of indulging in anabolic steroids
Abuse of Anabolic Steroids Anabolic steroids have been abused by participants in various professional sports especially in weightlifting, wrestling, boxing, cycling, and football as well as field athletes to attain a competitive edge and is referred to as ‘doping’. This ergogenic use of steroids has been completely banned by sporting bodies. A number of sportsmen have been banned or stripped of their medals due to the use of steroids; as is the case with British sprinter Dwain Chambers, France cyclist Lance Armstrong, American sprinter Justin Gatlin, and American athlete Marion Jones, to name a few.
The American College of Sports Medicine explains that anabolic steroids have the potential to increase lean body mass and muscular strength, depending upon the diet and exercise plan. However, the long term use or excessive doses carry huge health risks. Early side effects include extreme mood swings, rage, acne, and swelling in the hands and feet. Long-term use leads to kidney and liver damage, hypertension, heart enlargement, and increased blood cholesterol, thereby increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
It is a violation of medical ethics to prescribe and dispense anabolic steroids for non-medical purposes. The MOH has instituted a zero tolerance policy against the non-medical use of steroids for performance and image-enhancing purposes in support of worldwide anti-doping policy. Although there is no scientific evidence to show that anabolic steroids improve skill, agility, or athletic performance, they are quite popular among the sports world as they ‘bulk up’ the muscle mass in response to exercise and training. In a nutshell, anabolic steroids are synthetic substances structurally and functionally related to testosterone and using them in any form for non-medical reasons carry a huge health risk.