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Benefits and Risks of Using Steroids Many athletes have used steroids in their athletic careers which have led to sports scandals and the reopening of the discussion of the risks and benefits of the drug. The synthetic version of the hormones that our bodies naturally produce are what steroids are. Steroids commonly used by athletes is a copy of the male hormone testosterone. With the use of steroids, either taken orally or injected, athletes gain benefits such as the enhancement of muscle growth, speeding repair of injured or strained muscles and workouts which can be prolonged. The medical community has acknowledged that using steroids can build muscle and improve athletic performance.
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Other effects of using steroids is the building of more muscles and is very helpful in exercising because it helps you to recover fast so that you can exercise harder and more frequently.
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What makes the use of steroids dangerous is its use when they are unprescribed and the side effects that it has on the body especially when you buy them in the black market and its ingredients are unregulated. The risk of side effects from taking steroids increases with the amount and duration of use just like the use of any drug. Some of the initial side effects of taking steroids include hair growth, increased aggression, and acne. Progressively, when the body senses the presence of artificial hormones, it responds by making less on its own. Shrunken testicles, lowered sperm count, and infertility can be the results of constantly taking steroids. Other side effects of using steroids is the increase of cholesterol, fluid retention, and high blood pressure which can lead to long term effects. Stroke, heart attack or sudden death are the risks which steroid users are exposed to. Nausea, depression, muscle aches, and irritability are some of the withdrawal symptoms that a heavy steroid user experiences once he stops using the drug. There will be muscle shrinkage and declining strength for six to twelve weeks for the steroid user who stops taking the drug. Infertility can still be reversed in a user within a year of stopping the drug usage. Lowered testosterone and sperm levels can last for years for heavy steroid users. Heart and liver damage, and testicular and prostate cancers are some of the more severe effects of prolonged usage of steroids. Steroids can be prescribed for some medical treatments. Patients with anemia were given steroids during the time when bone marrow transplants were not yet popular. They were also used for patients with AIDS and other syndrome that cause muscle depletion and weight loss. Burn patients can benefit from steroids because it helps hasten healing. There are steroids that you can use to stop inflammation. Asthma attacks can also be treated with another form of steroid. Athletes are not allowed to take steroids because it gives them unfair advantage over the other athletes.