Are Steroids Worth the Risk?enteenshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/T-steroidRisk-enHD-AR1.jpgWill using steroids transform you into the most powerful athlete your coach has ever seen? Read this article to learn the facts on steroid use.steroids, taking steroids, anabolic steroids, what do steroids do, body building, muscles, drugs, athletes, aids, hepatitis, enhancing performances, drug testing, hormones, testosterone, puberty, are steroids illegal, weight lifters, strength training, competition, side effects, behavioral changes, hiv, human immunodeficiency virus, sharing needles, damaging the liver, masculine characteristics, being banned from a sport03/22/200011/20/201711/20/2017Steven Dowshen, MD02/01/20177378204d-b53c-4311-834d-3a9669cc15e0https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/steroids.html/<h3>What Are Steroids?</h3> <p>Steroids (sometimes referred to as "roids" or "juice") are the same as, or similar to, certain hormones in the body. The body makes steroids naturally to support such functions as fighting stress and promoting growth and development.</p> <p>But some people use steroid pills, gels, creams, or injections because they think steroids can improve their sports performance or the way they look.</p> <p><strong>Anabolic steroids</strong> are artificially produced hormones that are the same as, or similar to, <strong>androgens</strong>, the male-type sex hormones in the body. There are more than 100 variations of anabolic steroids. The most powerful androgen is <strong>testosterone</strong> (pronounced: tess-TOSS-tuh-rone). Although testosterone is mainly a mature male hormone, girls' bodies produce smaller amounts. Testosterone helps build muscle and promotes the masculine traits that guys develop during puberty, such as deepening of the voice and growth of body hair. Testosterone levels can also affect how aggressive a person is.</p> <p>Athletes sometimes take anabolic steroids because of their testosterone-like effects.</p> <p>Other steroids, sometimes called <strong>steroidal supplements</strong>, contain dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and/or androstenedione (also known as andro). For the most part, steroidal supplements, which used to be found at health food stores or gyms, are now illegal and require a prescription. DHEA is one of the few exceptions and can still be bought over the counter.</p> <p>Steroid supplements are weaker forms of androgen. Their effects aren't well known, but it's thought that, when taken in large doses, they cause effects similar to other androgens like testosterone. But research studies suggest that they do very little or nothing to improve athletic performance.</p> <p>Here's what <em>is</em> known about steroidal supplements: Companies that make them often use false claims, and very little is known about the long-term effects some of these substances have on the body. That's one reason why the government took action to protect citizens by passing laws controlling steroid distribution.</p> <h3><strong>How Do Anabolic Steroids Work?</strong></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 1em;">Anabolic steroids stimulate muscle tissue to grow and "bulk up" in response to training by mimicking the effect of naturally produced testosterone on the body. Anabolic steroids can remain in the body anywhere from a couple of days to about a year. Steroids have become popular because they may improve endurance, strength, and muscle mass. However, research has not shown that steroids improve skill, agility, or athletic performance.</span></p> <h3><strong>Dangers of Steroids</strong></h3> <p>Anabolic steroids cause many different types of problems. Some of the common side effects are:</p> <ul> <li>acne</li> <li>premature balding or hair loss</li> <li>weight gain</li> <li>mood swings</li> <li>aggression</li> <li>problems sleeping</li> <li>high blood pressure</li> <li>greater chance of injuring muscles and tendons</li> <li>jaundice (yellowing of the skin); liver damage</li> <li>stunted growth</li> <li>increased risk of developing heart disease, blood clots, stroke, and some types of cancer</li> </ul> <h3>Risks for Girls</h3> <p>Specific risks for girls associated with anabolic steroids include:</p> <ul> <li>increased facial and body hair growth</li> <li>development of masculine traits, such as deepening of the voice, and loss of feminine body characteristics, such as shrinking of the breasts</li> <li>enlargement of the clitoris</li> <li>menstrual cycle changes</li> </ul> <h3>Risks for Guys</h3> <p>Specific risks for guys include:</p> <ul> <li>testicular shrinkage</li> <li>pain when urinating</li> <li>breast development</li> <li>impotence (inability to get an erection)</li> <li>reduced sperm count and infertility</li> </ul> <h3>Other Problems</h3> <p>Steroids can also have serious psychological side effects. Some users may become aggressive or combative, believe things that aren't true (delusions), or have extreme feelings of mistrust or fear (paranoia). And people who use steroids also appear to be at higher risk for using other drugs, such as alcohol or cocaine, often to counteract some of the negative effects of steroids.</p> <p>Steroid users who inject the drugs with a needle are at risk for infection with <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/std-hiv.html/">HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)</a>, the virus that causes AIDS, if they share needles with other users. People who use dirty needles are also at risk for contracting <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/hepatitis.html/">hepatitis</a>, a liver&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 1em;">disease, or bacterial endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart.</span></p> <h3>Steroids: Stacking and Addiction</h3> <p>Some people "cycle" their steroid doses. This means they take multiple doses of steroids over a period of time, stop for a period, then start up again. "Stacking" means taking two or more different anabolic steroids. Other steroid users may "pyramid" their steroids, starting with a low dose and gradually increasing the dose, frequency, or number of anabolic steroids taken, then tapering off to complete a cycle. Users believe that stacking enhances the effects of each individual drug, pyramiding allows the body to get used to high doses of steroids, and steroid-free periods help the body recuperate from the drugs. There is no scientific evidence to support any of these claims.</p> <p>A lot of people tell themselves they'll only use steroids for a season or a school year. Unfortunately, steroids can be addictive, making it hard to stop taking them.</p> <p>And once users stop taking steroids, they can have withdrawal symptoms such as loss of appetite, tiredness, restlessness, insomnia, mood swings, and depression.</p> <h3><strong>Strong</strong> <strong>Alternatives to Steroids</strong></h3> <p>Anabolic steroid use is illegal and banned by professional sports organizations and medical associations. In spite of this, some athletes continue to take steroids because they think it gives them a competitive advantage. As seen in high-profile cases, if an athlete is caught using steroids, his or her career can be destroyed. And there are serious health consequences.</p> <p>When it comes right down to it, harming your body or getting disqualified aren't smart ways to try to improve your athletic performance. Being a star athlete means working hard and training the healthy way: <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/eatnrun.html/">eating the right foods</a>, practicing, and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/strength-training.html/">strength training</a> without the use of drugs.</p>Esteroides: ¿vale la pena el riesgo?Los esteroides son iguales o similares a ciertas hormonas del cuerpo. El cuerpo produce esteroides de manera natural para facilitar algunas funciones como combatir el estrés y promover el crecimiento y el desarrollo.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/teens/steroids-esp.html/f5a3a17c-129b-4408-a5c8-15f4e7bdd27f
A Guide to Eating for SportsYou've prepared for the game in almost every way possible: but now what should you eat? Read about performance foods, nutritional supplements, and more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/eatnrun.html/583958da-66d4-42bc-acec-95d393a00390
Body Image and Self-EsteemWhen your body changes, so can your image of yourself. Find out how your body image affects your self-esteem and what you can do.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/body-image.html/7149667b-50a9-40d9-bee3-57800969b218
Female Athlete TriadFemale athlete triad is a combination of three conditions: disordered eating, amenorrhea (loss of a girl's period), and osteoporosis (a weakening of the bones).https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/triad.html/660b8bc9-8181-412e-a420-cbf191295794
Sports SupplementsSports supplements are products used to enhance athletic performance. Lots of people who want to improve their performance have questions about how supplements work and whether they're safe.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/sports-supplements.html/4db8dd3c-9d27-4197-8f33-d08f51002b8f
Sports and Exercise SafetyPlaying hard doesn't have to mean getting hurt. The best way to ensure a long and injury-free athletic career is to play it safe from the start. Find out how.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/sport-safety.html/cbffad82-3814-4cbc-8758-dd3aac78c363
Strength TrainingIs working out with weights safe for teens? The best way to build muscle tone and definition is to combine aerobic and flexibility exercises with the right kind of strength training.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/strength-training.html/3808ee7a-5dd8-463c-a07e-bb53bf3c4ce7
kh:age-teenThirteenToNineteenkh:age-youngAdultEighteenPluskh:clinicalDesignation-endocrinologykh:clinicalDesignation-orthopedicsSportsMedkh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-endocrinologyDrugshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/drug-alcohol/drugs/756d4776-e44b-48ea-ad35-ab9cb45a2a6eSportshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/nutrition-fitness-center/sports/06ada184-a5c7-4aea-9e27-e72aa47566f6Sportshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/food-fitness/sports/28a0af77-de2a-42f5-9cf0-7344ab1991f8Training & Performance for Teenshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/sports-center/training/973b23f6-3bc7-4d0c-89c4-fe12239446f8