It seemed like a good idea at the time.
We hear that from those who’ve experienced abuse of anabolic steroids. The steroids are laboratory-manufactured versions of testosterone, the primarily male sex hormone.
When taken, steroids help increase muscles mass, which is why steroids are sometimes prescribed for patients suffering from diseases that cause muscle detiorioration, such as HIV and cancer.
It’s also why steroids are abused by athletes or bodybuilders who will do anything for an edge above the competition.
The idea within eventual steroid addicts is that if doctors prescribe it, it can be safe “so long as I use control.” But they often don’t consider that patients are medically monitored and are given a host of other prescriptions to offset its very negative effects.
Left to one’s own devices, steroids users often take too much, too often, and quickly find themselves both craving steroids and abusing the drug to ward off the dramatic withdrawal symptoms and aftereffects when abuse has stopped.
Red Flags of Steroid Abuse
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), steroid abuse can cause:
- Abnormally excessive development of breast tissue in males, called gynocomastia
- Dizziness, trembling
- Drastic appetite swings
- Energy level swings
- Hair loss in clumps
- Increased muscle size – sudden or gradual
- Jaundice or yellowing of the skin – a sign of liver damage
- Joint pain; heightened proclivity to rupturing muscles and tendons
- Male pattern baldness in women and men
- Mood swings
- Nausea or vomiting
- Persistent bad breath
- Polarized sleep patterns
- Small red or purplish acne, with shoulder and back breakouts
- Skin abscesses and cysts
- Stretch marks on the inner joints
- Thickening of body hair on women
- Trouble urinating; discoloration or blood in urine
- Unusually greasy hair or oily skin
- Volleying fluid levels face and body bloating or night sweats
- Weight gain – rapid or progressive
And these signs are just what are externally apparent. According to NIDA, internal symptoms of steroid addiction include:
- A reversal of good and bad cholesterol levels
- Enlargement of the heart’s left ventricle
- High blood pressure
- Heart attacks
- Hepatitis or HIV from needle use and sharing
- Shrinking of the testicles
- Enlargement of the clitoris
Sovereign Health understands what may have begun out of a vain desire to get a jump on boosting the physique may have spiraled into a legitamate and steroid dependency with scary and lethal body damages.
Steroid addiction is both physical and mental – thus we believe treatment must also address detox and rehabilitation as well as mental health therapy.