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A Brief History on the Uses of Steroids
Who takes anabolic steroids and why?
It is not only the football player or weightlifter or sprinter who may be using anabolic steroids. Nor is it only men. White- and blue-collar workers, females and, most alarmingly, adolescents take steroids -- all linked by the desire to hopefully look, perform and feel better, regardless of the dangers.
Anabolic steroids are designed to mimic the bodybuilding traits of testosterone. Most healthy males produce less than 10 milligrams of testosterone a day. Females also produce testosterone but in minute amounts. Some athletes however, may use up to hundreds of milligrams a day, far exceeding the normally prescribed daily dose for legitimate medical purposes. Anabolic steroids do not improve agility, skill or cardiovascular capacity.
What are the health hazards of anabolic steroids?
"There can be a whole panoply of side effects, even with prescribed doses," says Dr. Wadler. "Some are visible to the naked eye and some are internal. Some are physical, others are psychological. With unsupervised steroid use, wanton 'megadosing' or stacking (using a combination of different steroids), the effects can be irreversible or undetected until it's too late." Also, if anabolic steroids are injected, transmitting or contracting HIV and Hepatitis B through shared needle use is a very real concern.
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