Why Steroids are Dangerous and the Most Abused Drug in Medicine?

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What are the side effects of Steroids? There are two different types of steroids - Anabolic and Androgenic. Steroids should not be taken without consulting your physician.

Steroid medicines are generally used to treat allergy, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers and other inflammations or allergic problems. Steroids are perhaps the most abused drug in medicine today. It is illegal to posses steroids without the prescription from a licensed medical practitioner. Steroids has got anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects which gives instant relief to the patients. Hence many doctors prescribe them for their quick action, inspite of its serious side effects.

Naturally our body produces some useful steroids by itself, which aids in healthy cell growth, tissues and bones. Apart from that, steroids are divided into two types: anabolic and androgenic. Many athletes and sportsmen take anabolic steroids to stimulate muscle growth. Anabolic steroids mainly affect metabolism, immunity and muscle, while androgenic steroids leave masculanizing effects on women and feminizing effects on men. Synthetic steroids are also available.

Side Effects of Steroids

The most common side effects found in people taking steroids are:

  • Jaundice
  • Swelling of feet or ankles
  • Aching joints
  • Mood swings
  • Nervousness
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Impotency
  • Severe acne
  • Cancer

Other side effects are cardiovascular diseases, roid rages, rapid weight gain, water retention, dry eyes, problems with excessive muscle growth and other liver problems. Steroids effects the heart with problems like heart attack and stroke. Use of steroids also increases the risk of infections like hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. In women, voice deepening, facial hair growth, shrinkage of breasts, changes in menstrual cycles are commonly found due to in-take of steroids. Increased aggressiveness is often claimed to occur with anabolic steroid use.

In certain cases, the use of steroids would be inevitable and life-saving. They may leave some short term side effects on the patients. Short term side effects includes, weight gain, difficulty in sleeping, redness of face, pressure difference in eyes, excessive appetite and so on. Where as long term use of steroids may have long term side effects like:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • High-blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cushing syndrome

The use of steroids in children and teenagers can cause stunted growth. People with long term intake of steroids should be closely observed by a licensed physician and should take proper medications to prevent side effects.

Many athletes uses anabolic steroids to stimulate their muscle growth and improve stamina. On prolonged usage, they are claimed to have harsh side effects which are lethal and irreversible. It is very important to educate and generate awareness about the devastating effects of steroids to people especially youngsters. They are highly dangerous drugs when used inappropriately.

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