What are steroids?
- Natural steroids are chemicals, often hormones, that your body produces. They help your organs, tissues, and cells do their jobs.
- Corticosteroids are medicines that quickly fight inflammation in your body. These lab-made steroids work like the hormone cortisol, which your adrenal glands make. Cortisol keeps your immune system from making substances that cause inflammation.
- Anabolic-androgenic steroids are manufactured, or man-made, substances related to the male sex hormone Testosterone intended to help individuals build bigger muscles.
Steroids may be prescribed by a doctor to rebuild tissues weakened by injury or disease, to assist in regaining or maintaining weight after illness, and to aid recovery from breast cancer and osteoporosis in women.
- They are sometimes abused in an attempt to enhance athletic performance and improve physical appearance.
- Can be taken in pill form, injected, or rubbed on the skin in the form of gels or creams.
Major, irreversible side effects can result from hormonal imbalances caused by steroids:
- In Men: testicular shrinking, breast development, and severe acne
- In Women: facial hair, menstrual changes, and deepened voice
Steroids can cause psychiatric dysfunctions such as increased aggression, extreme mood swings, and depressed mood.
Long term side effects:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Liver and kidney damage
- Possession of illegally obtained steroids carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a minimum $1,000 fine.