Thread: Interesting reading
02-14-2003, 07:49 AM #1
At The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy
Anabolic steroids are synthetic derivatives of testosterone (see Table 305-1). Testosterone has androgenic (masculinizing) effects (eg, changes in hair or in libido, aggressiveness) and anabolic (tissue-building) effects (eg, increased protein utilization, muscle mass changes). The androgenic effect cannot be separated from the anabolic, but anabolic steroids have been synthesized to minimize the androgenic effects.
Scientific as well as significant anecdotal evidence indicates that with resistive training and proper diet, lean muscle mass and strength increase more in persons using anabolic steroids. However, there is no direct evidence that anabolic steroid use increases endurance or speed. Substantial anecdotal evidence suggests that athletes taking anabolic steroids can perform more frequent high-intensity workouts, although no studies support this effect and no mechanism for it is known. The enhanced athletic performance may be only perceived.
In the USA, the reported rate of anabolic steroid use is 6 to 11% among high-school-aged males, including an unexpected number of nonathletes, and about 2.5% among high-school-aged females. In a national survey, the most common reason given for anabolic steroid use was improvement of athletic performance; second was improvement of appearance.
A typical user is a male (95%) athlete (65%), usually a football player, heavyweight wrestler, or weight lifter. He is more likely to attend a metropolitan school of > 700 students, to be a minority student, and to have received steroids from a black-market source (60%). He is less likely to have a parent who finished high school.
Athletes may take steroids for a period of time, discontinue them, then start again (cycling) several times a year. Intermittent discontinuation is believed to allow endogenous testosterone levels , sperm count, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis to return to normal. Anecdotal evidence suggests that cycling may decrease harmful effects and the need for increasing drug doses to attain the desired effect.
Athletes frequently use many drugs simultaneously (a practice called stacking) and alternate routes of administration (oral, IM, or transdermal). Increasing the dose through a cycle (pyramiding) may result in doses 5 to 100 times the physiologic dose. Stacking and pyramiding are intended to increase receptor binding and minimize adverse effects, but these benefits have not been proved.
Anabolic steroids also have medicinal uses. Because they are anticatabolic and improve protein utilization, they are given to burn, bedridden, or other debilitated patients to prevent muscle wasting.
Symptoms and Signs
The most characteristic sign is a dramatic, rapid increase in body bulk. If the user trains with weights and eats a high-calorie, high-protein diet while taking anabolic steroids, strength and muscle bulk usually increase. Increases in energy level and libido (in men) occur but are more difficult to identify.
The overall safety of anabolic steroids is controversial. Methyltestosterone 200 mg/wk does not produce adverse effects (not even on personality), except for a mild increase in acne. Most adverse effects occur only with doses of > 200 mg methyltestosterone equivalent per week. The effects of long-term use have not been studied, nor have the extraordinarily high doses used by some athletes, especially bodybuilders, who sometimes use the equivalent of several grams of methyltestosterone per week.
Psychologic effects (generally only with very high doses) are often noticed by the family; effects include wide and erratic mood swings, irrational behavior, increased aggressiveness ("steroid rage"), irritability, depression, and dependency.
Increased acne, a common complaint, is one of the few adverse effects for which an adolescent may seek medical attention. Jaundice, indicating liver dysfunction, may occur, but usually only with oral anabolic steroids. Musculotendinous injuries and liver dysfunction or tumors (benign and malignant) may occur. In prepubertal and pubertal users, bony epiphyses may close prematurely, possibly decreasing final height. Hypertension, increased low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and decreased high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol may increase cardiovascular risk. Males may develop gynecomastia , testicular atrophy, and azoospermia.
Some virilizing effects in females may be irreversible--eg, alopecia, enlarged clitoris, hirsutism, and deepened voice. Breast size may decrease; vaginal mucosa may atrophy; menstruation may change or stop; libido may increase, or, less commonly, decrease; and aggressiveness and appetite may increase.
Diagnosis and Prevention
A urine screen usually detects users of anabolic steroids. Metabolites of anabolic steroids can be detected in urine up to 6 mo (even longer for some types of anabolic steroids) after the drugs are discontinued.
Education about anabolic steroids should start by the beginning of middle school. School principals, team coaches (especially of football, wrestling, basketball, and track and field), and school health care officials should be taught as well as adolescents and their parents.
02-14-2003, 11:39 AM #2
02-14-2003, 11:44 AM #3
i agree...most of this is basic knowledge that i had before i even looked at this board...you will find many more enlightening articles here to help you in your training bro, just search.
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