(By David Steen) Anabolic androgenic steroids are synthetic compounds related to the sex hormone testosterone, naturally produced in both male and female bodies. Testosterone-producing organs include adrenal glands, ovaries and especially Leydig cells of male testes. Testosterone, as other steroid hormones, is derived from cholesterol through series of chemical reactions. Testosterone converts into either dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a strong androgen, or to estradiol (a major estrogen) in a process called aromatization. Testosterone and DHT can both activate androgen receptors in certain cells while estradiol activates estrogen receptors...
Side-effects from the use of steroids are extremely common and can be quite significant. Most side-effects are reversible once the athlete stops usage although serious long-term side-effects and even death have occurred as a direct result of steroid use.
• Decreased sperm production and sex drive
• Increased aggression, irritability and mood swings
• Liver disorders
• Baldness (alopecia)
• Hypertension (high blood pressure)
• Raised cholesterol
• Gynecomastia (development of over-sized mammary glands in males)
• Menstrual irregularities (in women)
• Hirsuitism (excessive hair growth occurring in females which follows the pattern of male hair growth, . facial)
• Deepening of the voice
• Reduced immunity
• Possible development of tumors (wilm’s tumor, prostate carcinoma and leukemia have been reported, although a connection is not proven)