Anabolic steroids are synthetic variations of the male hormone testosterone and cause serious damage to the physical and mental health of people who use them to enhance their athletic performance. Its use is prohibited by sports organizations and wellness chains such as Gold's Gym where a healthy lifestyle is promoted through healthy eating and physical exercise.
María Gabriela Mena, an endocrinologist internist at the Santa Paula Medical Group (GMSP), pointed out that synthetic steroids, of which there are more than 100 types, are used “to build and strengthen tissues, maximize muscle fibers both in strength and volume. , and in some cases, also the bone part ”.
He explained that the most widely used is nandrolone decanoate, which is also used "for the treatment of severe burns, chronic kidney failure, some types of cancer and HIV, and for diseases that tend to wear down tissues."
Damage to health
Mena indicated that anabolics can have acute adverse effects such as "headaches, itching, fluid retention, heartburn, diarrhea, abdominal pain, menstrual abnormalities and high blood pressure."
He stressed that chronic damage can be irreversible. “Among the endocrine effects that affect women are deepening of the voice, changes in facial structure and hair loss. In men, these substances can cause breast growth, changes in cholesterol and triglycerides, and even impotence and infertility ”, he commented.
Mena indicated that spots on the skin and acne can occur. In the cardiovascular system, steroids can cause vascular damage, arrhythmias, coagulation disorders, high blood pressure, thickening of the heart muscle, and even sudden death.
"They can also cause muscle and tendon ruptures, liver damage, seizures, brain edema, weakened immune system, sleep apnea and even genetic damage because the use of anabolics alters the genome," he specified.
Mena added that these substances also affect mental health by increasing aggressiveness, creating mood and sleep disturbances, anxiety, and schizoid attacks. "I had a patient who was training for a high-performance competition who was given steroids, suffered a seizure and became schizophrenic and the damage was irreversible," he said.
A serious danger
For her part, the personal trainer Cemir Palacios, who works at the Gold's Gym headquarters located in the San Ignacio Center, in Caracas, pointed out that anabolic steroids represent a serious danger to the health of athletes and people who train in gyms looking for performance and appearance improvements.
“Due to all the side effects that they have and that compromise health, anabolic steroids are totally prohibited in the Olympic Games and national and international competitions. Anti-doping tests are carried out before these events, and if a case is discovered, the athlete involved is disqualified, "he said.
He stressed that within the internal policies of Gold's Gym the use of anabolic steroids, as well as their sale and promotion, is prohibited. He pointed out that the trainers of the chain educate members and new entrants about it "so that they are aware of the risks they can run."