The Complexities of Steroid Use: Examining the Risks and Benefits

Steroids have long been a topic of controversy and fascination, particularly in the realm of sports and bodybuilding

While these synthetic substances, which resemble testosterone, can offer desirable effects such as muscle growth and increased strength, their use carries significant risks. 

This article delves into the intricacies of steroids, exploring their various functions, medical applications, and the potential harm associated with recreational use.

steroids side effects
picture via google

We will know why Ronnie Coleman started using steroids in this article.

Understanding Steroids

Steroids encompass a broad category of molecules that share a similar molecular structure but serve different functions. When discussing steroids in the context of bodybuilding, it typically refers to those that mimic testosterone before competing at Mr Olympia or other contests. 

These steroids have two primary effects: androgenic (masculinizing) and anabolic (growth-promoting). 

Recreational users typically seek the anabolic effects, which promote muscle growth and protein synthesis.

Medical Applications

Steroids have proven valuable in treating various illnesses and injuries. They help individuals with wasting conditions, such as AIDS and certain cancers, maintain muscle mass and aid in the recovery of lost muscle tissue in burn victims. 

When used for medical purposes under professional guidance, steroids can be administered safely and effectively.

Risks of Recreational Steroid Use

While steroids have legitimate medical applications, recreational users often take doses significantly higher than those prescribed for medical purposes. Long-term, high-dose usage can produce undesirable and harmful effects, particularly for adolescents.

Risks of Steroids Use
Image vis instagram

Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the adverse psychiatric effects of steroid use, including increased impulsivity, aggression, and the well-known phenomenon of “roid rage.” 

Psychiatric side effects such as mania and psychosis are also possible.

Physical Side Effects

Recreational steroid use can adversely affect various organs and systems in the body. Organs like the liver and kidneys may sustain damage, while cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure can arise. 

Furthermore, the androgenic effects of steroids can cause unwanted changes in both males and females. 

Females may experience increased body hair, clitoral enlargement, and voice deepening, while males may exhibit feminization effects such as breast development and testicle shrinkage. Reduced fertility can also occur in both sexes.

Reversibility and Dependence

The reversibility of steroid-related effects largely depends on the specific steroid used, duration of use, and individual variations. While some products may be reversible upon discontinuing steroid use, others might persist. 

steroids uess
Picture via google

Additionally, evidence suggests that users may develop a dependence on steroids, leading to tolerance and the need for higher doses, which increases the risk of harmful effects.

Incomplete Understanding

Despite the wealth of knowledge regarding the risks associated with steroid use, there are still gaps in our understanding. 

The prevalence and reversibility of harms at different use levels remain uncertain due to limited research on risk factors and exposure levels. 

Consequently, it is impossible to definitively claim that recreational steroid use is entirely free from harm.

Why did Ronnie Coleman start using Steroids?

Ronnie Coleman started using steroids because he wanted a competitive edge in bodybuilding competitions. 

After being frustrated with consistently placing lower than desired, he decided to take steroids at the age of 30. 

He believed other competitors had an advantage and wanted to level the playing field. 

One of his fellow competitors, Flex Wheeler, helped him acquire the necessary supply.

To obtain steroids legally, Coleman received prescriptions for testosterone and growth hormone from doctors. 

He would present these prescriptions to officials during competitions, as the DEA was cracking down on the black market then.

steroids uses for bodybuilding
Via Ronnie Instagram

Ronnie Coleman clarified that he didn’t use excessive amounts of steroids. 

He claimed that he likely used similar quantities to what baseball players used. 

Contrary to common misconceptions, his steroid use didn’t make him exponentially stronger or more significant. Instead, it helped him achieve a more shredded and defined physique.

The Takeaways 

When used responsibly for medical purposes, steroids can significantly benefit individuals with specific conditions. 

However, the recreational use of steroids comes with substantial risks, ranging from physical side effects to psychiatric and hormonal disturbances. 

The potential harm associated with long-term, high-dose usage underscores the importance of informed decision-making and caution when considering steroid use outside medical supervision. 

Ultimately, more research is needed to fully understand the extent of these risks and develop comprehensive guidelines for safe steroid use if such a thing exists.

Using steroids, Ronnie Coleman experienced success in bodybuilding competitions and began moving up the ranks, ultimately becoming a renowned figure. 

However, it’s important to note that using performance-enhancing drugs, including steroids, comes with potential risks and ethical considerations.

References and sources :

  1. NHS
  2. Healthline
  3. Medline Plus

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