That continuous use of steroids is not good for health and causes side effects, is a known fact. But these potentially dangerous products are taken by many body builders.
The worst thing about taking steroids and the reason for so many side effects is that they are mostly taken without any supervision from a qualified physician. Not only does this irresponsible use of steroids lead to serious health problems but also in some cases, death.
FDA Warning To Consumers
Recently, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to consumers that products being marketed specifically for body building and claim to contain steroids or steroid-like substances, were not reviewed or approved by the FDA and can be potentially harmful.
These products are sold both in retail as well as online. They are promoted as hormone products or as alternatives to anabolic steroids to increase strength and muscle mass. The manufacturers make these products seem genuine by labeling them as dietary supplements, which they are NOT. They contain synthetic steroids or steroid like ingredients and are also not effective in most cases. In fact, they can be potentially harmful but the products are sold with misleading labels with no clear directions of use. This means they are in effect, illegally marketed.
Dangerous Body Building Products In The Market
In their warning letter, FDA listed a few body building products that are not considered safe. These products are either marketed as anabolic steroids or as similar to anabolic steroids:
- MASS Xtreme
- ESTRO Xtreme
- HMG Xtreme
- MMA-3 Xtreme
- VNS-9 Xtreme
FDA received several reports of people; especially men between the ages 20 and 55, having suffered from liver injury, pulmonary embolism, kidney failure or stroke.
Major Health Problems Caused
Many people may be unaware of the fact that products containing anabolic steroids have the potential to cause acute liver injury. They may also cause several long-term health problems not only in men but women and children too, such as male infertility due to decreased sperm count, production of abnormal sperm, decrease in natural testosterone production, shrinkage of the testes, male breast enlargement, adverse changes in blood lipid levels, short stature in children and increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
In women, the side effects of steroids are slightly different and affect the woman’s hormonal system. It leads to masculinity in women, thickening of the vocal cords resulting in a deeper male voice, facial hair growth, enlargement of the clitoris, male pattern baldness, breast shrinkage, infertility, menstrual irregularities and the unfortunate thing is that most of these effects are irreversible.
While most of the negative effects can be reversed with the discontinuation of steroids, there are some irreversible effects like the impairment of the immune system, which is usually not detected until after the usage is stopped. Anabolic steroids could even cause the development of various cancers.
The FDA is also in the process of finding other such products in the market and has even issued a search warrant to American Cellular Laboratories Inc., which markets many of these unapproved new misbranded products.
Due to the potential for extremely serious health risks, if someone is on these products, it helps to be aware of the symptoms. The main symptoms are nausea, fever, weakness or fatigue, chest pain, abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, shortness of breath or change in urine color.
Body Builders And Athletes
Athletes often use these products to improve sports performance and also to recover from training and other events. What many of them are not aware of is that in young athletes involved in either body building or some other sport, these steroids will cause an early end to bone growth and limit the final body height.
Both men and women body builders on anabolic steroids experience increased aggression, altered libido, rage reactions, psychosis, depression, mania, anxiety, panic disorders and many other addictions.
Recently, a decade long study was completed and the results send a chill up the spine. Most of these body building products where they claim to have used anabolic steroids have not actually used steroids, but other prescription drugs that are far more dangerous than the actual steroids. We have seen the side effects of steroids, which can at times be lethal, but these are worse.
It is surprising that with so much information on anabolic steroids pertaining to the health issues and legal implications available, it is seen that many professionals fall for the false claims made by the product manufacturers and continue to use them. This problem is widespread and needs to be controlled. The bottom line is to avoid taking steroids. It is possible to build a body and build lean muscle the healthy way.