Medical Issues Associated with Anabolic Steroid Use: Are They Exaggerated? (2006)

“For many years, the scientific and medical communities have described the lack of effectiveness and the serious adverse effects of using anabolic steroids. However, competitive athletes continued to experiment, use and abuse anabolic steroids regularly to improve athletic performance, despite the potential harmful side effects. The empirical evidence that the athletes saw may have led to the development of mistrust between the athletic and medical communities. Science has been delayed for several years in relation to the experimental practices of athletes. In fact, most athletes consume anabolic steroids in a trial and error approach based on information obtained from other athletes, coaches, websites or gym gurus. Science lacks the approach to anabolic steroids because few studies have examined long-term cyclical patterns, high doses and the effects of stacking different types of steroids. These practices are common to the athletic community and not for the medicinal purposes of anabolic steroid therapy. In addition, some athletes (especially bodybuilders) have tried drugs unknown to the medical community, that is, insulin, thyroid hormones and site-specific enhancers, such as Synthol and Esiclene, to name a few.

When examining the potential medical problems associated with the use of anabolic steroids, the evidence indicates that most of the known side effects are transient. Furthermore, few studies have been able to directly link anabolic steroids to many of the serious side effects listed. Although clinical case studies continue to link the administration of anabolic steroids with myocardial infarction, suicide and cancer, evidence is lacking to support a cause and effect relationship and other contributing factors (ie, genetic predisposition, diet, etc.) with paper to enhance the harmful effects of anabolic steroids. Consistent medical monitoring is critical for the athlete who consumes anabolic steroids. However, many athletes cannot undergo extensive medical examinations prior to androgen administration and few doctors may be willing to provide such monitoring.

The purpose of this review was not to support or tolerate the use of anabolic steroids. Instead, the aim was to discuss pertinent medical issues and provide another perspective in light of the fact that many anabolic steroid users do not appear to prioritize health / safety risks or possible adverse medical events. To maintain credibility with the athlete, it is important to provide the athlete with accurate information regarding these medications to improve performance and provide education on alternative means and potential risks. Finally, anabolic steroids have been used legitimately for several clinical purposes, such as loss of muscle mass or diseases related to hypogonadism. ”

Medical Issues Associated with Anabolic Steroid Use: Are They Exaggerated? (2006)
Jay R. Hoffman and Nicholas A. Ratamess

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