Steroids

This essay has a total of 1192 words and 5 pages.

Steroids



Drugs have been used in sports almost as long as sports themselves have been around. The
ancient Incas discovered that the ashes from burned leaves of the Coca tree gave the
people great stores of energy, and made sleep unnecessary for hours or even days, it was
later discovered to be the stimulant cocaine. They would take it before long hunts,
battles, and even found it useful in ancient sport competitions. It wasn't until 1886 that
the first drug-related death in sports occurred. A bicyclist took a mixture of cocaine and
heroine, called the "speedball," and died from it. Little were the doctors aware the
epidemic that would follow in the next century. Anabolic steroids, developed in the 1930's
in Europe, are drugs that help to build new body tissue quickly, but with drastic side
effects. Anabolic means the ability to promote body growth and repair body tissue. It
comes from the Greek word anabolikos meaning "constructive." Steroids are basically made
up of hormones. One woman training to make the 1984 US women's basketball team used them,
her muscles started to bulge, her voice grew deeper, and she even had the beginnings of a
mustache. These are all the usual symptoms of anabolic steroids. Steroids were not always
used for sports, they started out the same way most drugs did, medicinal purposes. Victims
of starvation and severe injury profited from it's ability to build new tissue quickly.
They also helped prevent muscle tissue from withering in patients who had just had
surgery. Steroids are used to treat Addison's disease. Anabolic steroids are drugs that
come from hormones or from combinations of chemicals that achieve the same result as
hormones. Hormones may be given to an individual in their natural state, or in a synthetic
one. The synthetic state is sometimes more potent than the natural one. Testosterone and
progesterone are hormones used in steroids, another kind comes from the adrenal glands,
which secrete various necessary bodily chemicals. The steroids themselves can be taken
orally, as tablets or powders, and can also be liquids that are injected into the muscles.
The steroids taken by athletes contain testosterone or chemicals that act in similar way
to testosterone. Testosterone is found in men and women, but in women it is present in
much smaller amounts, mainly because it is produced in the testicles in men. More than one
hundred and twenty steroids are based on the hormone testosterone. There are many brand
names, such as Durabolin, Winstrol, Pregnyl, and Anavar. Basically anabolic steroids
control the bodily functions that are normally under control of the bodies natural
testosterone. As well as turning women into men and men into manly men it has a stimulate
effect on skeletal muscle mass, some visceral organs, the hemoglobin concentration, and
the red blood cell number and mass. Of course, most people take anabolic steroids
illegally to stimulate growth in muscle cells. Once a person is born, he/she will not grow
anymore muscle cells throughout their life. So when muscle mass increases it is the
individual cells growing in girth to compensate for either an increase in work, or the
release of androgen hormones(found in all anabolic steroids.) Exercise alone can stimulate
the girth of muscle cells to increase by anywhere from thirty to sixty percent. The
presence of androgen hormones allows for even greater growth. Anabolic steroids act like
our natural androgen hormones in that they stimulate anabolic metabolism in the muscles.
Anabolic metabolism involves the buildup of larger molecules from smaller ones and
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