Steroids And Teens - Facts And Risky Health Issues

Image: Shutterstock

In today’s world, narcissism takes precedence and you often find your teen paying too much attention to his body. And, if most of his friends are the veritable gym rats, then it gets tougher for him and you, as he is mostly frustrated and feels left out. What typically happens is that in search for that muscular physique, your teen ends up taking steroids.

While steroids help boost body weight and help attain an impressive musculature, they can negatively impact your teen’s health condition. In the following post ‘teens on steroids’, we look at more information about its potential side effects! So, read on and educate your teen.

What Are Steroids?

Steroids are medical supplements that initiate hormone production in your teen’s body so that he attains desired body weight and muscular appearance. The body produces the steroids through a natural process, and this hormone helps fight stress and promotes healthy bone development. But there are exceptions, where the teen’s body does not produce enough of growth developing hormone, and he feels the urge to use artificial steroid pills, gels, creams, or injections.

An anabolic steroid is the artificially produced growth development hormone that boosts body growth. There are different variations of anabolic steroids in the market, out of which the most powerful androgen is testosterone. The particular hormone helps build muscle, boost hair growth and helps attain puberty faster. Athletes often take anabolic steroids to attain muscular physique and strength (1).

[ Read: How To Prevent Teen Drug Abuse ]

Some Facts About Steroids For Teenagers:

  • Corticosteroid is a typical variation of steroid that helps treat several health ailments like asthma and breathing disorders.
  • Teens should always take anabolic steroids after seeking permission from a medical consultant. In the case of delayed puberty, doctors often recommend a proper dosage of anabolic steroid use in teens.
  • Teenage girls who take steroids to improve their body shape may experience several side effects like breast shrinking, deepened voice and changes in the menstrual cycle.
  • Common side effects of steroids in teens include sudden mood swings, irritability, insomnia and lack of decision-making ability.
  • For teenage boys, side effects of steroids include shrinking of testicles, infertility, and hair loss.
  • Mostly young athletes tend to use anabolic steroids to get bigger. But higher doses of steroids in teenagers impose negative effects like stunted growth, higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, kidney impairment, and liver damage (2).

    [ Read: Marijuana Facts For Teens ]

How Do Anabolic Steroids Work?

Anabolic steroids are a synthetic copy of testosterone, which is a natural hormone produced in the human body. The male body tends to produce a higher percentage of testosterone than females. Due to a higher testosterone production, males experience faster muscle growth.

Many young bodybuilders and athletes desire to attain a masculine physique and take the anabolic steroids in the form of oils or injections. The artificial steroid increases their testosterone levels that they cannot reach naturally. As a result, the steroids help in boosting their strength levels and attain a great masculine appearance.

How To Take Anabolic Steroids?

There are two ways to take the artificial anabolic steroids for teens:

1. Oral Steroids:

The Anabolic steroids come in the form of pills that the teens can easily intake orally with a glass of plain water.

2. Injection:

Teens can inject the anabolic steroids directly into their muscles through injection. Taking injection is more preferable, as it causes less damage to the liver. In both the ways, the steroid helps in enhancing the muscle mass and body strength.

Common Steroids Used By Teens:

Among teenagers, the common performance-enhancing drugs and supplements are:

1. Creatine:

It is a naturally occurring compound in the body that is available in the market in the form of over-the-counter supplement. Creatine helps in boosting strength level during high-intensity activities and helps to increase muscle mass and strength.

2. Anabolic Steroids:

These are synthetic versions of the testosterone hormone that helps in building muscle and boosting strength.

3. Steroid Precursors:

Steroid precursors that are widely available asandrostenedione and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) helps in converting substances present within the body into anabolic steroids. They help in boosting the muscle mass (3).

Why Should Your Teen Stay Away From Steroids?

  • Most teenagers are not aware of the fact that how high their natural testosterone production rate can be. In most of the cases, the natural testosterone production rate lies between 800 to 1300 ng/dl. It is equivalent to an intake of 300mg of an anabolic steroid on a weekly basis.
  • When you teen’s natural testosterone production level is extremely low, the doctor prescribes an injection of the artificial steroids through a medical procedure. In medical terms, it is called Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).During the tender age of adolescence; your teen does not need to go through such medical therapy. Instead, making some dietary changes and inclusion of physical exercises boosts his testosterone production level naturally.
  • Intake of anabolic steroids at the young age hampers your teen’s natural testosterone production rate. It means that they would have to take steroids at old age to have better stamina and physical strength (4).

    [ Read: Risky Teen Behaviors ]

Side Effects Of Steroids On Teens:

Anabolic steroids help in improving the physical appearance of your teen but also impose several negative impacts on his health condition.

Here are some of the potential side effects of steroids on teenagers:

  • Stunted growth during teenage years
  • Muscle cramps
  • Higher risk of heart attacks and strokes
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol problems
  • Altered thyroid functions
  • Depression
  • Skin acne
  • Hair loss
  • Problems with normal liver functions
  • Appearance of random blotches of hair on the body
  • Poor decision-making ability
  • Aggressiveness or irritability
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Sudden loss of muscle mass
  • Gynecomastia or “bitch tits” (The condition where the male body develops female-like breast tissue)

    [ Read: Risky Teen Behaviors ]

Risks For Teenage Girls:

Some of the specific risks for teen girls associated with anabolic steroids are:

  • Alteration in menstrual cycle
  • Increased facial and body hair growth
  • Enlargement of the clitoris
  • Development of masculine traits like shrinking of the breasts, deepening of the voice and the change of outer body appearance.

Risks For Teenage Boys:

Some of the specific risks for teen boys associated with anabolic steroids are:

  • Breast development (Gynecomastia)
  • Pain while urinating
  • Reduced sperm count (infertility)
  • Testicular shrinkage
  • Hair loss
  • Impotence (inability to get an erection (5)

[ Read: Teenage Depression ]

Elevating Testosterone Levels Naturally?

Here are some effective tips that enable your teen to regain the Testosterone Levels Naturally:

  • Getting complete sleep of 8-9 hours per days helps in elevating the natural hormone level in your teen’s body. The body produces testosterone hormone naturally during the night.
  • Your teen needs to eat a well-balanced diet comprising of vital nutrients and minerals. The effective elements boost his natural hormone production level and help him attain a great body.
  • Your teen needs to work out for at least 60 minutes per day, to boost the testosterone production level naturally.

Did your teen take steroids to gain additional muscle mass? Did he experience any side effects of artificial steroids? Share your complete story with other mommies here. Comment in the box below!

Recommended Articles: