Articles about Anabolic Steroids - tribunedigital-chicagotribune
Growing numbers of middle-aged men are turning to anabolic steroids to make themselves look and feel more youthful and boost their sexual performance, experts say. People who work with users have raised concern about a new trend among men in their 40s and 50s, and some even in their 60s and 70s, who are taking the drug to boost energy levels and fight some of the effects of ageing, such as weight gain and a lower libido. Steroids can cause a range of health problems such as heart disease and blood clots.
We are not sure what these drugs are doing to you at that age, but everyone perceives it as safe. As men get older their testosterone levels drop, which can sometimes lead to a reduced sex drive, weight gain and muscle reduction. Baker says men get information from magazines and online about the drug, which mimics the effects of testosterone and boosts muscle growth, though some are also prescribed it.
Joseph Kean, visiting research fellow at Liverpool John Moores University, said while overs still accounted for only a small proportion of the image- and performance-enhancing drugs population, their numbers have doubled over the past five years. He estimated there were between 15, and 30, overs using in the UK. He explained that older men typically used smaller amounts of the drug less frequently than their younger counterparts. A typical steroid cycle can be about three months, starting with less and building up before tapering off.
The Juice Clinic in Sheffield , a service for people using steroids and image-enhancing drugs, has noted an increase in older men asking for help. Once users begin to decrease or discontinue use of steroids, withdrawal symptoms such as low mood and anxiety can occur. Commentators say the growing popularity of such drugs could be the result of societal changes, with people living longer and expecting more from life.
Wanting to look good is no longer just the domain of the young. But a former user, who asked to remain anonymous, disagreed that there was any more pressure on midlife men now than before. He started taking the drug at 41 and said: The findings coincide with reports of increasing anabolic steroid use, with a particular focus on younger men.
Last year people who worked with steroid users estimated that the real numbers of those taking the drug annually was far higher than the 60, people quoted in t he Crime Survey for England and Wales.
The drugs, officially known as anabolic-androgenic steroids, were first developed for medical use. While they remain a class C prohibited drug, experts say people are finding it easy to get the drugs online or in gyms. They come in tablet form, although they are more commonly injected into muscles. Baker said while there could be some benefits for older men under a proper prescription regime, there were risks attached to self-medication and buying the products online.
The Guardian spoke to a year-old steroid user, who asked to remain anonymous, about why he chose to take the drug. I go to the gym three or four times a week. I drink some weekends and lead an active social life. I have also been taking steroids for the last three years.
I am not a bodybuilder and have never wanted to be one. I got the drug at my gym. I wanted to look healthy and have a nice physique, not rippling muscles but just a bit more definition.
I never took steroids when I was younger. My testosterone levels and other blood levels are normal. I know this because I have my blood checked regularly at a local clinic for users. It has given me an appetite for life and a better sex drive. I am a normal guy who looks well for his age.
I have a slim waist, not a big belly, and train a little bit. I am taking the drugs for me, to look good and feel happy. Steroids make you feel more youthful, and in a corny kind of way it is like drinking a feelgood elixir. All the characteristics of getting older, such as feeling tired etc, get put on hold for a while. Then, I am tired and all the normal characteristics associated with someone over 50 come back.
Steroids should fall into that bracket. But I also worry about additives in foods and the effect of using mobile phones on my brain. The list is endless. Irresponsible use and abuse is always the main problem.