Gym bunnies may spend days in the gym to achieve one personal record after another by using anabolic steroids. Though their sale is illegal, steroids are are easy to obtain. The use of steroids is legal. A Tilburg internist even wants to help users. But there is the possibility of serious health risks and annoying side effects. “Muscular men can get breasts.”
“Anabolic steroids are a synthetic imitation of the male sex hormone testosterone. This hormone has a muscle-strengthening effect. Athletes use anabolics to feel tighter in their skin and to improve their sports performance”, Tilburg internist Diederik Smit told the Omroep Brabant talk show KRAAK on Sunday.
“The body stops producing testosterone itself after a while because it already gets so much. As a result, the production of the female hormone estrogen increases, with the production of breast tissue as a result. Muscular men who use anabolics can therefore get women’s breasts”.
In addition, the risk of serious health problems increases. “Anabolics give an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and there is a chance of impotence and infertility”. That has everything to do with the natural hormone production that has stopped.
As long as athletes use anabolics, they are super fit, they feel great, they break their own records and their muscles grow considerably.
If athletes stop using, they can develop physical and mental problems: withdrawal symptoms. They often feel lethargic, they get depressed and their desire for sex diminishes. The complaints that users get when they stop make the steroids addictive.
Help to users
The internist wants to monitor body builders in their use. “These people have just as much right to care as lung cancer patients who have been smoking for years. When I help them, they take my advice so they put themselves less at risk. Often they have already decided to use anyway because anabolics are easy to obtain.”
The latter is evident from a quick internet search. Those who wish can have a jar of pills delivered within two days, and the product can also be injected or taken as a gel.
“Some sports supplements such as creatine contain anabolics but the label does not list them. That is annoying for top athletes. Without consciously using anabolics, they can still test positive for doping”.
Trade in anabolics
There are also products that falsely claim to contain anabolics. “In actual fact, in the majority of cases they contain no anabolics at all,” says the internist. “The bottom line is that sellers of anabolic steroids can just do as they please because the trade is not regulated”.
Anabolics are on the Prohibited List (The list of prohibited substances and methods). The use of the hormone outside of top sport is legal, but the sale and production of the substance is prohibited. In Belgium and Denmark, among others, anabolics are completely prohibited, from production and sale to use.
Translated by: Shanthi Ramani