The use of steroids continues to make news and sports headlines as athletes and bodybuilders use them illegally to gainn an advantage on the playing field. Anabolic steroids refer to hormones that are either taken orally or by injection that influence the body's hormonal system to produce extra testosterone. The goal of taking anabolic steroids is to increase muscle mass. Anabolic refers to this muscle-building capability. The use of steroids suppresses the naturally occurring testosterone in the body and, in males, may lead to a decrease in testicle size (atrophy), decreased sperm production, nfertility, and baldness. As well, the excess steroid can be converted to estrogen in males and may lead to enlarged breasts (known as gynecomastia). Liver damage may often occur, and liver cancer is a risk. Psychiatric effects of steroids include excitation and depression. Aggression is common. Manic episodes of aggressive behavior are known as "roid rage," and violence may be the outcome. Depression and suicide may also occur.
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