What Are Steroids?
"Steroids" has more than one meaning. Your body naturally produces some steroids, to help you fight stress and grow bigger during puberty. (But your body knows just the right amount that you need, so there's no need to take any extra.) There's also a type of medicine called steroids that people might take if they have pain, asthma, or a skin problem. But these aren't the kind of steroids getting attention in sports. When people say steroids (say: stare-oydz), they often mean illegal anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids are artificially produced hormones that are the same as, or similar to, androgens, the male-type sex hormones in the body. The most powerful of these is testosterone (say: tes-tos-tuh-rone). Anabolic steroids can be taken in the form of pills, powders, or injections. Anabolic steroids are always illegal, meaning that you could get arrested for buying, selling, or taking them. Some athletes take anabolic steroids because of their testosterone-like effects, such as increasing muscle mass and strength. This might sound like just a guy thing, but girls also have used steroids to get stronger and change the way they look. And it's not only professional athletes who have taken these illegal drugs. Investigations and studies have shown that teens, college athletes, and others have taken steroids. There are supplements available that contain anabolic steroids. You might see ads for these on the Internet or in the back of sports or body building magazines. Some have been banned in the United States while others are still legal. Legal or illegal, these supplements can cause health problems. Kids should not take any steroid supplement, even those that are still on the market. Dangers of Steroids
Anabolic steroids cause many different types of problems. Less serious side effects include acne, oily hair, purple or red spots on the body, swelling of the legs and feet, and persistent bad breath. A kid or teen who takes steroids might not grow...
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