Performance Enhancing Drugs

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Update Date 12/05/2020 . 3 mins read

Performance enhancing drugs are mainly used by athletes to promote their athletic abilities, giving them advantages over other competitors in sports. However, these products are enemies to one’s health. Below are 4 most common performance-enhancing drugs and their negative effects on health.

Anabolic steroids

Anabolic-androgen steroids or just anabolic steroids are a form of steroids that help athletes to enhance their muscle mass and strength. Testosterone, whose principal effect is accelerating the muscle building, is the major anabolic steroid hormone that your body produces. Besides, anabolic steroids may also help athletes recover from a hard workout faster by decreasing the muscle damage happening during the session. Other times, some athletes may even like the aggressive feelings they get when they take the drugs.

The so-called designer drugs are a specifically dangerous class of anabolic steroids. These are synthetic steroids created to be unidentifiable by current drug tests. These drugs haven’t been tested or approved by the FDA and represent a particular health threat to those who use them.

Risks of Anabolic steroids abuse

Anabolic steroids taken with at high doses can cause serious physical side effects. For men, it leads to prominent breasts, baldness, shrunken testicles, infertility, impotence or prostate gland enlargement. Women may suffer from a deeper voice, an enlarged clitoris, increased body hair, baldness or infrequent or absent periods. Other common side effects include severe acne, increased risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture, liver abnormalities and tumors, increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol), decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol), aggressive behaviors, rage or violence and psychiatric disorders.


Androstenedione (andro) is a hormone that the adrenal glands, ovaries, and testes produce. For both men and women, this hormone is frequently converted to testosterone and estradiol. It is a controlled substance and only available legally only with doctor’s prescription. Scientific studies prove that supplemental androstenedione has no use in increasing testosterone or making your muscles stronger.

Risks of Androstenedione steroids abuse

In general, androstenedione reduces HDL cholesterol, putting you at greater risk of heart attack and stroke. For men, androstenedione causes some acne, diminished sperm production, shrinking of the testicles and enlarged breasts. Meanwhile, the side effects on women include acne, deeper voice, and male-pattern baldness.

Human growth hormone

Human growth hormone or gonadotropin, is a hormone with the anabolic effect. This hormone helps athletes to strengthen their muscle mass and performance. However, the fact is that there is no point in using this hormone to boost strength or endurance. It is available only by prescription and is taken by injection.

Risks of Human growth hormone abuse

Human growth hormone can cause mild to severe adverse effects which may include joint pain, muscle weakness, fluid retention, problems with vision, carpal tunnel syndrome, impaired glucose regulation, enlarged heart, high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension.


Experts use erythropoietin to treat anemia in patients with severe kidney disease. This type of hormone improves your body to produce red blood cells and hemoglobin, which will result in the promoted movement of oxygen to the muscles. Endurance athletes frequently use epoetin, a synthetic form of erythropoietin.

Risks of Erythropoietin abuse

Erythropoietin was commonly used among competitive cyclists in the 1990s. This hormone was allegedly the cause of at least 18 deaths. Improper use of erythropoietin may create the higher risk of thrombotic events, such as stroke, heart attack, and pulmonary embolism.

Although the long-term effects of performance-enhancing drugs haven’t yet been studied, the short-term benefits come with many health risks. Moreover, doping is prohibited by most sports organizations. Therefore, the use of performance-enhancing drugs should be erased.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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