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Word Count: 476
Steroids Originally developed to help cancer patients and victims of starvation steroids are used to gain weight and increase muscle mass They are derived from the male sex hormone testosterone In recent decades steroids have been abused by many athletes hoping to improve their performance They have serios psychological and physiological side effects Including increased aggressive behavior and cancer of the liver Elevated liver counts indicating liver stress toxicity have been reported in recent studies of somewhat moderate oral anabolic steroid therapy The more serious liver problems attributed to anabolic steroid use include hepatocellular carcinoma liver cancer and peliosis hepatitis blood-filled sacs within the liver High blood pressure is perhaps one of the most dangerous claims of steroid-related health risks A legitimate concern is the potential adverse effect of excessive androgens on the prostate gland Enormous media attention has been focused upon the r eported adverse psychiatric effects especially violent behavior of steroid use Roid rage is the descriptive term for steroid-induced spontaneous highly aggressive out-of-control behavior where the police either were called or should have intervened A few researchers have suggested that psychiatric symptoms including increased aggression are a common side effect of anabolic steroid use For example a flawed 1988 study suggested that psychiatric disorders occur with unusual frequency among athletes using anabolics Not surprisingly when psychiatric problems do occur in study subjects there seems to be a direct correlation between dosage and prevalence of syndromes No significant psychiatric effects have been noted where reported mean weekly dosage was 318 mg But where reported dosage exceeded 1000 mgwk 11 out of 25 subjects 44 exhibited mood disorders There is some evidence that anabolic steroid use can lead to psychological dependence in certain individu als Whether the dependence is due to chemical effects upon the brain or simply because of the positive reinforcement occasioned by a more muscular physique is not known Whatever the cause this may be the most dangerous aspect
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