Health experts have cautioned men who are into bodybuilding against using steroids to increase their muscles, noting that it could lead to serious fertility problems.
The experts noted that the use of steroids for bodybuilding constitutes drug abuse, warning that unknown to many people, it often comes with deadly consequences like infertility, shrinkage of the testicles and breast development in men.
According to the National Library of Medicine, anabolic steroids are synthetic (man-made) versions of testosterone.
Testosterone is the main sex hormone in men. It is needed to develop and maintain male sex characteristics, such as facial hair, deep voice, and muscle growth.
Anabolic steroids are used under supervision by health care providers to treat hormone problems in men like delayed puberty, and muscle loss from some diseases.
While this is a medication that must be given under medical supervision, health experts are bemoaning the unregulated use of this drug by bodybuilders.
The experts are also bemoaning the lack of regulation for the doses taken by bodybuilders which they said may be “10 to 100 times higher than doses used to treat medical conditions.
A professor of Public Health, Tanimola Akande and a public health physician, Dr Kenechukwu Igwegbe, urged men to desist from self-medicating on steroids due to their effects.
Akande, a former National Chairman of the Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, insisted that steroids are used to treat certain diseases but will not be prescribed by doctors for bodybuilding.
He further said that the abuse of steroids for bodybuilding is hazardous to health.
While such individuals may look good while using the products, he said it could be damaging their internal organs.
He said, “steroids can make pimples pop up and hair falls out. They can make males grow breasts and females grow beards. Steroids can cause damage to the liver.
“They can even send users on violent, angry rampages. Steroid use can lead to high blood pressure and may shorten the lives of abusers.”
Also speaking with our correspondent, Igwegbe, who is a physician at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, said that men who take steroids for bodybuilding stand the risk of damaging their sex organs.
This, he said, can lead to poor quality of semen production, small testis, and breast development.