Humans need physical activity to survive and thrive. Men and women know the importance of regular exercise. However, they often overlook the fact that there can be too much of a good thing.
Bodybuilders, for instance, must know when they are overdoing it. Furthermore, they must recognize the role of steroids in the development of many medical conditions related to their sport. The following health conditions remain common among individuals who take part in bodybuilding regularly.
Aggression and Depression
Bodybuilders using steroids often suffer from depression or aggression. Exercise helps to reduce depression, according to many studies, and men find they work off their aggression when lifting weights. How do steroids counteract these natural benefits, and why do bodybuilders need to recognize the effects of these steroids?
Steroid use interferes with the production of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain. This disruption leads to mood fluctuations. Bodybuilders often suffer from a condition referred to as “roid rage” when using these substances at high doses. Their hormonal balance changes when they use this drug, and they witness the effects in their behavior. When they stop using the steroids, the hormonal imbalance resulting from the discontinuation of the steroids may throw them into depression.
Bodybuilders need to monitor their steroid use. Excessive use leads to issues for many individuals. They need to ensure they don’t negatively affect their brain and mental health to boost their bodybuilding efforts. How do steroids affect the body and brain?
Steroid hormones mimic the effects of testosterone in the body. Excessive testosterone in the body comes with many negative effects. For instance, the man’s testicles may atrophy, or their prostate may increase in size, increasing their risk of prostate cancer. Men must know of these dangers when determining if steroids are right for their needs.
Cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of death worldwide today. Exercise helps to strengthen the heart and prevent the development of this disease. However, men and women need to recognize that certain sports can harm their heart. Bodybuilding serves as a good example of a sport or physical activity that may do more harm than good.
Any activity in which the muscle mass of large muscles in the body contracts at maximum capacity can damage the heart. Because of this contraction, the individuals might develop a hypertrophic heart and suffer from significant left ventricle thickening.
The use of steroids and accompanying increase in testosterone may damage the heart. The bodybuilder might notice they are short of breath, which suggests their heart is enlarged. If left untreated, the individual could suffer a stroke or heart attack. An enlarged heart may also lead to atrial fibrillation and bring about heart failure.
Vascularity remains popular among bodybuilders. They desire superficial veins that remain prominent and highly visible. This results from the lack of subcutaneous fat present in their bodies, which ensures maximum definition of the muscles during competition. However, vascularity isn’t always a good thing.
Varicose veins, a type of vascularity, affect some bodybuilders. The human body, when functioning properly, cycles blood through the body in one direction. When a valve responsible for ensuring one-way blood flow fails, the blood moves backward through the veins. This raises blood pressure while thinning the vein’s walls. Varicose veins arise when this happens.
Steroid use, some training methods, and certain genetic factors play a role in the development of varicose veins. Sadly, this condition comes with many unpleasant symptoms. A person might experience pain in the area affected by varicose veins, leg cramps, aches in the legs, or itchy skin.
Bodybuilders should consult with a vein specialist to learn whether they are dealing with vascularity or varicose veins. Treatments are available for varicose veins, including the use of compression socks. The specialist becomes of great help in determining the correct course of action.
Bodybuilders often turn to supplements to increase muscle mass. Steroids damage the liver, and a bodybuilder might find they develop a tumor or a blood-filled cyst with use of supplements containing steroids. Indigestion remains common with use of over-the-counter supplements, and some individuals develop internal bleeding and liver damage.
A person might read a supplement label carefully to ensure they know what they are putting into their body. Sadly, studies show many supplements today contain anabolic steroids but don’t list this ingredient on the label. The male does not realize the damage they are doing to their body until they become ill.
The Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network gathers information on liver damage resulting from supplement, prescription, and over-the-counter drug use. Forty-four men contacted the network to report liver damage resulting from supplement use. Symptoms ranged from jaundice to stomach pain. Three-quarters of the men ended up hospitalized. Many of the men didn’t know their supplement contained steroids. Bodybuilders must take care to protect their health while taking part in this activity.
Purchase supplements from a reputable provider to know the label shares all information regarding what the product contains. This reduces the risk of a negative reaction to the supplement or the development of one or more medical conditions. One can never be too careful with their health.
Torn and Pulled Muscles
Not all health issues in bodybuilders are related to steroid use. Men who train heavily in bodybuilding often pull or tear a muscle. The extent of the damage determines the treatment, but some males find they must have the muscle surgically reattached for it to heal correctly. This isn’t the case, and early medical care may help to prevent the problem from reaching this stage.
Hernias also remain common in men who engage in this activity. The lining of the abdomen tears and protrudes from the stomach. This happens when men strain to lift the weights, as this puts extreme physical strain on the body. The hernia requires surgical repair, and men find their hernia to be painful. It often interferes with their daily life until they have completed treatment.
Many health issues related to bodybuilding result from steroid use, whether intentional or unintentional. However, that isn’t always the case. Any man who engages in this activity should monitor their health and seek medical care when they detect a change. It’s best to learn exactly what is going on and get treatment rather than allowing the problem to continue and possibly get worse.