What are PEDs?

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What are PEDs?

Performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) are used to increase performance activity. They are widely known from their usage in sports for the increase of performance. They are also used to treat immune system disorders and inflammation.

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Different types are: Anabolic steroids, Androstenedione, Human Growth hormone, Erythropoietin, Diuretics, Creatine, Stimulants. The usage of steroids by athletes has lead to the making of designer steroids; these are made to be undetectable in drug tests. Although lots of athletes have been caught even after these existed. This resulted in cheating scandals, athletes being banned, and stripped of their titles. Along with this comes the negative side effects even after these athletes are forced to stop using them.

Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids is a drug that increases the amount testosterone produced in humans. They are usually taken orally, injected into a muscle, or used in a topical gel or patch. Short term effects can lead to mental issues such as: paranoia, irritability, impaired judgement, delusions, and violent behavior. Long term effects include kidney, heart, and liver damage. The abuse of these steroids can also lead to a significant change in mood and behavior because of the change in the amount of chemicals released in the brain. Many who abuse anabolic steroids will use them in cycles. They go on and off them to try to avoid side effects, although there are still long-term risks from this. Also injecting anabolic steroids increases the risk of coming in contact with blood-borne diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C. Several reports have described men with little or no apparent history of violence or criminal behavior prior to [steroid] use who committed murder or attempted murder while using [steroids]. (Kanayama, 2010)

HGH

Human Growth hormones are produced in the pituitary gland which prompts growth in children and adults. They are used to increase muscle mass, bone growth and decrease adipose tissue. Synthetic human growth hormones were developed in 1985 and shortly after approved by FDA for uses in children and adults. They are only used through injection which must be prescribed. The most common usage for them are not FDA approved are used along with other PEDs to increase athletic performance. Negative effects of abuse of this steroid is edema (build up of fluid inside your body), joint pain, and muscle weakness. Human growth hormone s and growth factors are banned by WADA (World Doping Agency).

Erythropoietin

Erythropoietin is originally used to treat anemia, but it is used commonly now to increase the oxygen carried from your lungs to the rest of your body. It is a chemical released from your kidneys, and promotes the production of red blood cells. This specific type of hormone increases the excretion of water from the body which in turn cleans out the body. It is an extremely dangerous diuretic; it can lead to dehydration, strokes, heart attacks, and death.

Diuretics

Diuretics also known as water pills are used to help people lose weight, pass drug tests, and also to lower your blood pressure. They change our bodies natural water and salt levels by releasing it in urine. The total fluid in our blood vessels decrease therefore decreasing our blood pressure making it easier for our heart to pump. Negative side effects of this drug are: dizziness, dehydration, fainting spells, and a potassium deficiency.

Creatine

Creatine is one of the more commons drugs used because it is over the counter. It is an amino acid found in muscles and the brain, but it is now made synthetically and to help energy released from muscles, increase muscle mass, and enhance exercise performance. Abuse of the drug can lead to kidney problems and liver damage, also stomach and muscle cramps, nausea, and weight gain (if not used in high intensity workouts).

Stimulants

They work on the central nervous system to to increase alertness, reduce fatigue, and increase competitiveness, aggressiveness, and concentration. Different types of stimulants are amphetamine, caffeine, cocaine, diet pills, methamphetamine, and ritalin. All of these can be taken orally, snorted, injected, or smoked. Short term effects include an immediate exhaustion and depression (the down that follows the up). This can lead to the user wanting more (addiction), which is one of the results of larger doses over a short period of time. Long term effects may result in hostility, paranoia, fever, and irregular heartbeat. Other Side effects include: increase in blood pressure and heart rate, heart attacks, strokes, vomiting, dizziness, headache, and tremor. In the USA, the National Collegiate Athletic Association acknowledged that the number of student athletes testing positive for stimulant medications has increased three-fold in recent years

Designer steroids

A specific type of Anabolic Steroid which is called designer drugs. These are synthetic steroids that were created to be of the same use as testosterone while being undetectable in drug tests. They were made for athletes to be able to use steroids for an increase in performance without getting caught because they have not been approved or tested by FDA (Federal Drug administration) and are very dangerous. The effects of these steroids are similar to the negative effects of anabolic steroids, although can much worse because of the risk of taking non FDA approved drugs.

Usage of steroids in athletes

Steroid use among athlete has become a recognized and continuing issue in sports today. There has been an increase in usage in high school, college, and professional athletes; along with this is an increase in drug-related deaths. Dwain Chambers, Marion Jones, Lance Armstrong, and Justin Gatlin are some of the many athletes caught and banned from competing due to their use of steroids. The public’s concern for athletes usage of steroids has rendered to mass media attention, and tougher laws for their use and distribution.

Athletes cheating scandals in the olympics

Tyson Gay won a silver medal at the 2012 olympics in track and field. He also had the second-fastest time in the 100-meter dash with a 9.69-second run in 2009 at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix. In 2013 he test positive for a banned substance and was banned from the sport for a year and stripped of his silver Olympic medal.

Rashid Ramzi received a gold medal in track and field (1500m) in the summer olympics in Beijing China in 2008. Soon after he tested positive for a blood-boosting substance CERA (and was stripped of his medal.

Manny Ramirez was playing for the LA dodgers and was suspended for 50 games in 2009 for using human chorionic gonadotropin (which increases the production of testosterone). Early in 2011 while playing for the rays after only 5 games, Ramirez violated the drug policy again and faced a 100-game ban. Instead he retired; but by the end of the season he asked to be reinstated. He then completed a 50-game ban and the following year played for the Oakland Athletics. He was also one of the 104 players that tested positive in the 2003 MLB survey for performance-enhancing drugs. This was before the league had a drug policy and or executed punishments for P.E.D. use.

Effects of the immediate stop of steroid usage

Immediately after stopping steroids, you lose about 20-50% of muscle mass that was gained during. After a 12-week cycle on testosterone, there will still be extra weight 6 months later. Everything begins to normalize in your body quickly such as acne, and the production of testosterone. Although in men their sexual drive worsens. There is an increased future risk of heart attack, stroke, and baldness. Some are able to minimize these long term negative effects by taking HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin), which is prescribed for pregnancy so therefor it is illegal and dangerous. It increases the start of production of testosterone quicker than normal.

Medically Prescribed Steroids

Steroids are synthetic drugs that are similar to cortisol (a hormone that your body produces naturally). Steroids work by decreasing inflammation and reducing our immune systems activity. Examples of corticosteroids medications are triamcinolone, cortisone, prednisone, and methylprednisolone. In certain diseases such as: systemic vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels) and myositis (inflammation of muscle) rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, or gout.); the body’s immune system doesn’t work properly. This causes inflammation and tissue damage. Steroids reduce the overactivity of the immune system which intake reduces the production of inflammatory chemicals to minimize tissue damage. When the inflammation is threatening enough to damage organs, steroids can be life-saving. For example, people who have lupus or vasculitis may help prevent the progression of kidney inflammation, this can lead to kidney failure. Therefore steroid therapy can eliminate the need for kidney dialysis or transplant.

They can be given as a topical treatment, orally or by injection. When injected, they are put directly into a vein or muscle. Or directly into a joint or bursa in order to lubricate between certain tendons, bones, and or soft tissue areas. They are injected into one or two areas of inflammation which allows for larger dosages; this way the amount given is accurate. Unlike when steroids are given by mouth or IV, which would cause a higher risk of side effects. These low dosages provides significant relief from pain and stiffness for conditions similar to and including rheumatoid arthritis.

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