New Delhi: The
six-pack abs of actors Salman Khan and John Abraham can send many
adolescents to the gym for a sculpted body. But for those who take
the short cut through steroids, here is a word of caution. Their
use can lead to serious problems like impotency, baldness and
suicidal tendencies, say experts.
The perfect bodies of actors is achieved after a lot of labour,
systematic exercising, discipline and diet, but every youngster
does not have the patience to follow this arduous procedure and
resorts to steroids.
Bindu Sthalekar, consultant dermatologist and cosmetologist, told
IANS that "the most important fact about steroids is that they are
drugs and any misuse or abuse can harm the body".
"Steroids are derivatives of male hormones, primarily
testosterone. The use of these steroids among teenagers may result
in the shrinking of testes, decrease in the sperm count, which in
turn leads to infertility," he added.
Andro, primobolan, decadurobolin, clenbuterol and clen are some of
the drugs that pump up muscles. Most of them are taken in oral or
"Every person wants to be a centre of attraction...even guys are
becoming conscious about their looks. However, due to lack of
time, we are unable to spend some time on ourselves. Therefore we
go for artificial treatments to get fast and effective results.
Also, they are less expensive compared to surgeries," said a
22-year-old man who works with a PR firm.
Doctors say steroid use has become rampant because these
injections do not cost a bomb and are easily available. They are
priced between Rs.80 and Rs.300 for vials and can be bought at
medical stores or even online.
The question is what do these injections do?
Indu Tolani, a dermatologist, explains that steroids involve drug
"Steroids help in producing proteins and preventing the effects of
cortisol in muscle tissues resulting in an improved muscle mass.
Gradually the muscles turn into biceps, triceps and six pack abs.
They become three times bigger than its original size," she added.
There are specific doses for specific injections. Some need to be
injected on a weekly basis.
There are positives to such treatments. For instance, steroids are
recommended by doctors to increase the appetite and sometimes they
help in stimulating muscle mass in chronic wasting conditions like
cancer and AIDS.
But their side effects can be disastrous.
"Excess or long-term use of drugs can lead to health problems such
as increase of cholesterol levels, high blood pressure,
enlargement of heart, aggressive behaviour, acne and depression.
Oral consumption can damage the liver as well," said Tolani.
Sthalekar says misuse and abuse of such drugs can affect the
"Changes like baldness, testosterone stimulation, acne due to
sebaceous gland enlargement and long-term suppression of natural
testosterone are some of the side effects of these steroids," she
Teenagers should avoid such drugs, advises Sthalekar.
"Among adolescents its consumption may cause stunted growth due to
premature closure of epiphysis, Dsex drive or even infertility. In
the case of girls, the use of steroids might affect the menstrual
cycle. On withdrawal, they might experience symptoms of depression
and it can turn to suicidal tendencies also," she added.
Medical practitioner Radha Narayanan says youth should be aware of
the effects of steroids.
"If steroids are taken in the right quantity as prescribed by the
doctor, they give fabulous results. The young generation is highly
conscious about its looks...for them looking great on public
domains like social networking sites is important and these
steroids give them a chance to look attractive," she said.
Listing out precautions, she said: "Such cosmetic treatments
should be used under proper medical supervision. Before starting
the procedure, candidates must go for medical checkups like blood
and sugar level tests.
"During the procedure one should take a well-balanced diet with a
high protein level, eat natural and healthy food and exercise
under experts to achieve the best results."
(Nivedita Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)