With the admission by Spencer Matthews that he’s addicted to steroids we take a look at the warning signs that someone’s using or abusing steroids.
Steroids are most commonly used by those hoping to build the perfect gym bod because they work extremely well as muscle builders. That’s because anabolic steroids flood the body with testosterone, the hormone that made you go through puberty, and encourages the development of increased muscle mass.
However there are huge dangers surrounding the abuse of steroids including, heart attacks, kidney problems, cancer and depression to name just a few.
Now obviously there’s no way to really know who’s on steroids, so don’t go accusing anyone, but these are the most common side effects of doing steroids.
The first and most obvious sign that a gym bunny may be juicing, is if after 20 weeks he starts looking like the front cover of a men’s health mag. Most human bodies simply don’t gain that level of muscle mass fast enough instead it takes time for fat to burn and muscle to build up.
There are exceptions of course, some people are just born lucky, but Ethan Bender, a body builder told Men’s health: If someone tells me they gained 25 pounds of muscle in a year, I know they’re either new to lifting, they’re juicing, or they’re full of crap.”
Man boobs or to use the scientific term gynecomastia aren’t just for couch potatoes, people who use steroids can find themselves with some impressive assets of their own and I’m not talking about muscles. You see most people think of testosterone as the male sex hormone and oestrogen as the female hormone, which is mostly right. Both hormones control the development of sexual characteristics.
But what people don’t realise is that your body produces both types and if you flood your body with testosterone then your body responds by producing more oestrogen which in men causes man tits. Of course steroid use isn’t the only thing that can cause man boobs, so don’t go accusing your mates just yet. They may just like a cheeky kebab on the way home from the gym.
Remember being a young teenager and battling daily with acne? Well that happened because your body was beginning to produce testosterone and hadn’t quite worked out how to deal with the new hormone in your blood. In particular a couple of glands in the body are super sensitive to testosterone and start producing a lot more oily shit which clogs up your pores. When you juice up on steroids the same thing happens and you get acne.
This one you may not see, unless you’re snooping in the showers, but taking steroids is proven to reduce the size of a man’s balls. The reason why is because your testicles receive a signal from the brain, in the form of hormones that tell them to make testosterone and sperm, as well as grow and develop.
If you’ve flooded your body with testosterone then your brain shuts down the bollocks as they don’t need to make testosterone. This causes a negative feedback loop, and over a long period of time this lack of hormones because the balls shrivel up from having nothing to do. This means that the balls stop producing sperm leaving men infertile.
The existence of “Roid rage” is disputed by some body builders but it’s known that hormone shifts can have effects on the brain and testosterone definitely effects the regions of the brain that play an important role in the control of aggression. Steroid users have spoken about feeling increasingly violent and aggressive. For example, Adam Trice, an ex steroid abuser told The Sun said: “I ended up with 16 convictions for violence, mostly fighting. I was working the doors in security and was so aggressive that I got sacked several times [while on steroids].”
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.