Doping in sports is all over the news with Lance Armstrong coming clean on the allegations that he used performance enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France multiple times, and all the while maintaining his innocence. But what about the minor athletes and average Joey's who do this to enhance their own workout? Performance enhancement can be summed up in three words; Fear the Effects!
Physically, these drugs, which include human growth hormone, stimulants, diuretics and painkillers, are all bad news for your body. Males can develop feminine characteristics, like breasts and hardening of testicles. Females can develop excess facial and body hair and can become more aggressive in behavior.
Diuretics cause blood to thicken in the arteries and decrease blood flow, which can lead to stroke, heart attack, and even death.
Marked increase in aggression, migraine headaches, paranoia and anxiety are conditions commonly seen in those who use these drugs on a long term basis. Also noted are depression, psychological disturbances such as severe mood swings, and mental confusion.
A study done in Germany showed that women who use performance enhancing drugs were 32 times more likely to suffer miscarriage or stillbirth than the general population. These women were also found to have a marked increase in fertility issues.
Most alarming were the children who were born with various physical handicaps from parents who used these drugs. From asthma, allergies and skin conditions to crippled feet, arms, legs and metabolic issues, these studies should cause anyone to think before they subject not only their own body, but possibly their future children, to needless harm.
Aside from being illegal, the effects to your physical, mental, psychological and reproductive health should be enough to cause anyone to avoid the temptation to dope.
Education is the key and one of the leading anti-doping organizations is the World Anti-Doping Agency http://www.wada-ama.org/. This organization provides information on types of drugs used to enhance sports performance, education for schools and athletic programs, and excellent resources. Be aware that your child may be faced with the temptation to dope, and have the answers available.
Be your best, naturally!
Shelli Rossignol, lmt/cr January 2013
- Food and Drug Law: Final Paper. March 8, 2004."Better fighting through chemistry"
- World Anti-Doping Agency