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Health Tip: Steroids Are Dangerous When Misused

They can promote tumor growth and heart problems

(HealthDay News) -- Steroids are an effective medication when properly prescribed by a physician to treat conditions like anemia or hormonal imbalances. But according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), steroids should never prescribed by a doctor to aid in building muscle tone.

Body builders or athletes may try using steroids illegally to help build muscle and improve performance. They may either inject the steroids or take them orally, and many will take more than one type of steroid at a time. Since steroids are hormones, they can throw the body's hormonal balance out of whack, causing men to develop breasts and women to grow facial hair.

Steroids can cause dangerous complications such as liver tumor growth and damage to the heart. People using steroids may also become very angry and violent, and may develop acne and hair loss.

Teens who abuse steroids before the typical adolescent growth spurt may inhibit future growth and never reach full adult height, the NIDA warns.

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