Did it ever cross your mind what makes Man a man and a woman, woman? Though science and technology revealed that it is the Y and X chromosomes, the difference in DNA that bring about the differences, it is the sex hormones which play a vital role in the humans at cellular level.
What are Sex Hormones? Sex hormones are steroid hormones usually synthesized from cholesterol in reproductive glands and adrenal glands. In males the Reproductive organs are Testis and in females, it’s the ovaries. They are classified intoare three classes of sex hormones, Androgens, Estrogens and progestogens. All these sex hormones are present in both males and females but their productions and quantities differentiates their primary and secondary sexual characteristics and expressions.
What are Androgens? From the Greek word Andros means Male. Androgens are steroidal hormones which regulate the embryological development of primary male sex organs and regulate the expression of secondary male characteristics. They are derived from cholesterol and synthesized usually in reproductive organs, testis, ovary and a little bit produced in the adrenal glands also.
What are the types of Androgens? Testosterone, Dehydroepiandrosterone (from adrenal cortex), From Testis: Androstenedione, Andros enediol, Androsterone and Dihydrotestosterone. These androgens are either metabolites or direct end products of cholesterol metabolism like any other steroid.
What are the Physiological effects of Testosterone: It is usually found that Testosterone is anabolic and androgenic in nature.
Androgenic Effect: It is responsible for the development of primary sex organs(testis, penis, scrotum) in males from the fetal level and secondary sexual characters like deepening of voice, hair all over body, development of Adam’s apple and so on.
Anabolic Effect: Testosterone increases protein synthesis thus leading to the increase in rapid muscle mass and strength. This is the main reason Testosterone has gained importance as anabolic steroid in the field of athletics, body building and weight lifting.
Adverse Effects of Misuse of Synthetic Testosterone:
Testosterone is misused by common men, body builders, athletes and weight lifters to attain a more heroic body structure which is rapidly attainable by using synthetic Testosterone available in market. They must be enlightened by the medical practitioners that this misuse would rather be a break their body than make it.
*Muscular-Skeletal System: There is rapid Hypertrophy of muscles leading to strain and rupture leading to rapid breakdown of muscle.
*Cardio-vascular System: Hypertrophy of heart muscles, cardiomyopathy, Thrombosis, Arrhythmias, Embolism, Stroke and sudden death (these are all interlinked effects if strain in heart muscles)
* Male-Reproductive System: Gynecomastia (Growth of Breasts in males due to aromatization of Testosterone and production of Estrogens). Hypertrophy, atrophy of Male Organs, Prostrate cancer, Erectile Dysfunction.
*CNS system: Nervous system is highly affected as steroid hormones usually sensitize the neurons. Though initially they give a sense of Euphoria and aggressiveness helpful in training and exercising period, would quickly change to mood swings, depression, insomnia, anxiety and cognitive impairment.
*Female-Reproductive System: Masculinization or virializing effects are seen on female sexual organs like enlargement of clitoris, Uterine Atrophy deepening of voice, menstrual disturbances, Hirsutism. Care should be taken by women as these changes are irreversible.
As synthetically made steroid hormones are peptide in nature. They easily bind to several receptors of different functional system in human body. They bring aboutmany irreversible and irreparable damages in their bodies. So, user discretion and medical supervisionis advised.