Thursday, December 22, 2005


Huh. If you search " 'roids" at Wikipedia, you get entries on steroids, but also on hemorrhoids. Fancy that.

I've noticed a lot of confusion about the concept of steroids, despite the fact that the topic has been at the forefront of the sports media throughout the year. I posted this comment at David Pinto's blog (for lack of a better word at the moment, since "blog" doesn't really do the site justice) today:

'Just to weigh in on the steroids debate--there are different types of steroids. For simplicity, consider two main types, anabolic and catabolic. Each type has specific chemical structures which promote certain functions in the body (both types occur naturally in the body in certain forms). Anabolic steroids, of which testosterone (and horse "juice") is an example, promote building of tissue, including muscle. This is why men are more muscular than women, generally. Catabolic steroids function in an opposite way--they inhibit the building of tissue. Corticosteroids fall into this category, and their anti-inflammatory actions are a function of their ability to decrease injured tissues' response to being damaged, as inflammation is the body's first step in healing.'

I hope that helps. I see so many people who wonder at the reports of Jeff Bagwell (and Larry Walker, and so forth) getting "steroid" injections every six weeks or so for their ailing shoulder/neck, etc., questioning why these players don't test positive for juicing. In fact, long-term (or high-dose) use of corticosteroids would actually make a player weaker. Alternately, the testicular atrophy reported with juicing is a side effect due to the body's feedback mechanisms--since a testerone-type compound has been introduced into the body extrinsically, the body realizes it doesn't need to intrinsically produce the hormone, and the testicles atrophy like an unused muscle.

As far as I know, though, there is no direct link between steroids of either type, and hemorroids.


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