Experts warn about developing number of men in their 40 s and 50 s taking drugs to fight signs of ageing and boost sex drive

Growing number of middle-aged men are turning to anabolic steroids to construct themselves seem and seem more youthful and boost their sex performance, experts say.

People who work with users have raised expressed concerns about a new trend among men in their 40 s and 50 s, and some even in their 60 s and 70 s, who are taking the narcotic to boost energy levels and opposed some of the effects of ageing, such as weight gain and a lower libido. Steroids can cause a range of health problems such as heart disease and blood clots.

We have come across a lot of older men use. Its almost like hormone substitution therapy[ used to relieve symptoms of the menopause] for females. Steroids can help you lose torso fat as well, said Julien Baker, an applied physiology prof at the University of the West of Scotland.

It is a major problem, but the evidence isnt there about what the long-term impact is yet. We are not sure what these narcotics are doing to you at that age, but everyone perceives it as safe.

As men get older their testosterone levels plummet, which can sometimes lead to a reduced sex drive, weight gain and muscle reduction. Baker says men get information from magazines and online about the narcotic, which simulates the effects of testosterone and boosts muscle growing, though some are also prescribed it.

Joseph Kean, visiting research fellow at Liverpool John Moores University, said while over-5 0s still accounted for only a small proportion of the image- and performance-enhancing narcotics population, their numbers have doubled over the past five years. He estimated there were between 15,000 and 30,000 over-4 0s use in the UK.

Guys are saying they just want to stand a little bit taller and seem they can stand alongside the younger generation who are much more aware of how they seem, Kean said. He explained that older men typically used smaller sums of the narcotic less frequently than their younger counterparts.

A typical steroid cycle can be about three months, beginning with the less and building up before tapering off. At its crest you could be taking steroids daily and injecting around four times a week, said Kean. Older guys tend to take less, but for much longer one injection every seven to 10 days and sometimes virtually consistently.

The Juice Clinic in Sheffield, a service for people use steroids and image-enhancing narcotics, has noted an increase in older men asking for help.

Steroid used only for older men is often about the youthful results, and about torso image and energy levels, said Sid Wiffen, the clinics team leader. I hear talk of men feeling greater pressure now to look good, so they are more likely to go to the gym and dress well.

It can be dangerous and it does fret me. Lots of people we realize was happy to make an informed choice about their steroid apply, but some get information elsewhere and its not ever good.

Once consumer begin to decrease or discontinue apply of steroids, withdrawal symptoms such as low feeling and nervousnes can occur.

Commentators say the growing popularity of such drugs could be the result of societal changes, with people living longer and expecting more from life.

With an ageing population there are now more key points in people lives when they are concerned about appearance, said Jim McVeigh, an expert on steroid apply at Liverpool John Moores University.

For men who get to a certain age where they are unable to maintain a specific physique naturally, you can see how they would be seduced to try other means to get a torso they maybe found easier to reach 15 -2 0 years ago. Craving to looking good is greater merely the domain of the young.

But a former user, who asked to remain anonymous, disagreed that there was any more pressure on midlife men now than before. He started taking the narcotic at 41 and said: Steroids will be attractive to any middle-aged boy who can see their youth disappearing and want to fight the inherent vulnerabilities of middle age.

The findings coincide with reports of increasing anabolic steroid apply, with a particular focus on younger men. Last time people who worked with steroid users estimated that the real numbers of those taking the narcotic annually was far higher than the 60,000 people quoted in the Crime Survey for England and Wales.

The narcotics, officially known as anabolic-androgenic steroids, were first developed for medical apply. While they remain a class C prohibited narcotic, experts say people are finding it easy to get the narcotics online or in gyms. They come in tablet form, although they are more commonly injected into muscles.

Baker said while there could be some benefits for older men under a proper prescription government, there were dangers attributed to self-medication and buying the products online. Introducing something your torso stopped creating naturally may lead to repercussions or have health implications, he said. Theres not sufficient research out there to be addressed that. Person taking steroids at 50 its not clear what might happen to them in the future.

Getting older get put on hold for a while

I dont want to look like younger guys; Im taking the narcotics for me. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

The Guardian spoke to a 53 -year-old steroid user, who asked to remain anonymous, about why he chose to take the narcotic .

I am a normal 53 -year old guy and I am a non-smoker who fees well and appears after himself. I go to the gym three or four times a week. I booze some weekends and produce an active social life. I have also been taking steroids for the last three years.

I was apprehensive when I started. I am not a bodybuilder and have never wanted to be one. I got the narcotic at my gym. I wanted to look healthy and have a nice physique , not rippling muscles but merely a bit more definition. I never took steroids when I was younger. Now I have a small dosage once a week and its induced “i m feeling” fantastic. My testosterone levels and other blood levels are normal. I know this because I have my blood checked regularly at a local clinic for users.

Not simply have I got the extra muscle mass I wanted, but the narcotic has also made me feel good about myself and induced me sleep better. It has given me an stomach for life and a better sex drive. No one knows Im on steroids except my partner, who is fine with it.

I am not talking about taking massive amounts. I dont have a massive 60 -inch chest. I am a normal guy who appears well for his age. I have a slim waist , not a big belly, and develop a little bit.

I dont want to look like younger guys. I am taking the narcotics for me, to seem good and feel happy. Steroids construct “youre feeling” more youthful, and in a corny various kinds of behavior “its like” drinking a feelgood elixir. All the characteristics of get older, such as sentiment tired etc, get put on hold for a while.

When you come off it, in my own experience, your torso goes back to its normal cycle again eventually. Then, I am tired and all the normal characteristics associated with person over 50 come back.

Anything in excess is bad for you, but if taken in moderation then its not a problem. Its like having alcohol, its all down to drinking and doing things in moderation. Steroids should fall into that bracket.

I suppose I do worry about the long-term impact of steroids on my torso. But I likewise worry about additives in foods and the effect of using mobile phones on my brain. The list is endless. Irresponsible its utilization and abuse is always the main problem.

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