Body-builders are succumbing to tricking their doctors into prescribing steroids by presenting with made up symptoms and imaginary problems with their sex life.

In Sydney, Australia where steroid usage has increased by 30% in the past three years, the Australian Body Building Forum is filled with tips on how to obtain and use illegal anabolic steroids.

Lying to doctors in lieu of attaining steroid prescriptions

Posts on social media and web forums for bodybuilders in the country were found to be frequented by those freely giving advice to others on how to easily obtain steroid prescriptions from physicians around Sydney, by simply concocting a false “sex problem”.

One particularly blatant post read “Not being sexist but a male doctor is likely to be more understanding. If possible it makes your case much more credible if your girlfriend or wife can go along with you and tell all the stuff with you.”

The same poster share that “steroid seekers” merely need to falsify symptoms such as insomnia, an inability to maintain an erection, anxiety and low energy levels.

In an unregulated fashion, an entire sub-section of the forum is dedicated to discussing virtues of the drug, with over 11,000 posts advising ‘steroid use for beginners’ and ‘which steroid is the best.’

Since its first rundown of interest three years ago, body building as a sport in Singapore has unleashed with a new momentum largely due to removal of restrictions in funding and better management of doping issues.

Unfortunately the strict regulations of steroid prescription are not applied unanimously in the region as recent exposure of deceitful behavior by body builders in bid of obtaining steroids.

Bigorexia: An ‘unpopular’ mental disorder with no tailored therapy

Bigorexia or Muscle Dysmorphic Disorder is a psychiatric condition often encountered by aspiring body builders need to be flagged when warning signs become apparent.

These include portrayal of a distorted self-image, never being satisfied with their current muscle mass, extreme workout methods and supplement taking that can eventually lead to steroid or substance abuse.

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s Illicit Drug Data Report has also observed a 6.2% increase in the number of steroids detected at Australia’s border between 2013 and 2015.

More worryingly, an earlier report by the Commission, the number of performance and image enhancing drugs detected at Australia’s borders had increased by 750% over the last decade.

UNSW National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre’s Dr Briony Larance said the average age of male steroid abusers was 27 and there are currently no programs in place unlike other forms of substance abuse for users who wanted to quit.

“There isn’t a clear pathway where they can seek help — the first port of call would be their GPs who can refer them to some kind of counsellor,” Dr Larance said.

UK bodybuilder injects coconut oil

Instead of just lifting weights, an amateur bodybuilder in the United Kingdom tried to plump up his arm muscles and by injecting them with coconut oil. The man, who was a bodybuilder for four years and a regular gym-goer, had initially seen a doctor, complaining that his arm hurt for several months.

But the 25-year old ended up developing cysts inside his arm muscles from the oil, and because he also used steroids, he ruptured his triceps and needed surgery. An ultrasound showed that he had rupture in the tendon that connects the triceps the bone near the elbow, a rare injury in young people that led the doctor to question if the man was injecting steroids.

"Alarmingly, this practice, used for the short-term enhancement of muscular appearance, seems to come at a significant cost," said the man’s doctor.

Although still uncommon, because natural oils are less expensive than anabolic steroids, they become an attractive option, particularly for amateur bodybuilders. In an earlier case, a bodybuilder in Germany injected sesame seed oil into his muscles for eight years and experienced scarring and deformity in his muscle tissue, and had irreversible muscle damage. MIMS

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