Study Says Young Girls Using Steroids - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/03/05

Study Says Young Girls Using Steroids

A recent study found girls, especially teenagers, are using steroids. Not necessarily to perform better athletically, but to get a toned and sculpted body. Some of the girls are as young as nine.
From the gym to the school hallways, body image is everything. Young girls are paying a scary price in their quest to get a beautiful body.

"They're wanting to tone their bodies up pretty much the easy way," said Althea Mixon, a licensed counselor with ETMC Mental Health Center.

That quick fix is being done with steroids. Girls not even in their teens are getting a hold of testosterone shots, pills and creams.

"The idea is that they have to fit a certain image," Althea said. "One of the fears of that age group is not fitting in."

An American Academy of Pediatrics report said fitting in and body image are two of main reasons girls take steroids.

Cathy Fieseler, a doctor with Trinity Clinic Sports Medicine, said if girls think steroids lead to tall, slender beauty, think again.

"We know that steroids will close growth plates so anyone that is still growing will wind up shorter," Cathy said. "With girls we're seeing things like male pattern baldness and facial hair."

Cathy said breast size, fertility and organ development will all be affected by steroid use in still developing girls. Girls will even show "road rage" during an emotionally critical time.

"You throw in something combustible like steroids," Cathy said, "and you've got an explosion."

Studies say 7 percent of girls admit to using steroids. A number that's on the rise. Something doctors hope will soon stop before for it's too late for many girls.Reports show young people usually get illegal anabolic steroids on the black market, on the internet, at a gym, or from relatives or friends.

Doctors advise talking to your child about the dangers of steroids as early as the third grade.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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