Does Joe Gorga Abuse Steroids?
March 23, 2013 66 Comments
Here is what we know about Joe Gorga after two seasons on RHONJ:
- He disrespects his parents, especially his mother.
- He called his sister “garbage” and told her to “walk the f*ck away” at his son’s christening.
- He later called his sister a “f*cking bitch” in front of her children and his children at a family pool party.
- He treats his wife like his personal prostitute and claimed on camera that her “owns” her (Melissa said “everything he owns is for sale”; Joe retorted, “everything but his kids is for sale”).
- He called his daughter a “cock blocker.”
Is Joe a misogynist whose aggression has been heightened because of steroid use?
Joe Gorga Before (Season 3) and After Steroids (Season 5)
He has beefed up since season 3 (see photos above), and he could be experiencing roid rage. In the Gorga’s very first episode (season 3 episode 1), there is a weird scene with Joe Gorga and his parents at his son’s christening in their very first episode, but this could be attributed to drinking and drugs other than steroids (according to a former RHONJ post production supervisor, Joe was doing more than just drinking at the christening):
We hear Joe Gorga say: “Mom, you are cold, cold, so cold!”
His father chides him, and Joe Gorga is screaming at his father: “I’m your son, remember that! I’m your son!”
Joe’s father says to him: “And I’m proud of you.” But then he says: “Eh, you want to listen to me? Go cry to your mother. You only think about yourself.”
Joe Gorga turns back to his father and screams: “You’re my father! You’re my father!”
Joe’s father attempts to make his way to his son, but it looks like he’s getting a little roughed up, too. Joe Gorga finally tracks down his father in the hallway and tells him that Joe Giudice is garbage.
About 13 minutes into the video above, “Turning Point with Frank MacKay” (taped in 2012):
Joe Giudice says there was a big change when Teresa’s family came on, trash talking her. Teresa and Joe both say that her family wouldn’t have done it if they weren’t on camera. And they say that they never treated her like that before coming on national TV. Joe says he used to get mad about it, but now he just feels sorry for them for doing that to their family. Teresa said it was a stab in the back, and her parents were very upset about it, especially after seeing what happened at the christening… her parents don’t even want to be on the show anymore, they want no part of it.
Some Known Potential Side Effects of a Anabolic Steroid Use:
This happens more frequently in females and is usually due to increased testosterone. The mostly irreversible side effects include increased facial hair, male-pattern baldness, increased acne, changes in skin texture, growth of facial and body hair, aggressiveness, and irritability.
Feminization occurs only in men and happens when excessive testosterone is converted to the female hormone estrogen. This results in the formation of breasts, decreased sperm count, decreased libido, shrunken testes, soft muscle mass and impotence. With drug treatment, side effects can be reversed.
Steroids increase the cholesterol level in the body by increasing the “bad cholesterol,” which can lead to clogs in the blood vessels — leaving users susceptible to heart disease and strokes. In addition, steroids provoke a rapid increase in body weight and an accompanying rise in blood pressure, both of which leave users more vulnerable to a cardiovascular event. These side effects can be reversed to the extent if they are caught before the person has a heart attack or a stroke.
This is an important side effect to mention for high school athletes because steroids can cause the premature closure of the growth plate, leading to stunted growth.
Toxic products like steroids put the kidneys under stress and can lead to electrolyte imbalances and high blood pressure. Kidney problems are reflected by lower back pain, increased swelling in the lower legs and ankles, and fever.
Based on estrogen studies in 1970s and 1980s, steroids could lead to certain tumors and liver damage.
The skin is the largest organ of the human body and is the most sensitive organ to steroids — especially in women. Pores grow large and acne problems that are not aided by typical over-the-counter medication can occur. Stretch marks also become prominent, though they are not directly caused by steroids. They stem from the rapid weight gain and muscle growth that steroids bring.
Neuropsychiatric side effects are based mostly on case reports, but have been studied by two prominent Harvard psychiatrists, Drs. Harrison Pope and Kurt Brower from McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. Small studies indicate that long-term abuse can mimic bipolar disorder.
Symptoms will start off with a mania that leads to aggressiveness, reckless behavior and diminished need for sleep — also known as “‘roid rage.” Some athletes could actually be seeking this last side effect, as it could lead to motivation to work out harder and a higher level of aggression when playing sports. It is almost always followed by a profound depression that can then lead to suicidal behavior.
There is a suspected psychologically addictive aspect to steroid use that leads athletes to become addicted to the way they feel on steroids and the way they look — possibly leading to continued steroid abuse after their sport-playing days are over.
Side Effects of Anabolic Steroid Abuse:
The side effects of steroids are very dangerous Many reasons have been given as to why men and to a lesser degree, women choose to abuse steroids. Among most abusers, it boils down to two simple concepts of performance and self-image. For over half a century, anabolic steroids have been used to enhance athletic ability.
Most often, the answer lies in a need to improve a particular type of performance. Whether the goal is an increase in physical size, strength, speed or stamina, in the mind of an abuser, it is a worthwhile endeavor, regardless of the risk.
Secondly, many abusers report a greater sense of fulfillment and a healthier self-image when taking steroids. Many young men report taking steroids simply because they want to look built, to emulate the bodybuilders they see in magazines, or even more importantly, to be more appealing to women. Moreover, a form of reverse anorexia seems to be prevalent in young males who are interested in fitness. The National Institute of Drug Abuse shows in recent studies that 325,000 teenage boys and 175,000 teenage girls are using steroids.
The number of adult abusers is even higher. (Consider that often, steroid abusers are private about their use and never report it. The actual number of abusers could be far greater.) The idea that they can never be big enough, fast enough or strong enough dominates their perception of self. Anabolic steroids would seem to be the answer to their prayers.
Side effects of steroids include acne and abnormal liver functionAbusers can seem pretty well educated on the subject of their vice, however, the problem lies in the quality of the information. Most often, it’s hearsay or internet chatter, combined with a skewed rationale that explains away all the bad. Many abusers will tell you the doses they take aren’t harmful because they “cycle” (come off of steroids for a period of time and then begin again) or they only take a certain “good” steroid or not enough of a dose to harm them.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. When doctors prescribe steroids, it is generally to treat patients with a rare or specific disorder, and the drug is administered in the lowest possible dose as to minimize the negative side effects. But this isn’t about medicine; this is about unregulated, unsupervised abuse of a synthetic drug for the purpose of maximum muscle development and performance. Massive doses are required to achieve the results most abusers are looking for. When this is the case, there is no safe use.
In both cases of performance and image, abusers throw caution to the wind as their sense of achievement far outweighs their consideration of the enormous risks involved. Medical research shows steroid users subject themselves to over 70 side effects ranging in severity from liver cancer to acne, and include psychological as well as physical reactions. The liver and cardiovascular and reproductive systems are most seriously affected by steroid abuse. When discussing the powerful effects of anabolic steroids on the human body, we look at the short term effects, which can take from a few weeks to a few years to present themselves and the long term effects, some taking up to a decade or more to appear.
SHORT TERM SIDE EFFECTS
The short term, more immediate side effects of steroid abuse are a veritable buffet of problems. Let’s start with the men. Acne, testicular atrophy, decreased sperm count, gynecomastia (enlarged breasts in men), high blood pressure, increased LDL (bad) cholesterol, decreased HDL (good) cholesterol, fluid retention, abnormal liver function, and prostate enlargement, just to name a few.
Anabolic steroids can affect women differently than men, and in some cases, dramatically so. Women can experience many of the same dangerous effects as men including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and liver damage. Many of the problems, however, are exclusively feminine representations of natural male characteristics such as male pattern balding, deepening of the voice, facial and body hair growth, and coarsening of the skin.
For both sexes, increased aggressiveness, otherwise known as “roid rage,” commonly accompanies the use of steroids.
Now let’s break some of these down into further detail.
Acne is a common side effect of steroid abuse
One common side effect is the onset of acne or, in cases of adolescents where acne is already present, a much more severe case can present itself. The scientific explanation is quite colorful. Steroids enlarge the sebaceous glands in the skin. Then, they cause these glands to increase sebum (oil) production. The increased sebum leads to plug formation and serves as “food” for bacteria.
Normal hormones surge at puberty, which is why teens develop armpit and pubic hair, and why boys develop facial hair and deeper voices. This hormonal surge also contributes to the cause of acne in teens. Introducing steroids to this delicate balance is just asking for trouble.
Testicular atrophy, a fancy term for shrunken balls, isn’t just a cosmetic problem. Because an outside source of testosterone is being introduced to the body, the testes no longer get the signal to produce their share. The brain is also being told to slow down the sperm factory, and that the body is getting sperm from an outside source, usually the hypodermic needle. The brain then sends a signal back to the testicles to take a break. This new function can cause temporary sterility, and the jury is still out on whether steroids are linked with permanent sterility or not. But why take the chance?
Gynecomastia is the growth of breast tissue in men
Gynecomastia, a pretty word for man-boobs, is another not-so-good side effect of abuse that comes from the improper balance of testosterone. When the body converts the additional testosterone into estrogen and other female hormones in the male body, female breast tissue is sometimes formed. Often, surgery with a painful recovery time is the only method of removing the female tissue build-up. Basically, the surgeon enlarges the area to be liposuctioned with a large amount of sterile fluid then employs ultrasonic liposuction using sound waves to break up the fat. The surgery can cost upwards of $10,000 and you will be hard pressed to find insurance that will cover steroid abuse.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
The next effect on our list is high blood pressure, which is caused when the steroid forces the body to hold onto extra salt and water, rather than flushing it out as usual. Steroids also cause an increase in the body’s red blood cell count and hematocrit levels, resulting in higher blood pressure. The long term effects of high blood pressure are a list all their own. It causes the heart to get larger, which may lead to heart failure. Small bulges (aneurysms) can form in blood vessels, the main artery from the heart (aorta), arteries in the brain, legs, and intestines; and the artery leading to the spleen. Blood vessels in the kidney can narrow, which may cause kidney failure. Arteries throughout the body can “harden” faster, especially those in the heart, brain, kidneys, and legs. This can cause a heart attack, stroke, kidney failure or amputation of part of the leg. Blood vessels in the eyes may burst or bleed, which can cause vision changes and can result in blindness.
High blood pressure is also often a result of high (LDL) bad cholesterol levels and/or low (HDL) good cholesterol levels. Steroids change the levels of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol in the blood. Steroids, particularly oral steroids, increase the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and decrease the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). This increases the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition in which fatty substances are deposited inside arteries and disrupt blood flow. If blood is prevented from reaching the heart, the result can be a heart attack. If blood is prevented from reaching the brain, the result can be a stroke.
Liver malfunctions are another side effectLIVER MALFUNCTION
Let’s move on to the liver, where just about everything you put in your body gets processed. In other words, just try to live without your liver. It won’t happen. Steroid abuse has been associated with liver tumors and a rare condition called peliosis hepatis, in which blood-filled cysts form in the liver. Both the tumors and the cysts can rupture, causing internal bleeding. Keep in mind, we’re talking short term effects. Long term liver effects, you don’t want to know, but we’ll get into that a little later.
Next, the issue of prostate enlargement, which is a problem seen with aging males. This is not something you typically see in younger men, unless they’re taking anabolic steroids. Over the course of an average life span, the male prostate gland naturally grows thirty times its original size. It doesn’t need the help of additional testosterone to grow to the size of a grapefruit. However, when large amounts of synthetic testosterone are involved, the prostate grows faster. The long term effect of that is prostate cancer. It is medically proven that the cancer loves the taste of testosterone, which feeds the growth of cancer cells.
Baldness in women steroid abusers is caused by the body’s confused over-production of DHT- a hair inhibitor enzyme, which generally affects both sexes similarly. Women see this change occurring first around the scalp line and can eventually cause balding that is irreversible.
MALE CHARACTERISTICS IN FEMALES
A deepening voice is another naturally male characteristic that can develop in women abusers simply because of the large amounts of testosterone sending male signals to the brain, the control room for hormone production, and the various glands that manage the hormone output. Steroids play havoc with the entire system.
Excess facial and body hair growth and coarse skin, both male characteristics, are unsavory by-products of steroid abuse by women caused by an overabundance of male hormones. While aggressiveness and heightened libido are side effects that can be experienced by both genders, some effects are uniquely female. For example, the enlarged or lengthened clitoris is inherently female as well as a confused and erratic menstrual cycle. Other traits may include shrinking breasts, anxiety, depression, and high levels of stress. All of these characteristics can be caused by introducing the amounts of synthetic steroids in the female body necessary to see a change in muscle development.
Many steroid abusers become aggressive. In both men and women, steroid abusers evidence of “roid rage” or increased aggression from too much testosterone is a hotly contested topic. However, in animal studies, the relationship between steroids and aggression has always been pretty clear.
In some studies, more than 80 percent of steroid-treated animals become extremely aggressive. In humans, the picture has been clouded by alternative explanations and a lack of hard evidence. Only in recent years have researchers been able to confirm that steroid-induced aggression is a real human phenomenon that can occur in individuals who take large doses of steroids for extended periods of time. This heightened aggression can lead to irritability, stress, and violence.
When the circuits in the brain that are responsible for impulse control are influenced by steroids, it affects this system that inhibits aggressive response, predisposing some abusers to violent outbursts. Researchers do not yet know the key as to why some abusers are more affected than others, but the correlation between steroids and aggressive behavior is a documented phenomenon.