Steroid Side Effects
Rampant acne is one of the more obvious indicators of steroid use. When taking anabolic steroids, an adult will commonly be confronted with this same problem. This is because the sebaceous glands, which secrete oils in the skin, are stimulated by androgens. Increasing the level of such hormones in the skin may therefore enhance the output of oils, often causing acne to develop on the back, shoulders and face. The use of strongly androgenic steroids in particular can be very severe, in some instances causing blemishes on the skin or spots. By washing your face and always showering after exercises it will reduce this effect. If you have very severe acne see your dermatologist, but in most instances even a dermatologists can't do anything until your cycle is over.
Aggressive behavior can be one of the scarier sides of steroid use. Men are typically more aggressive than women because of the testosterone difference, and especially with the use of steroids (especially androgens) can increase a person’s aggressive tendencies. Yet some bodybuilders and power-lifters like this effect for the use of lifting heavier and more explosive. A steroid user who cannot manage to control themselves should seriously rethink there process of cycling, because thinking doing more is better might be right or wrong know your body first.
Anaphylactic shock is an allergic reaction to the presence of a foreign protein in the body. It most commonly occurs when an individual has an allergy to things like a specific medication (such as penicillin), insect bites, chemicals, foods, food additives/preservatives. With this sometimes-fatal disorder the smooth muscles are stimulated to contract, which may restrict a person’s breathing. This reaction is not really seen with hormonal products like anabolic steroids, but with counterfeits and low production values of these independent underground labs it may.
Anabolic steroids can have a profoundly impact on the development of a fetus. Adrenal Genital Syndrome in particular is a very disturbing occurrence, in which a female fetus can develop male reproductive organs. Woman should not use anabolic steroids or other medications that may be harmful to the fetus, and always check with your doctor first.
The use of anabolic steroids is shown to increase prothrombin time, or the duration it will take for a blood clot to form. This basically means that while an individual is taking steroids, he/she may notice that it takes slightly longer than usual for a small cut or nosebleed to stop seeping blood. Realistically the changes in clotting time are not extremely dramatic, so athletes are usually only concerned with this side effect if planning for a surgery.
Although it is a popular belief that steroids can give you cancer, this is actually a very rare phenomenon. Since anabolic steroids are synthetic version of a natural hormone that your body can metabolize quite easily, they usually place a very low level of stress on the organs. In fact, many steroidal compounds are safe to administer to individuals with a diagnosed liver condition, with little adverse effect. The only real exception is C17 alpha alkylated compounds, like Anadrol 50 can lead to stressed liver, even liver damage and very rare cases lead to liver cancer.
As mentioned earlier, the use of anabolic steroids may have an impact on the level of LDL (low density lipoprotein), HDL (high density lipoprotein) and total cholesterol values. As you probably know, HDL is considered the “good” cholesterol, because it can act to remove the cholesterol deposits from the arteries. LDL has the opposite effect, aiding in the buildup of cholesterol on the artery walls. The general pattern seen with steroid use is a lowering of HDL concentrations, while total and number of LDL increases.
Steroid use will obviously have an impact on hormone levels in the body, which in turn may result in a change in one’s general disposition or mood. Depression usually occurs at times when an individual’s androgen/estrogen levels are significantly off balance. This is most common with male bodybuilders, at times when anabolic steroids are discontinued. During this period estrogen levels may be markedly elevated, which is often coupled with a deeply suppressed endogenous testosterone level.
Gynecomastia is medical term for the development of female breast tissue in the male body. This occurs when the male is presented with unusually high level of estrogen, particularly with the use of strong aromatizing androgens such as testosterone and Dianabol. The excess estrogen can act upon receptors in the breast and stimulate the growth of mammary tissues. If left unchecked this can lead to an actual obvious and unsightly tissue growth under the nipple area. In many cases taking on a very feminine appearance.
The use of highly androgenic steroids can negatively impact the growth of scalp hair. In fact the most common form of male pattern hair loss is directly linked to the level of androgens in such tissues, most specifically the stronger DHT metabolite of testosterone. The technical term for this type of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, which refers to the interplay of both the male androgenic hormones and a genetic predisposition in bringing about this condition. Those who suffer from this disorder are shown to posses finer hair follicles and higher levels of DHT in comparison to a normal, hairy scalp.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE/ HYPERTENSION:
Athletes using anabolic steroids will commonly notice a rise in blood pressure during treatment. High blood pressure is most often associated with the use of steroids that have a high tendency for estrogen conversion, such as testosterone and Dianabol. As estrogen builds in the body, the level of water and salt retention will typically elevate (which will increase blood pressure). This may be further amplified by the added stress of intense weight training and rapid weight gain.
The use of anabolic/androgenic steroids has been shown to produce changes in the body that may impact an individual’s immune system. These changes however can be both good and bad for the user. During steroid treatment for instance, many athletes find they are less susceptible to viral illnesses.
Since your kidneys are involved in the filtration and removal of byproducts from the body, the administration of steroidal compounds (which are largely excreted in the urine) may cause them some level of strain. Actual kidney damage is most likely to occur when the steroid user is suffering from severe high blood pressure, as this state can place an undue amount of stress on these organs. There is actually some evidence to suggest that steroid use can be linked to the onset of Wilm’s Tumor in adults, which is a rapidly growing kidney tumor normally seen in children and infants. Such cases are so rare however, that no conclusive link has been established.
Liver stress/damage is not a side effect of steroid use in general, but is specifically associated with the use of C17 alpha alkylated compounds. In surviving a first pass by the liver, these compounds place some level of stress on the organ. In some instances this has led to severe damage, even fatal liver cancer. The disease peliosis hepatitis is one worry, which is an often life threatening condition where the liver develops blood filled cysts. Liver cancer has also been noted in certain cases. While these very serious complications have occurred on certain occasions where liver-toxic compounds were prescribed for extended periods, it is important to stress however that this is not very common with steroid using athletes.
Prostate cancer is currently one of the most common forms of cancer in males. Benign prostate enlargement can precede this cancer, and is clearly an important medical concern for men who are aging. Prostate complications are believed to be primarily dependent on androgenic hormones, particularly the strong testosterone metabolite DHT in normal situations, much in the same way estrogen is linked to breast cancer in woman.
The human body always prefers to remain in a very balanced hormonal state, a tendency, a tendency known as homeostasis. When the administration of androgens from an outside source causes a surplus of hormone, it will cause the body to stop manufacturing its own testosterone. Specifically this happens via a feedback mechanism, where the hypothalamus detects a high level of sex steroids and shuts off the release of GnRH (Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone, formerly referred to as luteinizing hormone releasing hormone).
WATER and SALT RETENTION:
Many anabolic steroids can increase the amount of water and sodium stored in body tissues. In some instances steroid induced water retention can bring about a very bloated appearance to the body in which will also reduce the visibility of muscle features. Although water retention may not be the most unwelcome side effect during a bulking cycle, it can lead to dangerous problems such as high blood pressure and kidney damage. The body is clearly under more strain when dealing with unusually high level of water, so athletes should not simply ignore this.