Anabolic steroids are taken by many strength athletes, but few are fully aware of their side effects. Taking this drug is by no means without danger, but potentially life-threatening. The side effects are divided into different groups.
A distinction is made between hormonal side effects, metabolic changes, skin side effects, cardiovascular diseases, neuropsychiatric disorders and other side effects. Hormonal side effects in men can be: a reduction in the size of the testicles, the onset of inability to conceive, a painful enlargement of the mammary glands and a possible enlargement of the prostate. In women, masculinization can occur, which is shown by a deeper voice and beard growth.
Metabolic changes may lead to a deterioration of the fat profile. This means that the concentration of HDL and LDL in the body changes. LDL transports cholesterol into the body and deposits it on the walls of the blood vessels, HDL transports cholesterol out of the body and releases it from the walls of the blood vessels.
The HDL concentration drops and the body absorbs more cholesterol than it releases. Furthermore, the glucose metabolism in the body is disturbed and problems can arise. Side effects on the skin can also occur, which can manifest themselves in rashes, acne, hair loss, greasy hair, jaundice or local reactions at the injection site.
In addition to the physical complaints, psychological disorders can also occur. The aggressiveness increases, one is more irritable, gets paranoia, depression or anxiety. Especially the change between fear and euphoria is a well-known phenomenon.
Other side effects can be water retention, liver diseases or cancer. According to a study on the effect of steroid abuse on the next generation, perinatal infant death as well as mental and physical handicaps occur disproportionately often among children compared to the German average. The quality of this study must, however, be critically questioned, since it involved a rather small group of test persons.
However, an increased risk for the children’s disease can by no means be excluded. – Liver: The intake of anabolic steroids, in particular alkylating steroids, causes long-term damage to the liver. This has been proven by twin studies.
Furthermore, numerous cases of anabolic liver cancer are known. – Blood lipid values: The blood lipid values show an increased risk of arteriosclerosis. – The body’s own control hormone testosterone is lowered.
This leads to the regression of the testicles and deterioration of semen quality. – In men, the concentration of the female sexual organ estrogen increases. The growth of a female breast is the result. – In immature athletes, the epiphyseal fissure closes up due to the intake of anabolic steroids. – In women, masculinisation (androgenisation) is observed
- Anabolic steroids are also associated with negative genetic effects.