Steroids or anabolic steroids are masculinizing hormones, which are frequently used by body builders and athletes to increase their muscle mass. Besides this, people also use them to improve their physical performance. However, with excess use, they have an extremely bad impact on the health, and that’s exactly what is termed as steroid abuse. It has been strongly associated with acne, breast growth in men, looking physically unattractive, and other life-threatening conditions that are beyond your imagination. Let us discuss ten such terrifying health consequences of using them.
As said above, steroid abuse is related to various adverse effects. Most side effects are reversible but only if an abuser stops using them. However, some are reported to be permanent. Say, for example, deepening of voice in females.
1. Puffy Cheeks And A Round Face
Excess use of steroids or steroid abuse often gives rise to elevated levels of oedema (water retention). This causes the abuser to have a “round face” with distended cheeks. Studies have demonstrated that women who take steroids tend to have facial hair growth, bad breath, and husky or deep voice. Steroids are commonly reported to affect the body & face skin by causing a huge number of acne.
2. Adverse Liver Infections
The liver is our body’s biggest organ, which helps in filtering harmful toxins and further, storing minerals as well as vitamins. Apart from these, it manages proteins, chemicals, sugar, and cholesterol levels.
It also assists in generating bile and food digestion. However, steroid use can cause permanent liver damage. Oral steroids become hard for the liver to metabolize. The way it functions decreases and then, fails to clear the waste properly. In fact, certain counterfeit steroids are also known to carry various virus and bacteria.
3. Breast Growth In Men
This is certainly one of the most disturbing effects of steroid abuse. Breast development (scientifically known as Gynecomastia) is one of the often seen side effects of high dosage of steroid use or prolonged steroid cycles. It all starts with visible lumps beneath the nipples, which usually needs surgical intervention in men. On the other hand, a female who is into steroids will have her breasts gradually shrinking in size.
4. Shrunken Testicles
Shrunken balls or scientifically known as testicular atrophy is not a cosmetic issue. This happens because synthetic testosterone stops the testes from generating their share. Also, the brain is given a signal to slow down in producing sperm, and that’s because the body is acquiring it from a hypodermic needle. This sudden function causes temporary sterility. So, do you still want to take a chance?
Using steroids causes decreased function in the testes. Even if you stop taking artificial testosterone, it takes some time for your pituitary gland to indicate the testes to begin manufacturing the testosterone once again. High or prolonged use of testosterone can essentially cease the way your testes works. So, the natural production is lost, and that’s exactly when “impotence” occurs. There will be fewer erections.
6. Cardiovascular Problems
This part is something that a steroid user has to be the most worried about; however, usually chooses to avoid unless something serious happens. Prolonged steroid use leads to heart diseases and becomes apparent due to elevated cholesterol levels. There is a thick cholesterol buildup at the blood vessels’ walls, which further causes strokes.
Moreover, it is proven to decrease the good cholesterol (or HDL) levels while increasing the bad (or LDL). At some point or the other, blood pressure increases and the blood clots disrupt the flow, causing severe damage to the heart muscles. Finally, boom – heart attack!
7. Females Get Male Characteristics
Steroids play chaos in the whole system. Women who use steroids experience deepness in their voice. This is one of the most common male characteristics that can come along in the process.
The huge quantities of testosterone that are being sent to the brain will interpret them as male signals and disrupt the hormone production. Besides this, other outcomes of steroid use in women include body hair growth, facial hair growth, coarse skin, etc.
While heightened libido and aggressiveness are common side effects experienced by both the genders, a few effects are distinctively female. Say, for instance, lengthened or enlarged clitoris and unpredictable menstrual cycle. A few other traits might include anxiety, shrinking breasts, elevated stress levels, and depression.
8. Coarse Skin
Steroid abuse has deadly effects on the skin too. It damages the pores and causes roughness in the texture. The common skin problems are red blotchy, acne at the back & face, and greasy skin. Stretch marks appear soon because of rapid muscle growth or sudden skin thinning.
9. Changes In The Behavior
Illegally or legitimately using steroids might cause different behavioral changes in certain users. An individual is prone to mood swings. This can include multiple episodes of irritability, aggression, hostility, or depression. It severely affects the work and social relationships.
Steroids, whether it is abuse or prescription, both are sure to give obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, steroids influence the salt levels in the body or the water it retains, causing elevated fat levels to build up surrounding the face, upper back, and stomach. Steroids also stimulate the appetite and make a person eat more than his or her body needs.