The use of anabolic steroids to enhance body performance and looks is one of the most criticized realities of the modern age. Extraordinarily and frequently exaggerated negative side effects that cause permanent health problems are mentioned in any discussion of steroids. With all this negative rhetoric, the abuse of steroids would be expected to go down. In contrast however, bodybuilders, athletes, and the general public continue undeterred in their abuse of anabolic steroids as they search for shortcuts to muscle building and superhuman performance.
Recent releases from Hollywood like The Program, or Spiderman have their main characters or villains succumbing to the negative consequences of performance enhancers. Contemporary medical research has clinically established with certainty that the following 7 side effects are the most common and serious among addicted or nearly addicted anabolic steroid users:
1. Interruption of Hormonal balance
In the highest percentage of steroid abuse cases, regular injection of steroid hormones realigns the natural endocrine system and instructs the system to stop producing the natural hormone now that a synthetic one is readily available. This is the only way in which the body can retain homeostasis – a balance. In maintaining homeostasis, the human body seeks to avoid accumulating too much of a particular hormone. Whether using testosterone or any other anabolic steroids, the body still sends a signal to the testicles to cease production 99% of the time. Different anabolic steroids cause ranging degrees of hormonal inhibition from total duct closure endogenous (natural) testosterone production, to mild hormonal inhibition, where a limited supply of natural hormones are produced and adequately circulating.
2. Liver Damage and Displacement of Organ Function
Most locally available steroids are ingested orally and eventually pass through the human liver, whose function is to filter bodily liquids and substances. The liver breaks these substances before passing them along into the bloodstream. A research study conducted by the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and published in 2003 established that steroids build up toxicity in the system that culminates in ill-health. According to steroid research specialists Hartgens, F. Kuipers and Keizer H.A., in most instances of liver damage, the results are an imbalance in bodily substance composition, high cardiovascular risk factors and liver function displacement.
3. Amplified development of breasts in males
Development of large breast tissue in male bodies is called gynecomastia or feminization. According to a research conducted by doctors Ronald S. Swerdloff, Jason N and Gladys E. Palomeno in March 2004, anabolic steroids deposit excess estrogen in the human body. The excess estrogen ultimately reaches the receptors in the breast tissue and attaches itself therein. The dramatic result is female-sized breast tissue which needs surgery to remove.
4. Acne Development
Regular use of anabolic steroids results in acne development especially with the use of some particular steroids and exact dosages levels used. The human skin’s sebaceous glands incorporate a high affinity to Dihydrotestosterone, a naturally produced testosterone androgen. The increased sebaceous gland activity in performance enhanced dosages combines the oily skin with bacteria and dead skin and eventually causes clogged pores on the skin.
5. Psychological Instability
Steroids users have increased aggressiveness. Other significant psychiatric symptoms found among users include increased violence, mania, and even psychosis.
6. Severe Baldness
Male users of steroids start balding quite early in their lives. Steroids cause premature balding due to the fact that the scalp reacts strongly with Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is a substance converted from or derived from steroids.