how steroids can cause digestive system issues

How Steroids Can Cause Digestive System Issues

We’ve all heard of the site effects of anabolic steroids upon the organs of the body. We all know it can lead to the dreaded gynecomastia or a receding hairline. But the effects of AAS upon the digestive system are something that isn’t widely talked about. Let’s learn more.

Medically speaking…

There aren’t a lot of case studies upon the effects of anabolic steroids on the digestive system. No major side effects are listed by the drug manufacturers. The primary concerns that exist revolve around the effects of AAS upon the liver, prostate, testes, skin, and scalp. Gastrointestinal discomfort isn’t very high on that list, nor are any long-term effects upon the stomach or intestines.

In the real world…

Compounds such as growth hormone, insulin, and IGF-1 are creating a new set of problems for bodybuilders. Growth hormone makes just about everything grow. Skulls, elbows, feet, hands, skin, muscle, fingernails, and yes, even organs. We’ve only seen about a decade’s worth of heavy growth hormone use in bodybuilding. While many of the retired bodybuilders from this era do carry the telltale signs of GH growth (large foreheads, hands, and elbows) even though they are no longer using steroids, we haven’t seen any medical studies which have been conducted upon them. It’s likely we’ll learn more in the coming decades as more and more of them face similar (and still unforeseen) medical issues. It seems unreasonable that the organs could be allowed to grow for a decade, and still function and interact with other organs as they always have.


When any regular user of any drug stops taking his/her drug of choice, there are withdrawal symptoms. The addictive nature of steroids is a topic which had been studied extensively, and it has been shown that steroid addiction is a very real thing. And, since stomach discomfort and nausea are common side effects of withdrawal of other drugs, it’s likely that steroid withdrawal can be a cause of intestinal discomfort.

Prescription Drugs

Many bodybuilders take Accutane or antibiotics for acne which can result from post-cycle therapy (PCT) medication. These drugs can have a disruptive effect upon the digestive track, killing bacteria and enzymes essential for digestion.

Non-Steroid effects of bodybuilding upon the digestive system

Large volumes of food can wreak havoc upon the digestive system. Remember the first time you loaded creatine powder (four teaspoons per day for four days)? Remember when you first started drinking whey protein shakes? There were probably not the best memories you could have of digestion. However, users of both steroid and OTC supplements should recognize the differences between the two.

In a few years, we’ll have a great deal more research available on the effects of steroids – particularly insulin, IGF-1, and growth hormone – upon the digestive system. For now, the best position is one of “We don’t know what the effects are, but we’re certainly not ruling them out”. As more users of these compounds pass into their 15th and 20th year of post-use growth, we’ll learn more and more!

A seasoned fitness enthusiast and advocate for informed choices, our blog author brings a wealth of knowledge about anabolic steroids. Committed to providing reliable and unbiased information, the author empowers readers to navigate the complexities of these substances for educational purposes, fostering a safer and more informed fitness community.
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