Anabolic Steroids, commonly used for enhancing sporting performance and building muscles, are listed as a substance of abuse. Whether administered orally, through injections,creams or gels, those who abuse them use way higher doses above the recommended. Known by the street names gear, roids, and stackers, steroids have negative health consequences when taken in high doses or for extended periods of time without proper medical supervision.
The following are some of the physical side effects of steroids that have been documented , affecting not only men and women, but also teens who abuse steroids.
Men are the common users of anabolic steroids, as they are believed to enhance male characteristics such as stronger bodies, bigger muscles, and better performance, especially in sports. However, steroids have several unwanted consequences. First, they have been documented to cause male infertility. Steroids cause the testicles of users to shrink as the synthetic testosterone in steroids takes over their function in the body. This has been attributed to low sperm count and consequently secondary infertility. Secondly, there has been reports of an increased risk of prostate cancer occurrence in men with a history of using steroids. Thirdly, steroid use in men result in the development of breasts that are larger than normal. They also cause early onset male baldness.
The habit of using steroids has been picked up by women, especially those in body building, boxing, and other demanding career paths. Side effects experienced by these women include: increased hair growth in areas of the body such as the face and trunk, male-like baldness, interference with the regular menstrual cycles, enlarged female genitalia especially the clitoris, and deepening of the female voice.
Stunted growth and short statures are common problems experienced by teenagers who start using anabolic steroids before their growth spurts and the bones mature early.
Psychological Effects of Steroids
The short term mental issues associated with steroid use include impaired judgment, aggressive behaviors, unreasonable conduct, and extreme irritability.
Medical Conditions Associated with Steroid Use
Scientific research has linked several diseases with uncontrolled and prolonged use of anabolic steroids. Steroids have been documented to cause heart muscle enlargement, increase in bad cholesterol, and a rise in blood pressure in steroid users, all which increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes even in the young. Other organs adversely affected by steroid use include the kidney and the liver, where steroids cause failure or permanent damage.