A steroid is a fat soluble organic compound. They are of several types. Some Steroids are naturally present in our body such as testosterone, estrogen, cholesterol etc. and some are injected to correct a disorder or an inflammation. The adrenal gland secretes different kinds of steroid hormones to help maintain the blood pressure, salt, glucose level and other important body functions.
Anabolic steroids are the most common ones as they are consumed to build body, improve weight, enhance performance etc. Its frequent consumption causes many side effects and a number of related health hazards.
Before we look into the side effects caused by the steroids, we are well aware that the use of steroids is illegal, especially in sports. Some athletes have lost their career as steroids were found in their body in the dope test. In spite of these facts, people use steroids to enhance their performance or build their muscles ignoring its side effects.
Short Term Side Effects
Steroids are prescribed by the doctors to reduce inflammation in a patient and in such cases the patient may have some side effects and they are only temporary. Some side effects are nausea, difficulty in sleeping, increased appetite, weight gain (temporary) etc. The side effects disappear after the medication is stopped after the prescribed period.
Side Effects on Sexual Life
It is true that steroids are given to persons with impotency but under strict medical supervision or prescription from a registered medical practitioner. But there are people who consume steroids to enhance pleasure and performance. This excess consumption causes excess production of the sex hormones thus leading to following adverse effects:
- Conversion of male hormone (testosterone) to a female hormone (estrogen) and will lead to the development of feminine characteristics in men.
- In some cases it might also lead to reduction in the sperm count, shrinkage of testis or even impotency.
Reverse happen when women consume these steroids by producing more of testosterone hormone and leading to
- Abnormal growth of facial and body hair.
- The breast size gets reduced.
- Voice gets husky
- In addition to the above, their menstrual cycles gets disturbed or becomes irregular.
Side Effects when used by Teenagers
Excessive consumption of steroids might lead to lower growth in height as they stop bone growth. There is a risk of HIV being transmitted through unsterilized needles.
Side Effects on the Liver
The Liver synthesizes steroids too as any other chemicals in the body. So prolonged use of steroids can damage the liver and cause liver failure. They might cause jaundice too.
Side Effects on the General Body Condition
- Use of Steroids leads to retention of fluid in the body and this might increase the blood pressure.
- It can lead to abnormal weight gain in the body. It enhances the risk of heart attacks and stroke.
- It enhances the risk of heart attacks and stroke.
- Medical evidences have proved that the use of steroids can also cause kidney failure. Steroids can also alter the cholesterol levels by increasing the LDL (low density lipoprotein) which is considered as bad cholesterol and reduces the HDL (good cholesterol) and thus leading to various heart problems.
- Steroids can also alter the cholesterol levels by increasing the LDL (low density lipoprotein) which is considered as bad cholesterol and reduces the HDL (good cholesterol) thus leading to various heart problems.
- Steroids enlarge the sebaceous glands which produces excess oil in the skin leading to acne and pimples in teenagers.
- It also leads to excessive production of hormones which restricts hair growth in men and women and thus leading to baldness.
- They cause mood swings and other psychological disorders such as frequent outbursts.
As we can see, use of steroids suppresses the production of natural hormones in the body and leads to adverse effects. The side effects of steroids depend on the extent of usage. Hence, one should think twice before using a steroid as they might cause irreparable damage to our body.