Athletes are banned from using performance-enhancing drugs because it unrealistically boosts their performance. In 2007, the Olympic runner Marion Jones was stripped of her medals after admitting to using anabolic steroids.
However, social media users are boasting about the gains of taking the same illegal drugs. As a cautionary note, this article discusses 6 dangers of steroid usage.
What Are Anabolic Steroids?
Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are man-made versions of testosterone. This is the primary sex hormone in men associated with masculinity. According to a 2022 review published in Frontiers in Endocrinology, these hormones are widely misused in high doses as many want large muscles and improved athletic performance.
6 Risks of Anabolic Steroids When Used for the Wrong Reasons
The potential side effects of anabolic steroids when they are taken in high doses and without clear medical directives include the following:
Heart and Liver Trouble
According to the DEA, steroids could increase cholesterol levels and result in stroke or coronary artery disease. Furthermore, a 2018 study published in the International Journal of Sports and Exercise Medicine discovered that anabolic steroids decrease HDL cholesterol and increase LDL cholesterol.
If you consistently take steroids, it can lead to major mood swings and aggressive behavior. It could also lead to depression and suicide once you stop taking the steroids.
Stunted Growth in Young People
Steroids can also affect adult height if adolescents take them. According to Nemours KidsHealth, the bones mature too quickly and then stop growing.
Anabolic steroids can come with multiple side effects. For men, it can lead to breast growth and shrinking testicles. On the other hand, women can experience changes in their menstrual cycle and a lengthening of the clitoris.
Steroids can negatively impact male fertility. This is because testosterone through steroids can inhibit two other reproductive hormones, LH and FSH. Additionally, steroids can also lead to abnormalities in morphology and sperm motility.
According to DermNet, acne appears along the chest, neck, face, and arms in response to high steroid doses. The chest is the most commonly affected area, and steroid acne is more uniform than regular acne.
While acne isn’t considered the most serious side effect, it is still worth noting, as it can affect nearly half of the steroid abusers.
Anabolic steroids can lead to multiple health complications in your youth and elderly. If you want to boost your physical fitness, it is best to stick with regular exercise and recommended supplements from your doctor.