When someone mentions the word steroids, the tendency is to associate it with athletes and them using these drugs to enhance their performance. There are also a lot of stories of horror that are associated with them. Steroids are very dangerous if they are not used in the right way and research also shows that the use of steroids can lead to many side effects in the body. Listed below are some of these side effects.
Natural hormones are inhibited
This is probably one of the widest experienced side effects of steroid use. The body maintains an automatic balance of the hormone levels in it. If hormones enter the body through an external source the body stops producing that particular hormone. Most steroids inhibit the production of testosterone in the body. This effect wares off once the steroid use has stopped.
The effects of steroid intake if often associated with the damage of one’s liver. Research has proved that this is not really true. The liver is part of the filtration system of the body and hence when a steroid that has been ingested and it passes through the liver it gets broken down like all other food. This might cause a variation in the normal enzyme levels while the person is taking the drug. These levels return to normal once the intake is stopped.
Steroid ingestion and cholesterol
The intake of steroids can play havoc with the cholesterol levels in the body. It often reduces the levels of the good cholesterol (HDL) and increases the levels of LDL. Steroids therefore increase the cholesterol levels in the body. Depending on the kind of steroids that are taken the effects may vary from mild to harsh. The affected levels of cholesterol could also lead to various conditions of the heart like the enlargement of the ventricles.
Gynocomastia in males and Virilization in women
Gynocomastia is the syndrome of developing breast tissues in men. This happens because of the excess production of estrogens in the body which happens when steroids are taken. Virilization is when sexual characteristics of males develop in females, again due to a hormonal imbalance.
Increase in problems with acne
Acne is also one of the most common side effects of steroid intake. This occurs due to the over activity of the sebaceous glands of the skin which leads to the production of excess oil and therefore acne.
Baldness and road rage
If balding is part of your family history steroid intake can accelerate the process. Steroids are also known to make people more aggressive. This however is not a very common occurrence.
Other side commonly known side effects
The intake of steroids can also affect the height of a person that has not fully grown, i.e. a child, often leading to them being stunted. Apart from this, steroids can lead to the enlargement of the prostrate glands in males as well. Steroids can also cause changes in the immune system, problems with blood pressure often on the higher side and problems with the functioning of the kidneys. Sterility in both males and females is another very common side effect as well.