Anabolic Steroid Side Effects: How to Avoid Them?

Managing Side Effects of Anabolic Steroids

Getting Rid of the Negative Consequences of Anabolic Steroid Use

Understanding Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular Dysfunction (HPTD)

Anabolic Steroids and Cervical Cancer

Iatrogenic Cushing’s Syndrome and Anabolic Steroid Use

Anabolic Steroid Abuse Causes and Symptoms

Anabolic Steroids, Injuries and Surgery

Anabolic Steroids Side Effects Summary

 

The majority of athletes who use anabolic steroids report only minor side effects. Even in those using huge dosages for lengthy periods of time, there is evidence that any short-term negative effects are readily reversible. Some of the more serious adverse effects, such as liver damage and elevated cholesterol levels, can also be reduced by appropriate monitoring, modification in lifestyle, and if necessary, therapy.

The long-term administration of low to moderate testosterone and certain anabolic steroids has been found to have no negative side effects in a number of clinical trials looking at the use of anabolic steroids and testosterone as male contraceptive agents. The World Health Organization and independent researchers are conducting studies utilizing testosterone, anabolic steroids (particularly 19-nortestosterone), medroxyprogesterone acetate and methyltestosterone, Gonadotropin Hormone-Releasing Hormone agonists and antagonists. A few of these combinations, on the other hand, have been discovered to significantly reduce sperm count while having no apparent long-term harmful consequences (at least based on the current research). After the participants were taken off of the various chemicals, sperm production was restored.

Anabolic steroid side effects can be classified into two categories. The first group consists of those that occur when testosterone levels in the body reach abnormally high levels. Some of these side effects, such as increased masculinization and baldness in women, are actually welcome to some athletes. Other toxic reactions only occur when testosterone or anabolic steroids are used at very high dosages or for prolonged periods of time. Such effects may include severe acne, liver damage, and breast development in males.

The second group of side effects consists of those that occur when testosterone levels are brought back to normal after the use of anabolic steroids has been discontinued. For this reason, it is not necessary to try to prevent these reactions by stopping steroid intake immediately after competition or drug clearance.

In women, virilization can occur which includes body hair growth, scalp hair loss, deepening of the voice, enlarged clitoris and possibly endometrial hyperplasia. Ovarian cysts may also occur. Masculine effects are similar but less pronounced.

In most men, high doses of anabolic steroids can stimulate the endocrine glands to increase testosterone production, but most of these side effects can be reduced if the dosage is kept within reasonable limits. Regular use of testosterone or synthetic preparations containing it is unlikely to have adverse effects on the prostate gland, liver or heart. They do not cause acne and hair loss is rare with medium dosages. In women, virilizing effects might occur with prolonged use of very large doses of anabolic steroids.

In male university students taking high doses for a long time, most side effects are reversible with a little persistence, but this is often not the case in middle-aged men who use low doses over a period of many years.

While many of the side effects of anabolic steroids are reversible, others may not be. The bad news is that some irreversible changes have been reported. This does not mean that you should avoid anabolic steroid use because these drugs can provide benefits that are otherwise unattainable. It only means that you should follow certain guidelines to minimize the risk of irreversible side effects.

One such guideline is to gradually taper off anabolic steroids instead of stopping use abruptly. If you think that tapering down the dosage for a prolonged period is not practical or possible, or if you feel that your health and well-being are in jeopardy without the drugs, then it may be prudent to stop taking them as soon as possible.

In any case, you should not exceed a reasonable dosage and always follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully. This is particularly true with low doses which are often prescribed for legitimate medical reasons rather than athletic enhancement. If you have been using steroids or testosterone with no ill effects, then it may be unnecessary to quit even if it is advised. In the vast majority of cases, all that you need to do is adjust your dose and/or cycle length to prevent side effects from occurring.

To put these potentially harmful effects in perspective, I’ve found it useful to compare them to the side effects of birth control pills, particularly prior to the 1980s, when higher dosages of hormones were administered. The same types of side effects were seen, but it must be remembered that anabolic steroids are much more powerful than the estrogen plus progestin combination found in many birth control pills.

Consequently, when steroid doses are low, these negative changes are minimal. When higher dosages are used for longer periods of time or when they are stacked (i.e., used in conjunction with one another), these negative changes increase in both their likelihood and severity. The point I’m trying to make is that anabolic steroids can produce harmful side effects if the dosages are high or when they are stacked, but low doses for short periods of time don’t seem to cause problems in either gender.

We may also categorize side effects into the short- and long-term consequences of anabolic steroid usage. While several of the short-term consequences are readily apparent, the long-term consequences are more difficult to assess. It’s possible that chronic use of anabolic steroids might induce hepatic cirrhosis, peliosis hepatitis, primary hepatoma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, prostatic cancer, and cerebral vascular accidents in those who are genetically predisposed.

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However, there is no scientific or experimental evidence to suggest that athletes who take anabolic steroids live any shorter than those who do not. I’m surprised that while professional athletes have doped with significant amounts of anabolic steroids for over three decades, we haven’t seen any major long-term consequences on those who used them in the fifties, sixties, and seventies.

The growing use of anabolic steroids over the last decade, particularly at greater dosages and for longer periods of time, may yet expose more serious issues in the long run. There are a few studies going on right now that may provide some insight into the long-term effects of anabolic steroid usage. In 1987, one research intended to look at football players and powerlifters for possible long-term consequences of 1970s competitive anabolic steroid usage.

Managing Side Effects of Anabolic Steroids

Minimizing side effects can be done with a two-fold process. In the short term, you must be aware of the symptoms and signs that they may arise. If you experience any of these side effects or if their onset is so severe that it interferes with your work/social life, then you require medical supervision to resolve them. This is especially true if their onset coincides with other physical changes such as increased acne, increased body hair growth, loss of scalp hair or excessive facial oil production.

Long-term side effects are more difficult to manage because little scientific data exists on how to prevent or reduce them once they develop. We can’t say for sure how much steroids contribute to the development of long-term consequences versus natural aging processes over time. It may simply be that some people are more susceptible than others to developing them, which would imply that steroids only play a partial role.

That brings us back to the testosterone issue I mentioned at the beginning of this article. It is not clear whether exogenous testosterone will prevent long-term consequences or increase it. We don’t know if shutting down natural testosterone production via the hypothalamus/pituitary gland will allow their development since anabolic steroids remain in your body at high enough levels for longer periods of time.

If you do experience any long-term side effects from steroid usage, you must keep several factors in mind when deciding what course of action to follow:

  • Anabolic steroids can lead to atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular problems because they increase LDL cholesterol, triglyceride production and reduce HDL cholesterol values.
  • Anabolic steroids can cause cancer because they increase the amount of estradiol in men which may stimulate prostate cancer cells to grow quickly. Symptoms of breast enlargement or tenderness are possible signs that you are suffering from gynecomastia.
  • Anabolic steroids promote water retention and high blood pressure because they block the action of the enzyme 11ßHSD-1 in skeletal muscle tissue, which regulates hydrocortisone levels in your system. They also send signals to the brain that reduces fluid excretion by interfering with sodium transport at nephrons located inside your kidneys.

I’ve seen some bodybuilders refer to this as an “unintentional weight cut,” because their body holds a lot of water in the weeks leading up to a contest. In my opinion, this is from taking too much testosterone and Deca Durabolin in the off-season when trying to add mass. Using these drugs in small quantities can give you great gains without much discomfort but if you cross the line by using steroids in quantities that exceed your natural ability to produce testosterone, this is where trouble begins.

Getting Rid of the Negative Consequences of Anabolic Steroid Use

Athletes are well aware of the negative effects of anabolic steroids, and they frequently take other medicines or supplements to counteract or reduce their impact. For example, you may have heard of clenbuterol that bodybuilders use to reduce fat storage in the muscles. It is also used by asthma sufferers because it opens up respiratory pathways and allows more oxygen to enter your lungs by relaxing your chest muscles. Another supplement called Cytomel (Liothyronine sodium) can help bring T3 hormone levels back into normal ranges if they have dropped too low. Nutritional supplements like saw palmetto extract, pygeum africanum extract or beta-sitosterol combined with flaxseed oil are helpful against prostate problems while garlic extract can reduce high blood pressure.

No one wants to suffer the long-term consequences of anabolic steroid usage but unfortunately, some athletes don’t know how to correctly use them, even though they know the negative effects. They continue to use them not only because they are effective but also out of fear that their competitors are using them as well. The solution is simple: become educated on how to use anabolic steroids properly under a doctor’s supervision. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of these drugs without suffering any dangerous side effects.

The “perfect stack” for building muscle mass would include methandrostenolone (Dianabol), testosterone propionate and nandrolone decanoate (Deca durabolin) and T3 hormone (Cytomel). Other supplements like clenbuterol may be added depending on your goals and needs or should problems arise with any of the other drugs you are taking. Of course, a healthy diet and regular training should be a part of your regimen as well, but supplements can take you to the next level in your quest for optimum health and physical fitness.

Understanding Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular Dysfunction (HPTD)

So we’ve already discussed the fact that anabolic steroid drugs increase the amount of androgen receptors inside muscle cells. This is what triggers the increased protein synthesis and greater muscle development experienced by athletes taking these medications to enhance their performances. Another serious problem occurring in some athletes who take excessive doses of anabolic steroids is that they reduce the production of endogenous testosterone which can lead to hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular dysfunction (HPTD).

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There are many negative effects linked to this condition, including reduced libido, decreased sexual activity and erectile failure because androgens play a key role in maintaining sexual function in men. By suppressing LH levels, you also suppress spermatogenesis, so it becomes impossible for patients to produce sperm or father children. High LH levels or prolonged treatment with high doses of anabolic steroids may also cause shrunken testicles and sterility as well as a reduction in the size of the prostate gland – all serious health problems that could require medical attention.

The symptoms of HPTD resulting from anabolic steroid treatments include decreased plasma levels of LH, FSH and testosterone. In some cases, this may lead to a complete lack of sexual desire, erectile dysfunction or loss of libido while in other men the occurrence is almost unnoticeable because their natural testosterone production was already low.

Many athletes don’t suffer any negative consequences when using steroids if they do it responsibly and follow all the right safety guidelines including using the lowest possible doses needed to achieve positive results. This also helps ensure that you avoid any HPTD symptoms by suppressing your endogenous testosterone production without going overboard with dosages that put you into the risk zone for serious health problems.

There are several ways to prevent HPTD, including:

  • Using anabolic steroids in the recommended doses.
  • Avoiding overtraining because it also suppresses LH production.
  • Getting plenty of exercises and staying fit.
  • Taking supplements like saw palmetto extract, pygeum africanum extract or beta-sitosterol combined with flaxseed oil to combat prostate enlargement and other side effects caused by a high level of estrogen.
  • Taking supplements like zinc and selenium which helps maintain sperm production.
  • Using drugs like clomiphene citrate (Clomid) to stimulate the production of LH and FSH by the pituitary gland. You could also use gonadotropin or human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) for the same purpose. This would prove beneficial to bodybuilders who overtrain a lot because it has been shown that intense physical effort tends to suppress testosterone levels as well, leading to a hormonal imbalance that would require medical attention if you wanted to avoid negative consequences on your physical development.

Of course, the best solution is to avoid anabolic steroid abuse in the first place or at least use them under close supervision of a physician to minimize the risks involved. This will not only ensure that your body gets all the benefits from these drugs without any dangerous side effects, but it will also make you less likely to get scammed by black market dealers selling fake steroids and other illegal substances as well as on some websites which ask for high prices and then send you nothing. If there’s one thing we’ve learned about steroids, it’s that they can be harmful when used improperly – so educate yourself on how to take these medications properly and learn more online about supplements and other safe alternatives for natural muscle growth.

Anabolic Steroids and Cervical Cancer

Another risk associated with injecting anabolic steroids directly into muscle tissue is that users may suffer from metastatic prostate cancer which means the cells have spread beyond the original tumor site in the body causing also bladder inflammation, swelling or pain. The condition can be especially serious if it’s not treated immediately by a qualified doctor who knows how to deal with these cases because it can cause major injuries, infections and lead to other illnesses which could eventually result in death if not diagnosed early enough.

It’s also believed that steroid use can increase the risk of developing estrogen-related cancers like cervical cancer in women, but there’s no scientific proof to back up this claim so it’s difficult to determine whether anabolic steroid use is directly responsible for causing tumors or other problems later on.

Iatrogenic Cushing’s Syndrome and Anabolic Steroid Use

Another serious condition that can arise from taking anabolic steroids is iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome, also known as steroid psychosis. This happens when athletes take such drugs for a prolonged period of time and the stress hormone cortisol increases to dangerous levels in their bodies. The side effects may be mild or severe depending on many factors including dosage, the health status of the user and how long they have been using these medications.

Symptoms include skin changes (in some cases acne-like symptoms appear), accelerated hair loss, anxiety, nervousness or irritability, difficulty sleeping through the night (some individuals never seem to sleep at all), hyperactivity and depression because of the hormone imbalance in the body. Some of these symptoms can be eliminated by taking anti-inflammatory drugs or benzodiazepines but only a doctor can determine which medication is best for each patient.

When HPTA function has been suppressed, some men may experience impotence while others may also suffer from testicular atrophy and lactation. Prolonged periods of use may also cause users to lose their hair, suffer weight gain because they retain fluids in their bodies due to high cortisol levels, become more susceptible to infections and feel fatigued all the time.

Those who are suffering from iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome will often try to alleviate their discomfort by drinking alcohol excessively before going to bed because it acts as a sedative on the nervous system. This can lead to other serious health problems in the future, including alcoholism which is one of the leading causes of death among middle-aged men in some countries.

Anabolic Steroid Abuse Causes and Symptoms

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about steroids, it’s that they can be harmful when used improperly.

By taking such medications for a prolonged period of time and the stress hormone cortisol increases to dangerous levels in their bodies. The side effects may be mild or severe depending on many factors including dosage, the health status of the user and how long they have been using these medications.

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Symptoms include skin changes (in some cases acne-like symptoms appear), accelerated hair loss, anxiety, nervousness or irritability, difficulty sleeping through the night (some individuals never seem to sleep at all), hyperactivity and depression because of the hormone imbalance in the body. Some of these symptoms can be eliminated by taking anti-inflammatory drugs or benzodiazepines but only a doctor can determine which medication is best for each patient.

When HPTA function has been suppressed, some men may experience impotence while others may also suffer from testicular atrophy and lactation. Prolonged periods of use may also cause users to lose their hair, suffer weight gain because they retain fluids in their bodies due to high cortisol levels, become more susceptible to infections and feel fatigued all the time.

Those who are suffering from iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome will often try to alleviate their discomfort by drinking alcohol excessively before going to bed because it acts as a sedative on the nervous system. This can lead to other serious health problems later including alcoholism which is one of the leading causes of death among middle-aged men in some countries.

Anabolic Steroids, Injuries and Surgery

Besides the more serious problems associated with anabolic steroid use mentioned above, athletes who take these medications regularly may also have to deal with more minor complications such as increased irritability, sleep disruptions and emotional outbursts. Other effects of using the drugs include acne vulgaris (acne on the face, back or other parts of the body), oily hair and skin in some individuals (which can be controlled by applying medicated creams), muscle cramps in their forearms or thighs after working out intensely or even broken blood vessels which could lead to bleeding under the skin if not treated in time.

While many people believe that injuries are caused by training practices they’re actually rooted in genetics, which is why anabolic steroids don’t seem to increase the risks of getting hurt. However, steroid users are at risk of suffering from tendon ruptures because these drugs reduce collagen synthesis in their tendons which makes them more susceptible to injury than athletes who take other performance-enhancing drugs or even healthy individuals who don’t use any medications at all.

Another concern for athletes who use anabolic steroids is that they can easily become addicted to them so it’s important for them to follow strict schedules regarding injection times and dosage amounts in order to prevent withdrawal symptoms such as loss of appetite, insomnia, depression and mood swings if they try going back to a “drug-free” lifestyle after a while. Steroid use can be incredibly difficult to quit because the effects are felt for a long time even after the medication is discontinued so many people seek professional help to cope with their addiction.

Anabolic Steroids Side Effects Summary

If you’re thinking about using anabolic steroids do bear in mind that they can be addictive and cause serious health problems if not used properly under medical supervision. Some of the more common side effects associated with their long-term use include impotence, testicular atrophy, loss of hair, poor coordination and increased irritability which means users may also experience an increase in accidents while driving their cars or even just walking down the street after taking these drugs.

There are other health problems that are associated with anabolic steroid use which can be potentially fatal if they’re not addressed by a professional. These include cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol levels which can lead to heart attacks or strokes, liver damage or cancer, kidney failure and severe acne vulgaris whose effects persist long after the drugs have been discontinued.

People who want to improve their athletic performance should consider training harder instead of using medications unless they suffer from one of the rare diseases mentioned above which make it impossible for them to stay healthy without help. Many people argue that steroids don’t give athletes an unfair advantage over those who only rely on training regimens but this isn’t true because many sports organizations around the world ban their use among competitors because they can affect user’s health in a negative way.

If athletes do use steroids to improve their performance, they have to be careful not to get caught by doping control officials because if this happens they can lose awards and even be expelled from the sport for several years. In order to avoid any potential health problems associated with anabolic steroid use, people should always talk to their doctors before taking them so they’ll know what side effects may occur and how long it takes until these go away after medications are discontinued.

Anabolic steroid abuse can cause many negative consequences in people who don’t know how to use them properly, but athletes who take these medications while following a healthy lifestyle can avoid most of the problems mentioned above. However, steroid users should always remember that it takes time for their bodies to adjust to these drugs so they should never increase dosages or frequency of injections too much because that could lead to serious health problems in the future.

People who already suffer from problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease and liver damage should avoid taking anabolic steroids because these drugs can make their illnesses even worse. For that reason, it’s always best to consult with a doctor before taking medications that haven’t been prescribed by medical professionals just like you would do anything else in life that could be harmful to your health.

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