The potential side effects of anabolic steroids that may occur with their use are constantly presented to the public.
They are enough to scare the average person who is not familiar with the side effects of taking anabolics and their proper use. The media make every effort to highlight the disadvantages of these drugs. As a result, there has been speculation about the use of anabolic steroids by athletes. Against the background of all this hypocrisy, governments are commissioning various laboratories to develop ever newer and modified anabolic steroids. For what purpose? It is important to note that most of these side effects are due to the abuse of anabolic steroids and often occur in uneducated users (uninterested in the dangers of hormonal preparations). Ultimately, the appearance of anabolics is for treatment purposes. And it should be known that in certain doses a drug can be very effective, but in higher doses, it is detrimental. For example, no one says that a high dose of Paracetamol can have serious skin and liver problems, even fatal. The situation is the same with Ibuprofen, but such drugs are widely advertised, sold and taken without a prescription, even by young children. Let it be clear that what is written is not intended to promote the use of anabolic steroids. Everyone who has made their own decision to take anabolic steroids should know what they are facing and what side effects they can expect, as well as how they can avoid them.
Side effects that may occur with the use / abuse of anabolic steroids are listed. This does not mean that you will get all of the above, the most common are: acne and oily skin. But as the dose increases, in addition to the results, the side effects also increase, be prepared for everything.
Side effects in both sexes:
Aggression – increased aggressive behavior.
Acne – skin rashes and pimples.
High blood pressure – elevated.
Blood clotting time – increased.
Inflammation – tendon injury.
Depression – occurs after stopping anabolics.
Closing the pineal gland – premature calcification of the bones.
Hair loss – possible baldness.
Oily skin – oily skin.
Skin discoloration – jaundice.
Cardiovascular – serum cholesterol.
Liver – elevated liver indicators.
Side effects affecting only men:
Libido – reduced.
Gynecomastia – the formation of mammary glands in men.
Erections – increased frequency.
Prostate – enlargement.
Testicular shrinkage – contraction and reduced volume.
Side effects affecting only women:
Voice coarsening – Dysphonia.
Menstrual disorders – the cycle stops.
Breast reduction – reduces the size of the breasts.
Increased hair – hirsutism.
Enlargement of the clitoris – hypertrophies.
Damage to the fetus.
Side effects of anabolics affecting both sexes
The following are the side effects of anabolic steroids, which are common to both sexes and affect both men and women. These are side effects that may occur as a result of changes in hormone levels in people taking anabolics.
The use of anabolic steroids can affect behavior. Men are usually more aggressive than women because they have higher testosterone. And with the use of steroids (especially androgens), testosterone increases even more, which can increase a person’s aggressive tendencies. Increased aggression can be helpful in the gym during a workout, but it can also lead to overt violence outside the gym. Those who cannot control themselves should seriously reconsider the use of anabolic steroids or stop taking them.
One common and very unpleasant side effect of taking some anabolic steroids is the appearance of Acne. If you have acne in adults, this is a sure sign that you have increased testosterone production or are most likely taking anabolic steroids. This is because the sebaceous glands that secrete oils into the skin are stimulated by androgens. As the levels of these hormones increase, the skin can increase the production of oils, which often causes acne on the back, shoulders and face. The use of highly androgenic steroids, such as Anadrol (Anadrol) and Testosterone, can be very severe, they are enemies of healthy skin. While drugs such as Winstrol, Anavar and Primobolan rarely cause skin problems.
By washing your face regularly and bathing more often, this effect can be reduced. Visits to the solarium and sun exposure can also help and be helpful in this case. Ultraviolet rays dry out the skin and reduce the secretion of sebaceous glands. Mild acne can be treated with Retinn-A cream 0.1% for the body and 0.05% for the face, which is applied topically to the inflamed skin. In more severe cases, it is recommended to take 20 mg of Accutane / Roaccutan daily. It is a powerful acne treatment and should not be overdone. Pregnant women or those wishing to become pregnant should not use this product. A mild antibiotic is recommended to fight the bacteria that have penetrated the skin. If you have very severe acne, visit your dermatologist, but in most cases, even dermatologists cannot do anything until your cycle is over.
Fitness and bodybuilders often lose their hair, but in the presence of acne and inflamed skin, avoid epilation, because you will end up in the emergency room of a nearby hospital.
High blood pressure
Athletes using anabolic steroids often notice an increase in blood pressure during intake. First and foremost, blood pressure usually increases as a result of increased water retention caused by elevated estrogen levels. This is most often associated with the use of steroids that have a high tendency to convert to estrogen (to flavor), such as Testosterone and Methandienone (Dianabol). When the level of estrogen in the body rises, the level of water and salt retention, both extracellular and intracellular, usually increases. As a result, the pressure on the arterial walls increases and high blood pressure occurs. It can be further enhanced by the added stress of more intense workouts and rapid weight gain.
This side effect can be effectively eliminated with the use of anabolic steroids that do not convert to estrogen and that do not retain water in the tissues. Another alternative is to use an aromatase inhibitor (such as Arimidex), which will inactivate the enzyme aromatase, which is responsible for converting androgens to estrogen. When estrogen is suppressed, its levels in the blood plasma will decrease, the water retained in the body will decrease and subsequently increased blood pressure will fall to normal values.
High blood pressure may be accompanied by shortness of breath, headache and pulmonary edema. It can be treated with appropriate medications. Blood pressure should be measured regularly and if it rises above 140/95 it is good to see a doctor.
Time for blood clotting
Anabolic steroids significantly increase blood clotting time. This generally means that while on steroids, he / she may notice that it takes a little longer than usual to stop bleeding from the nose or a small cut. In reality, the changes in clotting time are not extremely dramatic, so athletes are not concerned about this side effect unless surgery is planned.
Inflammation of the tendons and injury to the joints
Athletes who use highly androgenic anabolic steroids that retain water do not have problems with tendons and connective tissue (ligament). But athletes who use weak androgens such as Anavar, Stromba and Primobolan are very susceptible to inflammation and injury to these tissues. Weak androgens do strengthen and strengthen muscles, but do not store enough fluid in tendons and connective tissue. As a result, the legions become brittle and cannot withstand the greater loads of the already healthy muscle. This can lead to inflammation of the connective tissue, and in extreme cases to rupture of muscles and tendons. In athletes taking androgenic steroids, this risk of injury is low because they retain more fluid and the tissues become more elastic.
The use of anabolic steroids obviously has an effect on hormone levels in the body, which in turn can lead to a change in general mood or mood. Depression usually occurs from time to time when androgen-estrogen levels are unbalanced. This side effect is observed in both sexes, but in women it is sometimes extreme. After stopping steroids, estrogen renewal occurs, which can lead to strong mood swings. It often happens in male bodybuilders when anabolic steroids are discontinued. During this period, estrogen levels can be significantly elevated, which is often associated with deeply suppressed endogenous testosterone levels.
Closing the pineal gland and stopping linear growth
This side effect only occurs when anabolics are taken before bone growth is complete. It threatens all adolescents who have not completed their physical development, it is believed that this process ends by 24-25 years of age. Most anabolic steroids prematurely calcify bones and linear growth stops. But before this happens, a rapid boost in growth and, consequently, a halt can be observed. This is the reason why almost all weightlifters are lower. Many people believe that all those who train with weights are low because the weights do not allow them to grow, nonsense! In all adolescents who do strength sports, but do not gnaw (do not use steroids / unfortunately they are very few) there is a progressive increase in linear growth (of course, as genetically set). Anavar alone does not cause such growth disturbances, but due to its high cost, it is rarely used. So, if you want to make the most of what nature will give you, refrain from using anabolic steroids before you turn 25.
This side effect associated with the use of anabolics mainly affects those individuals who are genetically predisposed to baldness. Hair loss is a process directly related to high concentrations of DHT-dihydrotestosterone in men and women. The use of highly androgenic steroids can adversely affect hair growth. In fact, the most common form of male pattern hair loss is directly related to the level of androgens in such tissues, in particular the strong metabolite – DHT of testosterone. The technical term for this type of hair loss is androgenic alopecia, which refers to the interaction of the two male androgenic hormones and the genetic predisposition to this condition. Those who are susceptible to this side effect of anabolic steroids have fine hair follicles and higher levels of DHT than normal hairy scalps.
What can be done!?
You need to reduce the concentration of dihydrotestosterone in the tissue and hair loss will not be a problem, this can be achieved in several ways. It is easiest to reduce all androgen production. This method would not be accepted by anyone, knowing what contraindications there are. These include loss of libido, femininity and predisposition to the development of gynecomastia. The second option for reducing the concentration of DNT in the tissue is to prevent the conversion of testosterone to DNT. This process is carried out by an enzymatic reaction, which is carried out by an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. Men with existing deficiency of this enzyme do not have problems with hair loss. Drugs that reduce the production of 5-alpha-reductase play a crucial role in the treatment of hair loss in women.
Increased production of fat in the skin can occur even with the use of weakly androgenic steroids, such as Deca-Durabolin, for example. If acne does not develop, this problem can be eliminated by bathing more often. As a last resort, 10 mg of Roaccutan can be helped twice a week.
If you have liver problems or even minor doubts, forget about using anabolic steroids. Not only anabolics, but also many drugs, even for prophylactic treatment, burden the liver. A sure sign of a problem with this important organ is yellowing at the corners of the eyes and as a result of the skin, jaundice may develop. The use of high doses of oral steroids can cause a similar problem. It is good to take hepatoprotectors with serious amounts of tablet steroids. If you still notice that the corners of your eyes turn yellow, stop the anabolics and see a doctor.
Anabolic steroids create negative changes in the cholesterol profile to varying degrees (some affect more and some less). These changes are associated with a decrease in HDL (good cholesterol) and an increase in LDL (bad cholesterol). As a result of these changes, the risk of atherosclerosis increases, and the extent to which these changes have occurred usually depends on the dose (higher doses increase both negative changes and risks). Other factors that affect these negative changes in cholesterol are: duration of administration, and method of administration. Here it can be noted that oral anabolic steroids have a far worse effect on cholesterol than injectable anabolic steroids. This is because the liver serves as a center for the processing of cholesterol in the human body, and with increasing hepatotoxicity caused by the intake of anabolic steroids will lead to even worse negative changes in cholesterol.
A special study compared the effect of oral Stanozolol (Winstrol) and Testosterone, which they have on the cholesterol profile. Some subjects in this study took 10 mg of Stanozolol daily, while the other part took 200 mg once a week of Testosterone. The results of this study after 6 weeks showed a reduction in HDL of 33% – 71% with oral stanozolol, and a reduction of only 9% in those who were on Testosterone. LDL (bad cholesterol) levels increased by 29% in subjects taking Stanozolol orally, while subjects treated with Testosterone had an increase in LDL of only 16%. The conclusion is that oral steroids, which are C17-alpha alkylated compounds, are much more stressful on the cardiovascular system than injectable ones.
Maintaining good values
Estrogen itself has a positive effect on cholesterol profiles, raising HDL levels and lowering LDL levels. A problem for athletes who use anabolic steroids is that they also use aromatase inhibitors (anti-estrogens) while taking them, reducing estrogen levels to sub-physiological levels, which is not good. This is a prerequisite for even worse cholesterol levels and increased heart risk. Estrogen levels should always be monitored and maintained as close as possible to normal physiological levels. This should be known by every anabolic user. Estrogen should be closely monitored to ensure that its low levels do not lead to even worse cholesterol levels.
It is important to build a good diet and include a variety of healthy foods to help with cholesterol. Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids and fish oils at least 2-4 grams per day is essential during a cycle of anabolic steroids to maintain good cholesterol levels.
Changes in cholesterol levels as a result of taking anabolic steroids are always temporary and always return to normal after stopping the cycle. It is therefore recommended that people taking anabolic steroids at intervals of 8-12 weeks take a break for at least 4 months between each cycle. In this way, any risk of long-term changes in the arteries will be effectively eliminated. Prolonged use without breaks is the most common cause of severe long-term accumulation of cholesterol and leads to atherosclerosis (especially if oral anabolic steroids are used for a long time).
Liver – hepatotoxicity
Anabolic steroids, considered as drugs, are much less toxic than many drugs that are taken freely and without a prescription by humans. Not to mention alcohol, it can be safely said that alcohol causes many times more liver damage than steroids. This, of course, does not provide card blanche for the indiscriminate use of anabolics.
The answer to whether anabolic steroids are harmful to the liver lies in the type of preparation, the dose and the duration of use.
Liver toxicity is increased by oral steroids. They are modified in 17 carbons, where the methyl group is attached to it, a process known as C17-alpha alkylation (also known as methylation). This modification is made so that the compound can pass through the liver as a whole so that it can do its job. Injectable anabolic steroids do not have C17-alpha alkylation and do not cause problems. They rarely increase liver enzymes, that is, when taken in large quantities, or the individual has previously had liver problems.
It is recommended that hepatoprotectors be used when using oral steroids.
Side effects of anabolic steroids in men
Possible side effects from the use of anabolic steroids in men. Only gender-specific side effects are listed, which are likely to occur only in men. Although anabolics are derivatives of the male sex hormone testosterone, subsequent side effects can occur when it is increased externally.
Weakening of sexual desire due to the use of anabolic steroids can occur only with prolonged use of high doses and improper exit from the cycle. Anabolic steroids reduce one’s own testosterone production, and with long-term use, the sex drive decreases. This phenomenon does not last long, but until hormone levels return to normal, there may be negative consequences in the partnership. When the medication is stopped incorrectly, when testosterone stimulants are not used and the hormone estrogen has peaked, in addition to the desire for sex evaporating, there is a loss of acquired muscles and accumulation of fat.
Do not abuse anabolic steroids, especially for a long period of time. After stopping steroids, do testosterone recovery therapy. The use of HCG (pregnyl) and Clomid is mandatory after a steroid cycle.
This is a medical term used to describe the process of development of the mammary glands in men. This happens when a man has an unusually high level of estrogen, especially with the help of strong aromatic androgenic steroids such as Testosterone and Methandienone (Dianabol). Excess estrogen can act on receptors in the breast and stimulate the growth of milk tissue. If no action is taken, this can lead to a really obvious and ugly growth of tissue under the nipple area.
The strength, intensity and rate of growth, as well as whether or not this process may occur, depends on the type of anabolic steroids used, the dose, the duration of use, and the number one determining factor: individual sensitivity to this particular side effect. Many people will never experience gynecomastia, no matter how high estrogen levels are in their body, while others may develop a sudden onset of the slightest increase in estrogen levels. If you had problems with your mammary glands during puberty, you will probably have problems as an adult when using anabolic steroids.
Gynecomastia develops to varying degrees at different stages after its onset. If its development is successfully stopped at a certain stage of its development, the process can be successfully reversed. However, after some time, the only option to remove gynecomastia is surgery. It is a small correction that removes the mammary glands. Anyone taking anabolic steroids should pay the necessary attention to be able to react in time and stop gynecomastia before it reaches an irreversible stage. The different stages of development are as follows:
1. Pain on pressure and sensitivity in the nipple.
2. Swelling and puffiness in the nipple area (known as medical lipomastia). At this point, the glandular tissue is still underdeveloped and the condition may be reversible if stopped here.
3. Complete construction of gynecomastia (full growth of adipose tissue, as well as full growth of the gland).
How to avoid the formation of gynecomastia !?
Although considered a common side effect of anabolic steroid use, gynecomastia is the easiest to avoid, no matter how strong the anabolic steroid is taken. There are several very effective drugs that completely or partially stop the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. The strongest preparation is Arimidex, it not only completely stops the aromatization, but also suppresses its own estrogen production. Another effective drug is Proviron, which acts as an aromatase inhibitor. But especially to prevent gynecomastia, it is best to use Nolvadex. It is a preparation classified as a selective estrogen receptor modulator. Nolvadex is very effective in blocking the onset and development of gynecomastia in a timely manner. The drug blocks and prevents the binding of estrogen to receptors in breast tissue and blocks its ability to bind and activate these receptors. Thus, the occurrence of gynecomastia is successfully prevented. If gynecomastia is already present and still in phase 2, it is best to take Nolvadex with Arimidex, so gynecomastia is attacked from all angles and will provide rapid effective relief and reversal of the process.
A similar side effect is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can revive a relationship, on the other, it can lead to complications in the partnership. On the one hand, it can be really wonderful, but this side effect can lead to a prolonged and quite painful erection, even to a doctor’s intervention to stop the erection. The latter would lead to a rather awkward and ridiculous situation. So be careful with testosterone and the use of Proviron.
This side effect is mainly related to the dose and genetic predisposition of the individual to such a disease. Older athletes using highly androgenic anabolic steroids are at high risk. The risk of prostate cancer is currently one of the most common forms of cancer in men. Benign prostate enlargement can precede this cancer, and is definitely an important medical concern in aging men. Enlargement of the prostate can be caused by strong androgens such as Parabolan and Proviron. An enlarged prostate can lead to problems with urination or kidney function. A urologist can determine if your prostate is enlarged. If so, stop any androgenic steroids.
The human body always prefers to remain in a very balanced hormonal state, a tendency known as homeostasis. When you take androgens from an external source, such as anabolic steroids, you get an excess of hormones, which causes the body to stop producing its own testosterone. In particular, this occurs through a feedback mechanism, where the hypothalamus detects high levels of sex hormones and excludes the release of GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone, formerly called luteinizing releasing hormone).
The testicles shrink and shrink due to a lack of stimulation by gonadotropins (hormones that travel to the testicles to signal Leydig cells to start producing and secreting testosterone) such as luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). If this stimulation is not available for a long time, the testicles may lose volume and shape, their size decreases.
Testicular atrophy is one of the common side effects of anabolic steroid use, occurring in over 50% of all anabolic steroids. Approximately half of all anabolic steroid users will also never experience this side effect – once again it depends on the individual response. Even if such an adverse reaction occurs, it is an easily controlled and reversible process. Different anabolic steroids may have a stronger inhibitory effect than others, but all anabolic steroids have this effect. Also, the strength of the suppression depends on the duration of use.
Solution of the problem:
Immediately after the end of each anabolic steroid cycle, therapy should be administered that includes the use of testosterone stimulating compounds such as Nolvadex, HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin – Pregnil) for a period of 4-6 weeks. Failure to do so may result in permanent damage to the HPTA (hypothalamic-pituitary testicular axis), in which case the individual will not be able to produce the required amount of testosterone for the rest of his or her life. Eventually, medical intervention in the form of TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) will be required.
Side effects of anabolics in women
The following are possible side effects of anabolic steroids when used by women. These are gender-specific side effects that can only occur in women.
Anabolics are known to be derivatives of the male sex hormone testosterone. But although there is a small amount of testosterone in the female body, the intake of anabolic steroids by women should be done very carefully.
Coarsening of the voice
Deepening of the voice is a common side effect of anabolic steroid use by women, classified as virilization (development of male physical characteristics in women). Technically, these are androgenic effects, but they are far more pronounced in women than in men, and deserve their own category.
Androgens affect the larynx and the muscles involved in generating vocal sounds. That is why men generally have deep voices compared to women. The development of dysphonia in women as a result of the use of anabolic steroids is slow, the stages are almost reminiscent of the development of gynecomastia in men. In any case, the development of dysphonia is usually characterized by the early appearance of a hoarse voice, followed by variations in pitch.
The rate at which these changes occur and the extent to which they change depends on the anabolic steroid used, the dose, and the duration of use. Anabolic steroids, which have very strong androgen ratings, such as Testosterone and Parabolan, create a high propensity for voice changes. Therefore, it is advisable for women to strongly avoid androgenic steroids. As appropriate precautions, it is recommended to take as short as possible (about 4 weeks for women) as well as reasonable doses. All anabolic steroids, no matter how weakly androgenic, may generate dysphonia if used long enough and in high doses.
At the first sign of vocal changes, the woman should immediately stop taking any anabolic steroids. If it stops early enough, the dysphonia can often be reversed, but when it goes beyond certain limits, the changes can be irreversible.
Many women who use anabolic steroids experience menstrual irregularities. In most cases, the menstrual cycle stops. In addition to the use of anabolic steroids, menstrual disorders can also occur with low levels of body fat. Such extremely low levels of body fat are common in female bodybuilders during the racing period. Most women do not seem to be worried about losing their periods, because after stopping anabolic steroids or stopping their diet, the menstrual cycle resumes on its own. However, depending on the duration of anabolic therapy, it may take weeks or months for a normal cycle to resume. If the regular cycle does not return to normal, the gynecologist, after conducting the appropriate tests, can restore the normal cycle with the help of various medications.
As mentioned above, in the side effect of gynecomastia in men, androgens in the human body actually work to inhibit breast tissue. The same goes for women. The use of anabolic steroids has been shown to reduce breast size in women. Especially with prolonged use of testosterone. Unlike other side effects that accompany the use of anabolic steroids in women, breast shrinkage may remain after discontinuation of anabolic steroids.
Again, this is a side effect that is highly dependent on the type of anabolic steroid used, the dose and the duration of use.
Hirsutism is the medical name for excessive hair growth in women. The use of anabolic steroids by women can lead to male pattern hair (growth of hair on the face, chest, abdomen, back, legs, etc.). This specific side effect is due to high levels of dihydrotestosterone in the tissue. For men, this is not a problem, they already have strong hair as a result of natural testosterone production. But for women, this is a severe and unpleasant effect.
In initial hirsutism, it is recommended to take medications that reduce or prevent the production of 5-alpha-reductase. As with other listed side effects, hirsutism also depends on the type of anabolic steroid, the dose and the duration of use.
Clitoral enlargement – clitoromegaly
And this contraindication is reserved for women. This side effect is caused by highly androgenic steroids. An enlarged clitoris leads to increased sexuality. The ability to orgasm improves and then multiple orgasms are not uncommon. While a slight enlargement of the clitoris is welcome, a larger enlargement is embarrassing.
Clitoromegaly can range from small, almost imperceptible growth, to excessive clitoral enlargement. This is easy to happen when androgen levels in women remain high enough for a long enough period of time. Once again, as with almost all anabolic steroids, the growth and enlargement of the clitoris is highly dependent on the dose, duration and compound used. As with dysphonia (deepening of the voice), weaker androgens, such as Anavar, Winstrol, or Primobolan, are preferred.
Enlargement of the clitoris remains after stopping anabolic steroids.
Damage to the fetus
Although women produce a form of Nandrolone on their own during pregnancy, in pregnant women who still have anabolic steroids in their blood, female embryos become male and male embryos develop excessively. This should be clear to the most naive women. Therefore, it is absolutely unacceptable to get pregnant while using anabolic steroids. Also, women who conceive by anabolic bodybuilders are more likely to give birth to girls.