EliteFitness.com Bodybuilding ForumsWhen it comes to anabolic androgenic steroid side effects the liver and kidneys receive the most media attention. This ain't surprising as these organs are vital to your anabolic steroids kidney stones. There's dtones doubt steroids and especially c alkylated androgenic and anabolic steroids are toxic to the liver and kidneys. How toxic depends on who you listen to. You've anabolic steroids kidney stones the media and many in the medical profession who consider steroids to be deadly. Whereas the on-line Bro-science fraternity think they're harmless. So, who to believe?
Using Anabolic Steroids: New Study Says Watch for Kidney Damage
When it comes to anabolic androgenic steroid side effects the liver and kidneys receive the most media attention. This ain't surprising as these organs are vital to your health. There's no doubt steroids and especially c alkylated androgenic and anabolic steroids are toxic to the liver and kidneys. How toxic depends on who you listen to.
You've got the media and many in the medical profession who consider steroids to be deadly. Whereas the on-line Bro-science fraternity think they're harmless. So, who to believe? Most steroid users probably will never develop any problems however, there will always be a few who will as they guy found out. Could it be you? Why take the risk? Your liver is the largest solid organ in the body weighing in at nearly 2 kg for men and 1.
At any given time your liver holds up to 1 pint of blood. The primary role of the liver is to filter blood flowing from the digestive tract. It also works with the gallbladder, pancreas and intestines to digest, absorb and process food.
I'm not going to list all of them here, but the 3 most important are:. These hardworking cells replenish themselves every days. The liver breaks down food and converts it into energy.
For example, carbohydrates such as pasta and rice are broken down into glucose and then stored in the liver as glycogen. The liver also plays a vital role in combating infections, especially those that develop in the lower intestines.
For all the work that it does the liver can take a lot of abuse and can work tirelessly while under stress. Facts and functions of how important your Liver is:. However, it has its breaking point and long term steroid use and abuse can seriously damage the liver.
Along with the cardiovascular system your liver is most susceptible to the toxic effects of anabolic androgenic steroid compounds. All steroids pose a potential risk however, alkylated steroids are considered far more toxic to the liver compared to non-alkylated steroids.
The risk of serious kidney and liver damage is higher with oral alkylated steroids than non alkylated injectable steroids. The increased hepatotoxicity of orals is due to their chemical structure has been modified. Why does it need to be modified? Because of the journey it needs to take. When you take an oral steroid it's absorbed by the digestive system and then taken to the liver for processing.
For the body to absorb the anabolic properties of oral steroids they need to pass through the liver without being broken down and metabolized. The modification known as 17 alpha alkylation 17aa simply adds an extra alkyl group to the 17th carbon of the steroids DNA. Non-alkylated steroids or a non altered forms of synthetic of testosterone and wouldn't survive this journey this is why they're injected directly into the blood stream. However, by making C alpha alkylated oral steroids more bio-degradable also makes them more hepatoxic because their greater resistance to being broken down puts more stress on the liver.
C17 Alpha Alkylated Oral Steroids. A condition often associated with the long term use and high dosage levels of oral anabolic and androgen steroids is cholestasis. Steroid induced cholestasis is a condition where the flow of bile is either slowed down or stopped completely.
Bile is dark green alkaline fluid produced by the liver and released into small intestines to aid digestion and the absorption of fats. Mild forms of cholestasis can cause mild discomfort, however extreme cases can be life-threatening.
Of course, if you notice these symptoms while on steroids stop immediately and see your doctor. There's only been a small number of cases involving athletes and bodybuilders developing serious conditions including cholestasis , liver cancer and hepatic tumors.
These cases often involve long term users and with dosage levels well above the safe recommended levels. Although in recent years the cases have been rising. Keep in mind, competitive bodybuilders and athletes know what they're doing. They're also taking regular liver function tests. The average gym rat and hardgainer is not. Instead, many are relying on bro-science and advice from the Arnie wannabe down at the local gym.
In most cases the majority of steroid users may never experience serious side effects or develop a life threatening condition, but some will. Which category you fall into depends on the choices you make and when it involves a vital organ like the liver, why risk it? Without a doubt, your liver needs protection when taking oral or methylated steroids.
Get your blood checked to ensure your liver enzyme levels are within a healthy range. For example, taking prescription meds or drinking alcohol will elevate levels meaning your liver is already working hard. Abstain from alcohol and prescription meds during and 6 weeks after a cycle.
Take a good herbal liver detoxifier before and post cycle. Reduce your salt intake - salt and steroids increases water retention which can lead to hypertension and put further stress on the liver.
When you think of a filter its main job is to keep important things from getting dirty or contaminated. Just like the air filters in your home, they keep the air in the rooms clean by preventing dust and dirty particles from getting in. Your kidney's do a similar job by removing waste and excess water from the body. However, the kidney are far more complex and have many vital functions that keep you alive.
Regulation of sodium, potassium and acid levels in the body is critical for your health and this function is carried out by the kidneys. In addition, the kidneys produce hormones that influence other parts of the body that include regulating blood pressure and stimulating the production of red blood cells. Although the kidneys can take a lot of abuse, long term abuse will lead to irreversible damage.
If you reach this stage its a life time on dialysis or a kidney transplant. For these reasons, its important to protect the kidneys when taking steroids. Anabolic steroids, especially oral methlyalated compounds will stress out the kidneys. In the short term your kidneys can handle this, however over time excessive stress causes inflammation and permanent scarring of the kidneys filters. The implications of this can be very serious as you only have set number of filters. Once damaged they can't be regenerated.
Turns out, bodybuilders are more prone to kidney damage and renal failure because of their higher muscle density and high protein diets. Both increase renal blood flow which elevates the kidneys filtration rate. For most people's this isn't a problem however, a pound man on a high protein diet while taking bulking steroids is putting his kidneys under serious stress.
You've also got to factor in high blood pressure. Steroids, especially in high dosage cycles, increase the bodies systematic blood pressure. Again, this is putting extra stress on the kidneys filters and over time effectively destroys them. A compromised kidney function causes toxins and infections to flood the body. This overwhelms the immune system forcing the kidneys to shut down. Elite bodybuilder Kenneth 'Flex' Wheeler was forced to end his career because of kidney damage.
However, the high profile case of elite bodybuilder Kenneth 'Flex' Wheeler brought to attention the potential threat steroids can have on the kidneys. Wheeler was forced to end his successful career after developing chronic kidney disease and needed a kidney transplant to stay alive.
It turned out that Wheeler's kidney disease was heredity and he believed AAS drugs were not the cause. However, he did believe that steroids did make the condition worse.
It turns out, 9 of the men developed a condition called Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis FSGS an irreversible chronic kidney disease that attacks the glomeruli, the kidneys filtering units. Critics of the study argued that other factors could've contributed to the men's kidney problems.
However, one participant's story, builds a persuasive case. The 30 year old man developed kidney damage after 10 years of bodybuilding. Unfortunately, his steroid addiction was too strong, he relapsed and his kidney problems returned. However, the Columbia University study shows us that steroids can have a damaging effect. In particular, the guy whose kidney problems returned after relapsing strengthens the case of steroids toxic effects on the kidneys.
So, how can you do that? These are simple kidney support and protective measures you can take during and post cycle:. Role and Functions of the Kidney. I'm not going to list all of them here, but the 3 most important are: Detoxifying and removal of waste Fighting infections Energy production.
Facts and functions of how important your Liver is: Steroid Induced Cholestasis Steroid induced cholestasis is a condition where the flow of bile is either slowed down or stopped completely. Common symptoms to watch Fatigue light colored stools itchiness Nausea and vomiting dark colored urine Jaundice skin and whites of the eyes turn yellow Of course, if you notice these symptoms while on steroids stop immediately and see your doctor.
Facts and functions to hit home how important your kidneys are: Cleanses blood of toxins Filters litres of fluid evry 24 hours Converts toxins into waste as urine Holds onto essential nutrients and sends them back into the body Activates production of vitamin A to maintain healthy bones and muscles Releases hormones that stimulate production of red blood cells.