Multi-organ damage induced by anabolic steroid supplements: a case report and literature reviewThe use of steroidogenic enzymes cortisol supplements and other related drugs for body building and to enhance athletic performance is nowadays widespread and acutely pervasive all around the world. This alarming increase in the use of anabolic and amino acid supplements has been linked to a diverse array of pathologies. As previously reported, the abuse of androgenic steroids is not without severe physiological, psychiatric and physical costs. The case we report here describes multi-organ damage resulting from the abuse and uncontrolled use of anabolic steroid supplements, mainly testosterone. A year-old white why do anabolic steroids lower levels of testosterone presented with abdominal pain concomitant with nausea and vomiting. Laboratory analysis revealed hypercalcemia, elevated liver streoids and high levels of amylase, lipase and creatine protein kinase.
Anabolic Steroid Side Effects and Low Testosterone Levels
But how much of an advantage do anabolic steroids really offer? Anabolic-androgenic steroids are a synthetic version of the testosterone your body already makes. In fact, steroids work so seamlessly that if a guy has clinically low levels of testosterone, a doc may prescribe a type of anabolic steroid to bring his levels back up to normal. Some big bodybuilders are taking more than mg a week. How is it sustainable, physiologically, to take such a massive dose?
Most heavy steroid users will cycle dosages, either increasing the dose and frequency until they peak, then gradually taper and repeat; or taking large doses over a certain period of time and then pausing for a bit to let natural production start again, until they restart usage.
Anabolic-androgenic steroids are the most widely used appearance- and performance-enhancing drugs in the U. Steroids are often associated with professional athletes and bodybuilders, but a January paper published in JAMA reports that 2. Some guys even take veterinary-grade steroids, which require a prescription from their vet for their pet.
But the majority of American men who take non-prescription steroids are probably getting their steroids through the Internet via international sellers. And that sets up another problem: That being said, the U. There are three main reasons guys start taking anabolic steroids, Kersey says. The first is if a physician prescribes steroids for an actual medical condition—like delayed puberty in young boys, damaged tissue after an injury, or clinically low testosterone.
In those cases, men typically do not take steroids at high, potentially damaging doses. High doses of anabolic steroids will certainly help increase your muscularity. Anabolic steroids can increase lean muscle mass if you also exercise a ton and diet properly, according to a study analysis published in FP Essentials. More testosterone means your body can leverage protein better to build more muscle and burn more fat. Steroids do typically improve strength and power, according to a meta-analysis authored by Kersey and a team of researchers.
That makes sense, considering steroids help increase muscle mass. As with any drug, there are side effects. And, in fact, even though steroids might help you build more muscle, they may also increase your risk for injury: And he means literally—most of the damage steroids do is internal, so an abuser can go months or even years without realizing the havoc their habit is causing.
For starters, steroids can seriously damage your heart. In a study of male lifters 34 to 54 years old , lifters who had been using anabolic steroids for more than two cumulative years of their life had more myocardial dysfunction—a level of damage commonly seen after a heart attack. Consistent steroid users also had accelerated plaque in their coronary arteries compared to lifters who had never touched steroids. Steroid abuse also makes your blood thicker, so it can increase your risk of blood clots.
This puts endurance athletes at an especially high risk, since being dehydrated like from long, grueling rides also increases your risk of a clot, and thereby for a pulmonary embolism, Goldberg says. In a study of young Brazilian bodybuilders average age: Abusing steroids has the same effect.
When your body senses you have enough of a hormone, it suppresses the pituitary gland and shuts off production of that hormone. The main effect of this: Your testicles shrink and you become infertile.
While natural production will eventually start again if you stay off of steroids, returning to normal can take months or even years. A Harvard study of former steroid-using bodybuilders who had been clean for three to 26 months found that the now-clean lifters still had significantly smaller testicles, lower serum testosterone, and lower libido compared to guys who had never used steroids.
Because steroid use floods your body with testosterone, men experience symptoms we usually connect with going through puberty, except even more extreme: Kids who start taking steroids during puberty will also experience stunted growth, because since an overdose of testosterone freezes the growth plate—and that effect is permanent, Goldberg says. They will never reach their full genetic height. Because steroids are hormones, steroid abuse has psychological effects.
Guys who are on a steroid cycle have less inhibition control and are more likely to be impulsive and aggressive than guys who are off their cycle, according to a study in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. Among more than 10, Swedes, those who used steroids for years on end—especially in conjunction with other substances like alcohol or other drugs—were significantly more likely to be convicted of a violent crime than guys who never reached for steroids, according to one study published in Addiction.
Because steroids have all these side effects, a lot of abusers will then take other drugs to offset the effect—steroid abuse causes you to grow man-boobs, so people take another drug to mitigate those side effects.
That means on top of all these side effects of steroids, most abusers are also looking at a whole separate list of effects from their peripheral drug habits. Read more here about the side effects and myths of steroid use. What exactly are steroids? Who actually takes steroids? Where do guys get steroids? Why do some guys use steroids? The other reasons guys take steroids? A better physique and better sports performance. What are the main risks of steroids? Internal risks of anabolic steroids For starters, steroids can seriously damage your heart.
External risks of anabolic steroid use Because steroid use floods your body with testosterone, men experience symptoms we usually connect with going through puberty, except even more extreme: Psychological risks of anabolic steroid use Because steroids are hormones, steroid abuse has psychological effects.