Health effects of steroids abuse

Health effects of steroids abuse

Even with the many steroids for sale UK, it is important to note that there are several health effects linked to the use of steroids. They can range from those that are mild but annoying to those which can become life-threatening. The abusers of steroids do report having experienced health effects which range from acne problems to heart attack to cancer of the liver.

The majority of the effects of the use of anabolic steroids are those which are quite reversible when the person can stop using the drugs, but there are those which remain permanent. The majority of the information which is gathered about the long-run effects of anabolic steroids get obtained from case reports and not from epidemiological studies.

Effects do show up after a year

The prevalence of the effects which are life-threatening of the abuse of steroids tend to be quite low from the studies carried out, but reports are available about serious adverse effects which tend to go under-recognized and under-reported since they at times don’t seem to appear until several years after use.

The abuse of anabolic steroids can affect several systems of the body. Some of the effects include:

Effects on the hormonal system

The steroid abuse disruption that is caused to the normal production of the body’s hormones might cause certain changes which are reversible and certain changes are known to be irreversible. Sperm production which is reduced and the testicles shrinking are the two main changes that can easily be reversed once you stop using the steroids.

Baldness in male patterns and the development of the breasts – gynecomastia in men are the two major side effects of the abuse of steroids which cannot be reversed. There is a study that found out that most male bodybuilders do experience atrophy of the testicles and gynecomastia.

Women that abuse anabolic steroids do experience masculinization. It makes their voices deep, body fat and breast size decrease, enlargement of the clitoris, and the skin becoming coarse. As a woman, you can lose scalp hair, but you can experience a lot of hair growth on the body. With long periods of steroids abuse, some of the changes in women might become irreversible especially the one where the voice becomes deep.

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Short term mental effects and physical effects of steroid abuse

As per the latest research that is available about anabolic steroids, there are various mental and physical effects of steroids abuse on both females and males. The short term adverse effects in men might include:

  • Liver functioning abnormally
  • The tissue of the skin-damaging at the injection site
  • Testicles shrinking
  • Enlargement of the prostate
  • Levels of the LDL cholesterol going up
  • Continuing or frequent erections
  • Fluid retention that leads to swelling
  • Breast enlargement – the gynecomastia
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Decrease in motility and sperm production
  • Decrease in the volume of semen
  • Decrease in the level of the HDL cholesterol
  • Nose bleeding
  • Acne

The short term effects which are adverse for women include:

  • Damage of tissue at the injection site
  • Skin becomes oily
  • No or missed periods – irregular menstruations
  • Baldness like in males
  • Increased facial and body hair growth
  • Retention of fluid leading to swelling
  • Clitoris enlargement
  • Voice becomes deep
  • Breast size decrease
  • Acne

The long term effects of anabolic steroid abuse

The scientific research on the long-term effects of anabolic steroids abuse is limited on both women and men. The long term effects which are likely to happen to include the following:

  • Liver tumors
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Liver cancer
  • Prostate cancer for men alone
  • Cardiovascular effects

Other risks which are potential that are faced by the abusers of the anabolic steroids in both men and women include:

  • Infections from hepatitis
  • Violent trauma
  • Skin infection
  • HIV infection because of sharing the needle

The musculoskeletal system

The abuse of anabolic steroids in male children might cause stunted growth. In most cases, the rising testosterone level and other triggers of sexual hormones will cause the growth spurt which happens at puberty.

It is known to provide the signals telling the bones to stop growing. When the abuse of steroids increases the sex hormones artificially, it can become a premature signal that the bones need to stop growing. Steroids’ side effects on the musculoskeletal system can include getting a short stature in case you are an adolescent as well as causing a tendon rupture.

Cardiovascular system

Since the abuse of steroids tends to change the lipoproteins levels which carry cholesterol in the blood, the abusers can end up developing certain cardiovascular diseases. The use of steroids, especially the oral ones, has been shown to reduce the high-density lipoprotein level – the good cholesterol, increasing the level of the bad cholesterol – low-density lipoprotein, which results in the increased risk of atherosclerosis which might cause stroke or heart attack.

Abusing steroids can also increase the blood clot risks which form in the blood vessels. Effects of abuse of steroids on the cardiovascular system do include:

  • Spasm of the coronary arteries
  • Increase in LDL
  • Increase in blood clotting
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • The left ventricle of heart enlargement
  • Decrease in HDL


According to research, it has found out that the abuse of anabolic steroids can end up causing tumors that form in the liver. The steroids are likely to cause a rare condition referred to as the peliosis hepatis, where the blood-filled cysts tend to form in the liver. It can cause internal bleeding when the cysts or the tumor ruptures.

Side effects on the liver when the steroids are abused include:

  • Tumors
  • Peliosis hepatis
  • Cancer

The skin

The impact on the skin of the steroid abuse includes:

  • Severe cysts and acne
  • Oily skin or scalp
  • Jaundice
  • Fluid retention


Since some of those that abuse the steroids do so through injecting the drug and using injections that are non-sterile or sharing needles that are contaminated with other abusers, there is a high risk of developing hepatitis B and C and HIV just like with other injection drugs users.

Apart from that, the user of steroids by use of injection can end up developing endocarditis, which is an infection that can cause inflammation of the inside lining of the to hear, a condition that might be quite fatal.

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