What Are the Side Effects of Steroids?

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Asking yourself, “what are the side effects of Steroids?” Learn more here.

The use of steroids has its place in the pantheon of medical treatments. Healthcare providers may prescribe steroids to treat hormonal problems or muscle loss associated with serious diseases like cancer and AIDS; however, the effects of anabolic steroids can be dangerous–even deadly, which is why their use in athletics and bodybuilding is strongly discouraged by the medical community and governing sports organizations. The side of effects of steroid use should not to be taken lightly; while some may go away when steroid use is discontinued, others may be permanent. If you’re wondering what are the side effects of steroids, the following information will explain how these drugs affect both the body and mind.

Anabolic Steroid Use among Athletes

Steroid abuse has been a problem for decades. Individuals who abuse anabolic steroids typically inject them into their muscles or take them orally. Steroids are also applied as a patch, gel, or cream. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people abusing steroids often take doses that “may be 10 to 100 times higher” than steroid doses prescribed by physicians for legitimate medical conditions. People abusing these drugs may not understand the negative side effects of steroids and how they can detract from health.

Reports by the NIDA indicate that many athletes who abuse anabolic steroids believe there are methods for avoiding the negative effects of anabolic steroids. Some individuals engage in a practice known as cycling where they take steroids for a period of time, take a break for a time, and then restart usage. Others believe they can minimize the side effects of steroids by combining different types of steroids. Some increase their doses gradually until they reach and peak and then taper off usage. The medical community insists that these practices have no scientific evidence of efficacy; in other words, they do not reduce the negative side effects of anabolic steroids.

What Are the Side Effects of Steroids (Mental Health)?

People abuse steroids in order to enhance their physical appearance or athletic performance. While steroids do not trigger the high that other drugs of abuse typically do, they can alter mood significantly. What are the side effects of steroids on the brain? Scientists suggest that long-term use of steroids will affect the brain’s chemicals and important pathways. The side effects of steroid use can cause significant alterations in mood and behavior. In many cases, people who abuse steroids have reported feeling irritable while taking them, paranoid, and have even experienced delusional thinking. Many people may have heard of the term “roid rage.” This term refers to the angry emotional response that many users have in association with steroid use. These side effects impair judgment and may cause considerable torment for the individual.

What Are the Side Effects of Steroids (Physical Health)?

Anabolic steroids can take a toll on physical health as well as mental health. In both men and women, the effects of anabolic steroids include acne, kidney problems, kidney failure, liver damage, high blood pressure, enlarged heart, and an increased risk for heart attack or stroke. Women who abuse steroids may experience side effects such as male-pattern baldness, growth of facial hair, changes in the menstrual cycle, and a deepened voice. The side effects of steroid use for men include shrinking testicles, baldness, breast development, decreased sperm counts, and increased risk for the development of prostate cancer.

What Are the Side Effects of Steroid Use on Teens?

It’s particularly dangerous for teens to abuse steroids. Teens who use anabolic steroids may experience stunted bone growth and stunted height. According to the FDA, more teens are using steroids than previously suspected. It’s important for parents and educators to inform teens about the dangerous effects of anabolic steroids. Like adults, teens can experience organ failure, mental health problems, and all other negative effects that impact adults who abuse steroids.

Better Addiction Care can help people abusing anabolic steroids to obtain the education they need to make more healthful choices. By finding a drug treatment center, individuals can safeguard their future health and learn how to enhance their physical appearance and athletic performance in safer ways.