What Are The Side Effects When On Oral Steroids?
The widespread use of oral steroids in both sports and general medicine has allowed to obtain sufficient statistics on undesirable side effects of their effects on the body. However, if the doctor prescribes anabolic drugs for the treatment of the disease, the dosage conditions and the cycle of their use are strictly observed, so to some extent this process is under control. In sports practice the situation is, unfortunately, somewhat different. Most athletes who use oral steroids do not think that they can harm their health. They focus solely on the growth of results, which they believe steroids should provide for sure. It is widely believed, especially among novice athletes, that “the more, the better and more effective.” This is a deep and dangerous misconception, which has neither theoretical nor practical justification.
The use of any oral steroids can cause more than one negative side effect. In most cases, it all depends on the dosage. The higher the dose, the more likely the appearance of various negative effects. These side effects include acne, fluid retention, testicular size changes, liver disorders, hair loss on the head, hair growth on the body, sleep problems, increased appetite, gynecomastia, lowering the tone of voice, increased aggressiveness. Most of these side effects are considered reversible (temporary), they disappear after discontinuation of steroid drugs. However, there may be much more severe consequences of oral steroids, such as heart disease and serious mental disorders. It should also be noted that athletes who use steroids often acquire physical and mental dependence on drugs.
So, let’s take a closer look at some of the negative side effects associated with the use of oral steroids.
Effect of Oral Steroids on The Central Nervous System
Initially, the greatest attention was paid to the negative impact of oral steroids on the organs and systems directly responsible for the physical condition of the body. And only after some time, the researchers concluded that the consequences of taking steroid drugs no less affect the mental state and behavioral reactions of people. The human brain has receptors for interaction with testosterone and therefore can be considered as a “target organ” for this hormone and its synthetic analogues.
Observed dependence in the behavior of athletes taking steroids, age. The younger the athlete, the deeper shifts in the psyche take place, that is, a young growing organism is much more vulnerable to steroids. A significant side effect of the use of oral steroids is the emergence of dependence on them athlete. Moreover, psychological dependence on oral steroids is much more common than physical dependence. It is not yet clear whether there is a definite predisposition for this and, if so, what is the cause.
Effect of Oral Steroids on The Endocrine System
Since testosterone and anabolic steroids themselves have hormonal activity, it is natural to expect their effect on the endocrine system. This is primarily a reproductive function in men. The introduction of high concentrations of anabolic steroids for a long time suppresses the synthesis own testosterone, which leads to a decrease in its concentration in the blood, testicular atrophy, sperm formation disorders.
Sperm lose mobility, the ability to penetrate the egg, the amount of sperm decreases. In boys, early puberty, a violation of the growth process. Due to the fact that part of testosterone and anabolic hormones is converted in the process of metabolism into estradiol, there is a feminization of the male body. This is expressed in gynecomastia – breast growth in 65% in adolescents and 40% in adult men. Experts believe that the decline of fertility, changes in sex drive and impotence are the most striking clinical manifestation of the so-called drug anabolic syndrome, common among athletes, that is a new disease of civilized society, the called a systematic taking best oral steroids. Anabolic steroids also affect the adrenal cortex, which regulates electrolyte metabolism and water metabolism in the body.
Effect of Oral Steroids on The Cardiovascular System
The increase in pressure, sometimes leading to fainting, in athletes (and persons not involved in sports) who took oral steroids, is a well-known fact. 25% of patients using anabolic steroids have heart disease and hypertension, and 1-2% – myocardial damage. Various authors have described several cases of death as a result of acute heart failure as a result of oral steroids. Thus, with the current tendency to increase blood pressure, shifts in metabolism towards the occurrence of risk factors (increased cholesterol, triglycerides, lipoproteins, increased formation of free radicals and others), the possibility of complications from the cardiovascular system increases many times, despite the relatively young age of athletes taking anabolic steroids. Practical guidelines. To stop these complications, doctors use drugs that reduce blood pressure, improve microcirculation, prevention and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure (ischemia of the heart, arrhythmia, which are common when performing physical exercises with weights, large in volume and long in time).
Other Side Effects
Nervous system – mental Changes, increased excitability, irritability, aggressiveness or depression, euphoria, psychosis.
Endocrine system – Changes in insulin secretion and reduced glucose tolerance, lipid metabolism, hypertriglyceridemia, hypercholesterolemia, decreased testosterone secretion in men, suppression of spermatogenesis, changes in libido, impotence.
Cardiovascular system – Changes in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism are a factor predisposing to the development of atherosclerosis and other diseases of the cardiovascular system.
Liver, gallbladder – Oral steroids cause disorders of the antitoxic and excretory function of the liver, prolonged intake leads to blockage of the biliary tract, cholestasis, fibrosis, hepatitis, cirrhosis. Possible tumors, tumors, hepatocellular carcinoma, angiosarcoma, liver hyperplasia.
Urogenital system, sexual system – The formation of kidney stones, glomerular dysfunction. Possible prostate cancer, kidney tumors, decreased spermatogenesis and changes in the normal composition of sperm, testicular atrophy.
Musculoskeletal system – At a young age, irreversible changes of long bones, premature fusion of epiphyseal plates, degeneration of the tendons, the change in muscle structure, increasing the morbidity.