Athletic man in despair from taking supplements

Anabolic Steroids: Negative Side Effects on the Body and Mind

Categories: Sports Medicine


Steroids have a well-deserved reputation of being the illegal, unhealthy and generally dangerous alternative to proper weight loss and muscle building through exercise and diet control. A diligent workout routine can be taxing on your body, but this is preferable to the long-term harm that muscle-building anabolic steroids can cause. Take a look at how anabolic steroids affect your body and mind below.

Steroid Ingestion and Composition

Anabolic steroids are generally ingested orally (by pill) or with a needle. Shared needles may contain diseases, harmful chemicals or both. Anabolic steroids contain concentrated doses of testosterone, which expedite the user’s muscle growth. Dealers often call steroids “juice” and “roids”, and these dosages can be 10-100 times stronger than what a doctor might prescribe.

Anabolic steroids spilled on a wooden table.

 

Physical Side Effects of Steroids

Steroid users experience various negative side effects, including developing traits normally associated with the opposite gender. Males may find themselves with enlarged breasts. Females may develop deeper voices, more body/facial hair, and decreased breast size. Beyond these androgynous effects, steroids may also affect reproductive organs by reducing the sperm count and shrinking the testicles. All users are vulnerable to other negative health effects, including higher blood pressure, and a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Psychological Effects of Steroids

In addition to the negative side effects that steroids impose on the body, the imbalanced hormones will also impact behavior. Extreme tempers, high energy and delusional outbursts are only some of the ways that steroids can impact psychological well-being. Left uncontrolled, this will have a detrimental effect on your relationships with family, friends and coworkers.

 

Stacking and Cycling: Ineffective Alternative Approaches

To mitigate these negative effects, some users take approaches called “stacking” or “cycling”. Stacking is the process of using two or more types of steroids at once, to multiply gains in a short period of time. Cycling, on the other hand, is a tactic where users will increase their dosage in the first half of the cycle before reducing and eliminating intake in the second. While the logic behind these strategies may initially seem sound, they have the potential to cause more damage than normal steroid use. Neither tactic is wholly effective in avoiding side effects, and increased intake involved with these processes will often create even more issues.

 

Injection for pain for rotator cuff injury

Medical Anabolic Steroid Use: Corticosteroids

Though most steroid use is illegal and unhealthy, there are rare situations where doctors may prescribe anabolic steroids to treat anemia and help men produce more testosterone. Corticosteroids are a different chemical altogether, and decrease inflammation in certain parts of the body. Our pain management experts practice epidural spine injections to relieve leg and back pain.

As pain management and sports medicine experts, ensuring that you have the resources you need to get fit and stay healthy is our mission. Please feel free to contact us for advice if you or a friend are experiencing health complications, psychological issues or anger problems from steroid use. Also consult us for advice in determining pain management strategies during the weight loss/muscle development process.