Body building is a great sport... it enhances the personality of an individual both biologically and psychologically... like any other sport or personality changing training it requires time and dedication... thousands of impatient youngsters take the short-cut, by consuming anabolic steroids without any professional supervision... Leading From mild effects like sexual dysfunction to major like psychosis (madness)-
the most common side effects:
1. elevate blood pressure,
2. harmful changes in blood cholesterol levels: some steroids cause an increase in LDL cholesterol and a decrease in HDL cholesterol.
3. Alter fasting blood sugar and glucose tolerance tests. Increasing risk of diabetes.
4. Increase the risk of cardiovascular disease or coronary artery disease.
5. Acne is fairly common due to stimulation of the sebaceous glands by increased testosterone levels.
6. Premature baldness
7. High doses of oral anabolic steroid compounds can cause liver damage,
8. There are also sex-specific side effects of anabolic steroids.:
a. Development of breast tissue in males, a condition called gynecomastia
b. Reduced sexual function in males
c. Temporary infertility due to testicular atrophy ( decrease in size and productivity of testicles.) This inhibits production of sperm. This is a temporary side effect. The size of the testicles usually returns to normal within a few weeks of discontinuing anabolic steroid use as normal production of sperm resumes.
d. Female-specific side effects include increases in body hair, deepening of the voice, enlarged clitoris, and temporary decreases in menstrual cycles.
Severe side effects of anabolic steroids-
a. In adolescents the steroids may prematurely stop the lengthening of bones resulting in stunted growth.
b. Accelerated bone maturation, that leads to decreased height in adolescents.
c. increased frequency and duration of erections. Also premature sexual development.
d. Alterations in the structure of the heart, such as enlargement and thickening of the left ventricle, hypertension, heart failure, arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.
Upon administration, a small quantity of anabolic steroids goes to the brain through blood circulation. Over a long-run, these small quantities not only stimulate the brain , but also make it dependant on them. From the 1st dose onwards they start bringing small neuro-chemical and neuronal changes within the brain structure. These changes are manifested as severe psychiatric side effects.These include:
1. Aggression and hypomania- this is called "roid rage". Anabolic Steroids stimulate the brain upon consumption. This leads to increased irritability, hostility and anger. Once the anger is triggered, it can lead to disastrous consequences, even murder.
2. Clinical Depression and suicide - Both the consumption and withdrawal effects of anabolic steroids can trigger clinical depression and suicidal behaviour. Low self-esteem and lower levels of confidence, along with memory problems, concentration problems, sleep irregularities and negative thinking are prominently observed.
3. Addiction potential- They have very high addiction potential. Once such an addiction is triggered, the individual will spend majority of time, money and thought thinking over procuring the substance. The effect of the substance. He/she will require larger quantities of the substance. Over-indulgence in exercise, extreme episodes of violence, excessively thinking about the substance, extremes like involvement in anti-social activities to procure the substance can also occur.
4. Body dysmorphic disorder- A common mind-body interaction seen among anabolic steroid uses is the body dysmorphic disorder. An individual is always remains dissatisfied with his/her own body image. He intensifies the struggle to achieve a Adonis-like perfect body. This makes him overindulge in exercise, increased thinking about body building, increased learning and implementation about body building. This deviates him from his socio0cultural responsibilities and introduces personality changes, changes in sleep and appetite pattern , socio-cultural interaction which can lead to harmful effects including death.
5. Schizophrenia or Psychosis – Psychosis or developing an altered reality fully coloured with visions and voices is one of the severe most side effects of anabolic steroids. It’s mostly happens in cases of individuals with family history of schizophrenia, individuals in clinical depression or hypomanic state.
for further information contact me at -
Dr.Hemant Mittal (MBBS, PGDPM)
website - http://www.mindmantra.in