Steroids Side Effects - Why You Shouldn't Take Steroids

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Steroids are a common occurrence in bodybuilding. Yes, they do boost your performance in the gym but there are numerous side effects of anabolic steroids. We break down the whole steroid game to tell you the top reasons NOT to take steroids.

1. What are Steroids?

Simply put, steroids are anabolic compounds and/or synthetic derivatives of the male sex hormone testosterone. They come in various shapes, sizes and have a plethora of effects on your body, the most common being increased strength, muscle mass and some even may reduce fat! Although I am not going to go into detail on specific compounds, simply because that information isn’t necessary, I am going to speak on how steroids build muscle. The muscle building effects of steroids are so tremendous that transformations can occur within days. This is because of androgen receptor sites which bind the steroid compounds to the muscle, increasing glycogen, and thus muscle size and strength. All good right? Read on…

Because steroids are derivatives based out of the male sex hormone; with any drug you will have side effects. Why are steroids bad? Hair loss, testicular atrophy, gyno, and possibly roid rage are some of the reasons and believe me this list is not exhaustive because proper lab tests on humans overdosing on steroids have never been done due to ethical implications.

Steroids

Why you shouldn't take them

Steroids are taken in two forms mainly. Through a needle and orally. The reasons why you shouldn’t use steroids is compounded when taking oral steroids because of the toxicity factor. Oral steroids are seriously toxic to the liver and are in fact considered poisonous to the liver.  The horrible equation here, that the more the toxic the steroid is, the more effective it will be on your body.

Injectable steroids are steroids that are bonded with an oil. Depending on the oil, this oil can be an irritant on the skin and cause abscess. They are definitely more effective but here are some of the reasons to avoid steroids:

  1. Roid rage, or in simpler words acts of violence are sometimes seen in those individuals who are using a high dosage of testosterone. This can sometimes also translate to psychotic behavior and can cause bouts of depression, paranoia and various stages of depression.
  2. Excessive use of steroids can cause infections in eyes and can also lead to cataracts
  3. Testosterone is a water absorbent and hence your face particularly accumulates that water leading to a puffy face. If that weren’t enough reasons why you should not to take steroids, a common side effect is acne on the body. You can experience multiple breakouts. 
  4. Male pattern baldness is accelerated via steroids. Simply put, steroids won’t make you go bald but it will accelerate baldness if that aspect is hereditary.
  5. The most serious implication of steroids is that it causes serious heart problems due to cholesterol. Steroids cause heart disease and this is due to the increase of LDL i.e. bad cholesterol. 
  6. The kidneys are severely affected by the increase in blood clotting due to oral steroids as the kidneys have to work harder to filter the blood while using these substances and since steroid users have super high protein intakes, anywhere from 3g to 5g per pound of bodyweight, which then can also lead to kidney stones.
  7. Steroids can also cause cancer in the liver as some counterfeit steroids are known to cause a breeding of bacteria that causes this infection in the liver which furthermore leads to jaundice.
  8. Teenagers or children who use steroids can stop growth prematurely since steroids are known to close the growth plates in our bones.
  9. Chest fat or lumps in the chest of males can develop due to steroid use, which is known as gynocomasteia or gyno. These lumps can only be removed via surgery.
  10. In addition to this steroids also cause an impairing of the immune system, symptoms of which include:
    1. Impotence can occur and is a common symptom of steroid use. Due to the fact that you are injecting synthetic testosterone, your testes will stop producing testosterone since the body is getting more than enough synthetically. Something to take into consideration for those considering to plan a family. 
    2. Blood poisoning can occur if the same needles are used by multiple people instead of sterile needles since steroid users might not want a stack of needles in their possession, lest they be labelled as ‘addict’s’.

Hopefully this explains why steroids are bad for you.

Steroid Side Effects on Women

Side Effects on Women

Unfortunately because steroids synthetic derivatives of male sex hormones, the side effects on women are much worse than any man can experience. Deepening of the voice, an enlarged clitoris, mass breakout of body hair are some of the horrific experiences of women using steroids. One of the top reasons why you shouldn’t take steroids is that these side effects aren’t reversible. Remember the common myth that lifting weights for women makes them bulky? No. Steroids make women into bulky men, not weights.

General Side Effects and Risks

For one you should understand that before doing this, that steroids are a drug and there are always pro’s and con’s of using a drug. Take aspirin. It helps, but go through an entire bottle in one sitting, and it’ll burn through your stomach lining which results in death. Though there are many side effects on the body, you must also take into consideration that steroids are outlawed, i.e. banned in many countries and thus using them puts you at a risk of breaking the law, to which there can be several implications. Buying them without a medical prescription, for example, is a felony in the U.S.A, and athletes caught using these substances are often banned for life in their respective sports are just some of the possible risks of using steroids.

General Side Effects of Steroids

Performance Enhancing vs Daily Life

Knowing what you now know, are steroids worth the risk? The honest answer here is that if you are an elite level athlete, then you need to take your game to the next level. If not, I honestly do not see the benefits outweighing the long list of possible side effects. Natural bodybuilding, which we will discuss separately, can be done and often yields better results in the long term. Plus the gym, eating clean are all tools to lead a healthy life. Why use substances that would deter you from that goal? Honestly speaking the health consequences of steroid abuse is simply not worth the time, effort and, not to mention a lot of, money involved.

Natural Bodybuilding Benefits

People are going to be hugely skeptical here. How can natural bodybuilding have any benefits? It’s takes longer to build muscle, longer to diet down to lose fat, you look like a skeleton at 5% body fat and not to mention the mood swings natural bodybuilders always experience doing low carb dieting. That’s precisely the point. You're looking at it from the wrong side. Natural bodybuilding is not about getting as huge and shredded as you can. It’s about staying healthy and looking good. Look at all the pro bodybuilders After their prime. Surely that’s not how you want to look like. After you look at them you will understand what steroids do to you. It might take years to get a six pack, rather than  week, but then you will get permanent results rather than steroid users who after their cycle might end up losing their gains.

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