The Risks and Side Effects of Anabolic Steroids: What You Need to Know

Risks Effects

and Benefits to Health

Anabolic steroids are among the most commonly used drugs in sports and athletics. They are used to induce an increase in strength, power, and muscle mass, but can also entail an increase in health risks and side effects. While research on anabolic steroids is ongoing and constantly evolving, it is important to be informed about the potential risks associated with their use and the potential benefits to health.

What are Anabolic Steroids and How do They Work?

Anabolic steroids are synthetically produced variants of the naturally occurring male steroid hormone, testosterone. They have various functions in the body related to the development and maintenance of male characteristics and sexual health, but are most often used to enhance performance in athletes and bodybuilders. Anabolic steroids have a variety of mechanisms of action which include increasing protein synthesis, inhibiting protein breakdown, increasing muscle level, and decreasing body fat.

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Risks and Side Effects of Anabolic Steroids

Despite the performance-enhancing benefits of anabolic steroids, they are known to have a number of adverse side effects. Supplementation with anabolic steroids can cause numerous adverse effects on the body specifically liver damage, testicular shrinkage, gynecomastia (increased breast tissue size), changes in cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, water retention, acne, and seizures. As a result of these side effects, individuals taking anabolic steroids may experience erectile dysfunction, fertility problems, and psychological changes such as depression and aggression. Additionally, long-term use of anabolic steroids has been associated with the development of certain types of cancer.

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Benefits of Anabolic Steroids for Health

In addition to the risks and side effects associated with anabolic steroid use, there are also some potential benefits to health. Alterations to the hormone levels in the body caused by anabolic steroids can lead to increases in strength and muscle mass, as well as improved physical performance. Additionally, anabolic steroids have been shown to be beneficial for individuals with diseases such as muscle atrophy and chronic lower-back pain. Increased testosterone levels can also benefit male sexual health and performance.

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The potential risks and side effects of anabolic steroids should not be ignored, and any individual considering the use of anabolic steroids should be aware of these risks. However, there may also be potential health benefits associated with anabolic steroid supplementation. It is important to consult a healthcare provider to discuss potential benefits versus risks before beginning anabolic steroid use.