If it makes athletes heavy and muscular, can steroids really be all that bad for you? You know in your heart that steroid abuse can not be healthy. And your heart says the truth. Anabolic steroids even when used to treat medical problems have all kinds of common side effects. What is so bad about the drugs, exactly? And, what are the possible side effects of steroids?
First of all, do not equate corticosteroids with anabolic steroids, warns Emory University physiatrist Kenneth Mautner, MD. Anabolic steroids are used to muscle build up. To dampen overactive immune responses and reduce swelling, corticosteroids are used. Synthetic forms of testosterone, a male hormone, are the anabolic steroids abused by athletes. Testosterone is naturally produced by both men and women. But like all hormones— which control the most basic functions of the body— throwing one’s testosterone out of balance can have far-reaching consequences. Anabolic steroids are highly potent hormones. They influence the whole body. For all users some of the side effects are normal. Many side-effects are unique to your age and sex. People who take anabolic steroids may: develop breasts, have their testicles shrink, have their sperm count decreased and some might even become infertile. Women who take anabolic steroids may: Grow excessive face and body hair, have their voices intensify, have menstrual abnormalities, have an enlarged clitoris, have a decreased breast size and also have a masculinized female fetus bottlenose. Also, It is against the law to possess, sell, or administer anabolic steroids without a doctor’s prescription for a medical condition. Legal punishment may be a major side effect of illegal use of steroids. Under federal law, first-time simple possession of anabolic steroids carries a maximum one-year prison term and a fine of $1,000. The maximum punishment for first-offense drug trafficking is five years in jail, and a $250,000 fine. Second infractions double that penalty. State regulations also ban the illicit use of anabolic steroids, in addition to federal penalties.
Since steroids are mostly taken by injections, there is also a possibility that an unsterile needle or syringe may cause HIV or hepatitis infections. “Steroids have a lot of side effects,” Mautner tells WebMD. “They aren’t good for you. It’s like a Russian roulette. Five people will take them, and they don’t have a long-term problem, but the sixth one that takes it dies. So, in case you are tempted to take steroids, first take into consideration the massive side effects of steroids and then make an informed decision.