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Pharmapedia: Increasing use of steroids and associated side effects


For past 10 years, there is potentially increasing trend of bodybuilding in India as well as US, UK and other countries. Young people want their muscles tight for good impression in college and near society. Now a day it is a faster lifestyle and faster generation who want quickest results to be seen on their body and they turn on with steroidal medications or drugs or injections. Steroidal Dealers want to earn more and keep you on higher risks associated with steroids.

The side effects by steroids can be classified as:
Short term Effects
Log Term Effects

SHORT TERM EFFECTS:

Roid Rage: This is the condition in which the steroid users goes aggressively. Increase in aggressiveness is often claimed to occur with anabolic steroid use. Although it is highly rare but significant psychiatric symptoms have been found in some steroid users like aggression and increased violence, mania, and even psychosis.

Gynecomastia:
Gynecomastia or Gynaecomastia is the abnormal development of large mammary glands in males resulting in breast enlargement. Pure glandular gynecomastia is common in bodybuilders and is thought to be a result of the use of anabolic steroids. In this case it is known as anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) induced gynecomastia. Due to excess testosterone levels from steroids get converted to estrogen. Proper treatment of pure gynecomastia can be done only by excision of the breast tissue.

Water Retention & Bloating: It is true that estrogen is required for optimal muscle development, which results in bloating which is an acceptable side effect during off-season training.  The irresponsible use of steroids can cause swelling in the knees, ankles, feet and wrists. It can be avoided by reducing intake of steroids.

Atrophy of the testicles
The sizes of testicular cell is reduced because the fact that testosterone is being introduced into the body from another source (steroids) so the testicles automatically reduce or stop producing testosterone themselves causing them to shrink. This may lead to sterility in men though there is no clear evidence.

Acne:
It is a rash of pimples that usually occurs on the face and cause great distress to both males and females.  The skins sebaceous glands have high affinity to Dihydrotestosterone which is an androgen the body naturally produces from testosterone via the enzyme 5-alpha Reductase. Increased sebaceous gland activity promotes oily skin which can combine with bacteria and dead skin (normal wear and tear) eventually causing pores to become clogged more quickly than the body can cleanse them.

Blood Lipid Profile:
Steroids are known to reduce HDL level and raises LDL level in the blood. And also they increase Blood cholesterol level and cause cardiac disorder or stroke on long uses.

 Also have other effects include dizziness, nausea, jaundice, or yellowing of the skin, sleeping problems and hallucinations

LONG TERM EFFCETS:

Stunted Growth:
Inhibition of growth, especially height, is seen in young adults or teens. Aromatizable steroids can cause the premature closure of the epiphysial cartilage which lead to a possible growth inhibiting effect and could ultimately result in shorter height.

Baldness:
Steroids can possibly cause men to start balding if they have a genetic predisposition towards Male Pattern Baldness. Steroids can cause premature balding the reason behind that is the scalp reacts to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) quite strongly, and many steroids can either convert to DHT or are derived from it.

Cardio-Vascular Problems:
As we seen earlier, because of increase in Blood Lipid profile, a person with anabolic steroids may get cardiac problems. It is seen that enlargement of ventricles in persons with anabolic steroids.

Liver Damage:
Possibly, It can possible by few orally ingested steroids. The common symptom is jaundice. Almost all steroids can cause live enzyme elevation but it is not directly linked with liver damage.

Prostate Enlargement:
Usually enlargement of the prostate is occurred in elder men but it has been known to develop in younger men who are taking steroids. The additional testosterone introduced into the body causes it to swell and increasing the risk of cancer.

Immunosuppressive & Immunostimulant effect:
There are enough clinical data available that indicates that anabolic steroids have immune modulatory effect. As with most potential side effects, this is largely dose and compound dependent. There is strong evidence that different analogues impact the immune system in differing ways. Testosterone and certain analogues have been shown to be possibly immunosuppressive, while Nandrolone and still other compounds have demonstrated immunostimulating properties.

Virilization (Development of male characteristics in women):
This term refers masculinization, or development of male sexual characteristics that females could potentially suffer from steroid use. This side effect on women is often reversible after steroids are discontinued. Some typical signs of virilization are the development of a deeper voice, hirsuitism, enlargement of external genitalia (clitoral enlargement), and possible male pattern baldness, or acne on the face or body

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Also find: Pharmapedia : Can children have Hypertension? Importance of regular checking of Blood Pressure


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