As some professional athletes have found out, steroids do have serious and dangerous side effects. Most of the people who are truly knowledgeable about steroid use emphasize that there is no steroid that is perfectly safe. In many cases, the consistent use of steroids can cause the body to stop producing needed hormones, creating an unhealthy situation. Follow-up studies on athletes who have used steroids to help with their training or performance have shown that the liver can be significantly damaged from long-term use. The enzymes that are key in the liver’s function may increase to an unhealthy level.

One of the most curious and frustrating effects of steroid use is the development of mild “opposite sex’ characteristics. For example, long-term use of anabolic steroids may cause the male user to develop breast tissue similar to that in females. An after-effect that causes more concern is the increased aggressiveness of those who use steroids on a regular basis. Extreme cases of emotional and mental changes from steroids have led to serious mental health problems.

Some regular users who took specific steroids during muscle development and body shaping found that after the training ended and steroid use was eliminated, the user suffered from increased blood pressure levels, enlarged prostate and other maladies.

The word “steroids” has become quite common over the past decade or two, since many recognized sports stars have been uncovered as users. Some have employed anabolic steroids that are meant to enhance performance during physical activity. The scientific explanation of what a steroid is includes the base of carbon with dozens of different kinds of steroids in plants and animals.

One of the things that makes steroids so attractive for those seeking strength, stamina and overall performance enhancement is that steroids actually include such common, natural hormones as estrogen and testosterone. These are generally present in normal, healthy levels necessary for life, including everyday activities such as work and play. But some individuals seek to enhance their performance with specific steroid substances.

Studies show that introducing steroids into the body provides the trigger for the body to stop producing its own natural hormones. This is just one of several side effects and after effects that some athletes feel that are an acceptable price to pay for the positive changes in the body and in the individual’s performance.

According to a Web site devoted entirely to the subject of steroids, anabolic steroids and their effects, the few cases of liver damage from steroids have been blown out of proportion. This source indicates that very, very few people suffer serious liver damage from steroid use. In contrast, the site states, the steroid is naturally filtered by the liver and does no harm.

Research laboratories developed anabolic steroids more than 70 years ago to treat a particular medical condition involving low levels of testosterone. Shortly after that time, the products were used to help young men who had suffered because puberty was greatly delayed. Steroids have been used to treat the debilitating effects of HIV and other chronic “wasting” diseases.


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Lucas Beaumont
Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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