If you are thinking about using anabolic steroids to help you gain mass, cut fat, or even build strength and stamina, you should be aware of the typical anabolic steroids side effects that often can and do occur. The good news, though, is that you can mitigate most of these side effects with responsible use.
Though most of the major anabolic steroids side effects can be mitigated with responsible use, there are some that almost everyone will experience to some degree or another. It’s important to remember that different types of steroids will cause different side effects, too. It’s important to research the specific steroid you use, as well. Even those that fall within the same category, so to speak, can have a wide variety of steroid side effects. Some of the most common include the following:
One of the most serious anabolic steroids side effects that you can experience is liver damage. Most oral steroids are alkylated, which means they have been altered at the molecular level in order to make them orally bioavailable, and alkylated steroids have an adverse effect on the liver. Some people develop benign tumors that, while not cancerous, can rupture and cause bleeding in the liver. Over time, this may lead to another condition known as cholestasis, which occurs when bile cannot filter throughout the body properly and instead leaks into the bloodstream. Keeping cycle lengths short and supplementing with milk thistle may ward off liver damage, and alcohol should be avoided.
Because steroids are derivatives of testosterone, it comes as no surprise that many of the anabolic steroids side effects are related to the male reproductive system. Men may experience hypogonadism, which leads to a variety of side effects usually attributed to low testosterone. These include but are not limited to lack of libido, significant mood changes, depression, anxiety, and even the inability to get or maintain an erection. Supplementing steroids with testosterone and planning post-cycle therapy with products like Clomid or Nolvadex, which stimulate the natural production of testosterone, can help keep these side effects at bay.
Many of the anabolic steroids side effects that are of the greatest concern are those related to the cardiovascular system. Steroids have an impact on the production of red blood cells, which can increase blood pressure significantly. This can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. What’s more, several clinical studies have shown that anabolic steroids can have a tremendous impact on cholesterol levels. Not only do they lower good cholesterol, but they also increase bad cholesterol. Eating a healthy diet that is low in saturated fats and trans fats can help, as can taking fish oil supplements.
Most of the social stigma that surrounds the use of anabolic steroids has to do with “’roid rage”, which is a term coined to define aggression and other similar behavioral changes that occur in individuals who use steroids regularly. This typically only occurs in individuals who do not use steroids responsibly and who fail to plan solid post-cycle therapy. Without it, individuals feel they must continue to use steroids in order to feel “normal”, and this prolonged use can have some detrimental effects. To ward off these behavioral effects, which can include aggression, anxiety, and insomnia, it is important to use steroids responsibly, at the right doses, and for the recommended cycle lengths.
Many people are concerned with the immediate anabolic steroids side effects, but fail to truly consider what may happen months or even years down the line. The long-term side effects of anabolic steroids haven’t been studies as much as the short-term effects, but there have been some observations. These side effects include cardiovascular damage, testicular atrophy, low testosterone, irreversible liver damage, and more. However, as the tips above point out, you can mitigate these anabolic steroids side effects with responsible use. To further avoid long term steroid side effects, be sure you take breaks between your cycles, and limit the number of steroid cycles each year to two or three.
Anabolic steroids side effects can be quite severe in nature, but using them according to established guidelines and taking precautions against liver damage, cardiovascular issues, sexual side effects, and behavioral problems can keep them at bay.