When it comes to steroids, we are referring to the synthetic drug designed to give you the same effect of a hormone testosterone and like other steroid hormones, testosterone affects mainly the tissues. It works by going through a receptor where it crosses the cell nucleus and then begins synthesizing protein.
There are a lot of side effects of steroid use on the body. Healthy Top 10 has a list of how the body is affected negatively by steroid and these includes:
When the testosterone levels are high, there is bound to be aggressive behavior which is why people who take steroids tend to engage in a lot of violent acts. Sometimes, it’s often used as an excuse for people who behave aggressively. Those who take a high dosage of steroids tend to exhibit psychotic syndromes as well as a high level of anxiety. When steroid messes with the brain, the user could suffer from extreme mood swings and at some point depression. Due to the addictive nature of steroid, it is normal to find users who are addicted to it.
For users who take steroids occasionally and those who are frequent users, it often results in oedema, which is what occurs when there are high levels of water retention on the face which leads to puffy cheeks. Steroids can lead to an increase in hair growth on the face in expected and unexpected areas of the body like the forehead. Hair removal techniques like waxing might be deemed too strong for steroid-thinned skin and it can leave your skin with blotches and less baby smooth. Steroid usage can also trigger the production of excessive oil which can lead to breakouts in large proportions – bigger than you have ever seen. Among women, there have been cases of growth of facial hair, bad breath and the deepening of the voice.
Steroid usage could affect how you see. It can lead to infections in the eye and in some extreme cases glaucoma. It does this by elevating the intraocular pressure. When this happens, the person is at risk of developing glaucoma.
Steroid has a negative effect on the heart with a lot of damage that could lead to heart diseases and incidence of high blood pressure. It does these through the increases in the total cholesterol levels. These cholesterols build up on the walls of the blood vessels. When this occurs, there will be a decrease in the level of the good cholesterol (HDL) and increase in the bad one. Blood pressure will increase while the blood clots which evidently will disrupt the flow of blood and cause damage to the heart muscles. When you use steroids, the heart’s main pumping chamber (left ventricle) will become weakened.
When the left ventricle is fully functional, it can pump as much as 70% of the blood in the heart. There is a study that also shows that steroid users tend to have impaired diastolic function which is what happens when the left ventricle relaxes and is filled with blood.
- Effects on the Kidney
The kidney is quite important to the body because it helps eliminate waste materials from the blood and the regulation of salt and water levels in the body. The kidney also helps in the regulation of blood pressure; high blood pressure is dangerous as it damages the blood vessels and renders the filtering system of the kidneys useless. The occurrence of kidney problems occurs mostly with the use of oral steroids with a suppression of blood clotting factors which leads to increased blood clotting time following cuts or injury. The kidneys have to work harder with oral steroid use due to increase requirements to filter the blood. Steroid users also normally resort to ultra-high protein intake, sometime far in excess of normal intake involved with weight training which can lead to kidney stones. Kidney stones can block the opening of the urinary tract leading to problems with urinary excretion. High blood pressure can also cause problems to the kidneys by damaging the blood vessels by causing thickening and narrowed blood vessels leading to a reduced blood supply and filtration.