Disclaimer: At MensXP Health we are neither against, nor for the usage of steroids. It’s completely a personal choice.
Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) or Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) are the bread and butter of many fitness professionals these days. Either they take them, or they give it to their clients, or a combination of the two happens. Well, the advantages are pretty obvious and when you learn of them, it is that magic solution you would love to be on. As you will put twice the muscle mass just sitting at home vs. someone who would slog their ass in the gym day in and day out as shown in the study by Bhasin et. al. and mentioned in this article.
But That Is The Good Part. What About The Bad, And Even The Ugly?
In this piece, I would be covering the harsh side-effects of taking these drugs that you should know of before deciding to jump on them.
Taking PEDs, especially testosterone, has almost everyone using it develop acne on their shoulders, chest, and back. This is because the hormones interfere with the pores of the skin. In certain cases, severe acne is also observed leaving permanent scars or marks in those affected areas.
As some steroids increase testosterone, it leaves men more prone to a receding hairline or balding. Not everyone who takes steroids will experience balding but those who are already losing their hair or have a thin hairline will almost all the time go fully bald on the usage of anabolic steroids.
3. Testicles Shrink
Due to the increase in testosterone by injecting, the balance of testosterone to estrogen (yes, men too have it) goes for a toss and this can lead to your testicles getting shrunk. This is one of the common side effects observed in a majority of constant users.
4. Testicular Atrophy
Continuous usage of anabolic steroids has shown to completely shut down natural testosterone production which ultimately leads to hypogonadism aka testicular atrophy aka bye bye balls.
5. Development Of Breast Tissue
Due to the increase in the estrogen levels due to the usage of some anabolic steroids, the mammary gland or the breast tissue develops and grows in size. When this happens, a lot of men develop the breast tissue and it can lead to the formation of man boobs and gyno.
6. Increased Risk Of Heart Disease
A few side effects of steroid usage to the heart are enlargement of the heart, hardening of the arteries, higher blood pressure, and huge elevations in the artery-clogging cholesterol LDL. A certain degree of these side effects is commonly seen across the board.
7. Damaged Liver
Certain steroids can cause damage to your liver on the same lines as that of heavy alcohol consumption. Very serious conditions are rare but they tend to happen in a certain percentage of heavy drug users.
8. Roid Rage
Research has consistently shown that use of anabolic steroids can affect your personality and mood. A study showed that athletes who used anabolic steroids had a 20% higher risk of mood swings and depression. It can even result in an increase in aggression or rage. So these are just some of the side effects one may end up facing once they jump on gear or anabolic steroids. And long-term abuse has also resulted in permanent disabilities or in severe cases, death.
Is The Risk Worth Taking? Not In My Opinion
I hope this piece gives you adequate information about the bad and the ugly side of drug usage and help you make a more informed decision.
Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company. He is regarded as someone who will make it easy for you to understand the process by putting things in the right context and providing science-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding. You can reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
Photo: © Pixabay (Main Image)
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