Anabolic steroid use side effects and danger information, risks and safety
September 15 2017 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Since its discovery in 1935, numerous derivatives of testosterone have been synthesized with the goals of prolonging its biological activity in vivo, producing orally active androgens, and developing products commonly referred to as anabolic - androgenic steroids that are more anabolic and less androgenic than the parent molecule.

The muscle enhancing action of testosterone and its derivatives and their stimulatory effects on the brain have led to widespread use of anabolic steroids by athletes and "recreational" drug users. Consequently, all anabolic steroids were classified as class III controlled substances in 1991.

Alternative to anabolic steroids, healthier choices
Creatine muscle building powder supplement
Protein supplements, whey or soy protein powders.
CoQ10 or Coenzyme Q10 does not have anabolic properties but it can provide a nice boost in energy and stamina.

Adv Nutr. 2014. Keeping older muscle “young” through dietary protein and physical activity. Given that older adults may be more likely to experience periods of reduced activity (either voluntarily or through acute illness), it is proposed that inactivity is the precipitating factor in the development of anabolic resistance and the subsequent progression from healthy aging to frailty. However, even acute bouts of activity can restore the sensitivity of older muscle to dietary protein. Provided physical activity is incorporated into the daily routine, muscle in older adults should retain its capacity for a robust anabolic response to dietary protein comparable to that in their younger peers. Therefore, through its ability to “make nutrition better,” physical activity should be viewed as a vital component to maintaining muscle mass and function with age.

Anabolic steroids use and medical conditions
These have shown some benefit in a variety of human disorders, including HIV-related muscle wasting and other catabolic conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, severe burn injuries, and alcoholic hepatitis. Because of their diverse biological actions, anabolic steroids have been used to treat a variety of other conditions, including bone marrow failure syndromes, constitutional growth retardation in children, and hereditary angioedema.

Anabolic steroid side effect, safety, risks and danger
Anabolic steroid therapy is associated with various side effects that are generally dose related; therefore, illicit use of megadoses for the purpose of bodybuilding and enhancement of athletic performance can lead to serious and irreversible organ damage. The most common side effects of anabolic steroids are some degree of masculinization in women and children, behavioral changes (eg, aggression), liver damage, and alteration of blood lipid levels and coagulation factors.
     Anabolic steroids could also raise levels of homocysteine. Bodybuilders who used the muscle-building anabolic steroids have increased levels of homocysteine, an amino acid tied to increased mortality, heart disease risk and blood vessel damage.

Male bodybuilders who take muscle-building anabolic steroids have a dip in levels of male hormones, shrunken testicles, low sperm counts, enlarged breasts, and low blood levels of heart-healthy HDL-cholesterol. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 2008.

Weightlifters' abuse of anabolic steroids -- synthetic drugs that closely mimic male sex hormones, such as testosterone -- may also lead to insulin resistance, a condition where the muscles, liver and fat cells don't use insulin properly, according to a 2016 report by the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). It can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.

Heart disease, vascular problems
Bulking up with anabolic steroids appears to damage and weaken the heart. The full magnitude of the problem may not declare itself until several decades later. Dr. Harrison G. Pope of Harvard University, has studied anabolic steroids for over 20 years. The drugs began to crop up in gyms around the country in the 1980s, and quickly flourished. Today, as many as two million Americans may have abused the controlled substances at one point or another. Circulation, 2010.

Long-term abuse of muscle-building anabolic steroids damages the heart. Bodybuilders or weighlifters who take these substances to bulk up are more likely for their arteries to be clogged.

Kidney damage
Anabolic steroids - the kind used by some athletes to build muscle mass - can cause lasting kidney damage, according to research presented today at the American Society of Nephrology's 42nd Annual Meeting in San Diego. Presenter Dr. Leal Herlitz, from Columbia University Medical Center, New York, reports that years ago, her group came across several men who technically met the definition for obesity but who were actually extremely muscular athletes. Many of the men had been taking steroids for more than a decade - and had more severe kidney disease than those who were obese and not muscular. Those who stop using steroids and  lost weight, had their kidney function improved.

Review
To minimize or avoid serious toxicities with anabolic steroid therapy, close medical supervision and periodic monitoring are important, with dose adjustment as appropriate to achieve the minimum effective dose. Given the biological effects and potential adverse effects of anabolic steroids, administration of these agents should be avoided in pregnant women, women with breast cancer or hypercalcemia, men with carcinoma of the prostate or breast, and patients with nephrotic syndromes or significant liver dysfunction.

Anabolic Steroid and HIV infection
An oral anabolic steroid can restore the muscle and fat tissue often lost to HIV / AIDS, but the anabolic side effects highlight the dangers that steroids pose to healthy people who abuse them. A study of 262 HIV -positive men found that the anabolic steroid, called oxandrolone, helped treat the substantial weight loss, or wasting, that can arise as a complication of HIV / AIDS. After 12 weeks, men who took the oxandrolone everyday showed gains in both weight and muscle tissue. The side effects of anabolic steroid treatment included an increase in LDL, or "bad," cholesterol, and a drop in "good" HDL cholesterol. Some men also developed signs of liver toxicity. These osandrolone side effects, say the researchers, highlight the dangers of healthy people abusing oxandrolone or other anabolic steroids to build muscle. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 2006.

Anabolic and sexual health
Regular use of anabolic steroids over time will have an inhibitory effect over sex health. Heavy use of anabolic steroids may inhibit optimal testicular function.

Anabolic androgenic steroids
Anabolic androgenic steroids are defined as a class of natural and synthetic steroid hormones that promote cell growth and division, resulting in growth of several types of tissues, especially muscle and bone. Anabolic means muscle building whereas catabolic refers to muscle or other tissue degrading. Different anabolic androgenic steroids have varying combinations of androgenic and anabolic properties, and are often referred to in medical texts as anabolic androgenic steroids).

Testimonial, user experience
Q. Dr what has your anabolic steroid experience been? I made the huge mistake of using Boldenone Undecylenate 8 months ago and have since had numerous health problems including a DVT. The DVT is clear and I had a total renal and hepatic profile done and everything is fine. My problem is a loud ringing in my right ear following intense exercise. Yesterday I did a cardio stress test and later I had the very loud ringing in my right ear and Xanax was required to calm down to sleep. The more intense the exercise the louder the ear ringing is and more insomnia I have. I suspect I have Cushing's like high cortisol blood levels. Hopefully my MD is going to 24 urine test.
   A. I have not used or treated patients with Boldenone Undecylenate or prescribed anabolic steroids for over a decade since I feel these hormones are very dangerous.
      Q. I think the bulk of what I'm experiencing is the tail end of my body clearing the hormone out. I still have insomnia following intense exercise but deep down I feel like I am slowly getting better. I definitely have had the worst medical experience of my life re: the use of Boldenone Undercyclenate. Its beginning to look to me that it can take 2x as long off as a person was on for the body to totally cleanse itself of an anabolic steroid. The "funniest" thing is I got nothing but bad out of all this. I still am must as muscular but much leaner. I'm now lifetime drug free and shooting for an APA raw squat of 550lbs+ in the 180lb class. Not too bad for 41 yr old man who suffered total bi-lateral fractures of both femurs in 1988.