If anyone remembers from the last blog, we discussed how steroids can affect every single system of the body and today we will talk about how it affects these different systems. But what’s the worst that can happen? Well there are a lot of negatives that can happen with steroid use but because there are so many, I will only touch on the most common and most harmful.
I am assuming when people think of the side effects of steroids, they think of heart problems. That’s what I think, at least and the heart is definitely affected by steroid use. Using steroids can cause hypertension (high blood pressure) and arrhythmias (abnormal heart beat). Erythrocytosis (having too many red blood cells) and ventricular dysfunctions have also been reported. These heart problems are the most severe consequences of using steroids. Uncontrolled hypertension as well as arrythmias can cause heart attack or stroke. Arrythmias can also cause sudden death and heart failure. The mortality rate among chronic steroid users is 4.6x higher than non-users.
Cancer is also a risk associated with steroid use. Hepatocellular carcinoma is a cancer which affects the liver and Wilm’s tumor is a cancer that affects the kidneys. Although these types of cancers can happen, they are not common side effects of steroid use however, they can be deadly. If caught in early stages there is a 12-35% survival rate after 5 years for hepatocellular carcinoma. The majority of people however, are diagnosed in late stages and after 5 years there is only a 3% survival rate.
Lastly, I want to discuss how steroids affect people psychologically or mentally. For example, users may experience mood swings, aggressive behavior, depression, psychosis and addiction, withdrawal, or dependency disorders. People who are using steroids do report more anger than nonusers. This is sometimes called “roid rage” which could be a result of hormonal changes during these “cycles” users go through. Steroid users are also more likely to use other drugs which can increase these behaviors. This type of over pharmacy (using multiple drugs at once) whether with other drugs or multiple steroids, may increase the risk of violent criminality which includes; murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the positives of certain lifestyle choices, including deciding to do steroids. But as you can see, steroids can cause so much harm and often times do and being informed on the damage that can be done to you is so important. Everyone deserves to make informed, healthy decisions and that includes knowing, not just asking “what’s the worst that can happen?”
Until next time,