Whenever steroids are brought up in conversation, it is because a certain athlete ran fast, made a lot of tackles or hit a lot of home runs. However, they are also associated with a lot of negative side effects that could even cause permanent and unforgiving damage.

Side effects of Steroids - The Truth and the Myth

1. Liver Damage
The side effect that most people tend to focus on when worrying about steroids would be liver damage. This is because the media tends to concentrate on this problem the most, given the fact that it can happen to anybody who takes steroids. Now, this does not necessarily mean that it is true, though. Just because steroids pass by the liver does not mean that they automatically damage it - remember that.

2. Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia refers to a condition wherein men develop breasts similar to that of women. Sometimes, anabolic steroids can bring about this condition because of an excessive amount of estrogen that gets sent into the body through aromatization. When this estrogen gets into the breast tissue receptors and binds onto them, men could develop female-like breasts, as well as itchy and painful nipples. Unfortunately, this condition can only be fixed through surgery.

3. Acne
Anabolic steroids could cause acne development, as well. How extreme the acne is will depend on numerous factors, though, such as the amount of steroids taken. Fortunately, this can be easily prevented by avoiding certain kinds of steroids, using topical anti-androgens and cleaning the skin on a regular basis.

4. Baldness
If men have genetic predispositions to male pattern baldness, then steroids could help bring about this condition much faster. This is because steroids tend to have dihydrotestosterone in them, which reacts with the scalp quite strongly. In order to prevent this, anti-baldness medications like Dutesteride and Finasteride can be taken, though.

5. Heart Problems
Anabolic steroids are also known to be connected to certain heart problems. This is because a lot of steroid users end up experiencing enlarged ventricles after taking steroids. This is most common in powerlifters, bodybuilders and other athletes.

6. Virilization
If men may experience gynocomastia because of anabolic steroids, women may experience virilization or masculinization, wherein they develop male sexual traits. These traits may include a deeper voice, excess body hair, clitoral enlargement and male pattern baldness. Fortunately, this condition is reversible with a mere discontinuation of the steroids in question.

7. Stunted Growth
Some steroids can stunt a person's growth, especially that of children, teenagers and young adults.

8. Kidney Problems
Some anabolic steroids might place a lot of strain on a person's kidneys. This is because the kidneys tend to work harder whenever they encounter a foreign substance. So, if you notice darker urine during your steroid cycles, discontinue the use of your anabolic steroids or simply drink more water.

9. Changes in the Immune System
Studies show that anabolic steroids might affect immune system modulation, as well. As with other negative steroid side effects, though, this depends greatly on the compound and dose taken.