Steroid Side Effects | Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

Steroid Side Effects

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Jun 30, 2021

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  • There are many types of steroids, and they all carry side effects.
  • People take steroids for a variety of reasons, but whatever the reason, the side effects always wreak havoc on the body.
  • Side effects of steroid use can be psychiatric, physical, fatal, and specific to gender and age.

From topical steroids to oral steroids, there are many risks involved with steroid usage. Did you know there are even side effects from taking legal steroids?

Don’t let taking steroids cause you to put your health on the line. There’s simply no substitute for good old-fashioned hard work and a proper workout plan. Go PRO today for workout plans that will help you meet your health and fitness goals.

The Steroid Conundrum

Steroids present the ultimate moral conundrum in the world of weight training.

The trainee stands on the edge of a cliff: step off into a world of quick, easy strength gains, but end up free-falling to possible doom; or walk away, knowing the path you are taking is more challenging, but also the right one and ultimately, more rewarding.

There are many bad examples of steroid use in sports. Many professional, amateur, and casual weightlifters have fallen prey to the promises of steroids, thinking they would be a quick pathway to increased size, strength, and stamina.

Others turn to steroids for their anti-aging capabilities.

Youth and beauty are hard to let go of, and when a seemingly magic elixir like steroids is so easy to get, even when illegal, it can be difficult for some people to say no to.

The side effects of steroids are many, and they are all frightening and terrible. Regardless of how big and impressive they may make your body look, the damage they will wreak is so great that no amount of strength could possibly offset it. Remember: steroids are for the weak.

Fatal Side Effects of Steroids

The long-term and widespread effects of steroids are crippling, and some will kill you. Steroids wreak havoc on your internal systems. Steroids are or are related to naturally-occurring substances in your body, such as human growth hormone (HGH) and testosterone.

However, whereas the natural hormones and chemicals occur in response to various stimuli from within your body (puberty, increased muscle activity, proper diet, etc.), steroids are unnatural and cause devastating effects to the same systems (glands, sex organs, etc.) that usually produce natural hormones and other secretions you want or need!

This shock to the system from steroids can be so bad it can cause the following potentially deadly side effects:

Breakdown by Body Part

Before getting into how steroids impact the genders differently, let’s look at a rundown of some of the major issues almost all steroid users will experience.

For a quick summary, view the following video!

First off, the psychiatric effects:

  • Aggression (‘roid rage)
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Suspiciousness
  • Manic behavior
  • Mood swings
  • Delusions
  • Depression

Your brain is a delicate thing. It is intensely affected by the biochemicals secreted by different parts of your body. Steroids throw those chemicals all out of whack.

The physical effects are many, as well.

Since most steroids are artificial, and when introduced into the body, they become present in far greater amounts than should otherwise be there, they have to be processed by the liver. This increased load on the liver can lead to many problems.

First on the list is jaundice (yellowing of the skin and/or whites of the eyes). This is oftentimes associated with liver failure. Liver cancer is also a possibility.

Jaundice isn’t the only possible problem. Many steroid users suffer from acne, which is caused by over-active sebaceous glands.

Other problems under the skin center on the heart. Starting with an enlarged heart, the steroid user’s troubles escalate. Lipid levels (fat in the blood) can go all over the place, and LDL (the bad cholesterol) can spike. This is often associated with clogged arteries.

Elsewhere in the body, the same muscles that steroid users seek to build up are having their own problems. For one thing, their tendons are getting weakened. This is a huge problem if your muscles are getting bigger and stronger because tendons are responsible for connecting muscles to bones.

Does anyone want to guess what happens if your muscles get too strong for your tendons? SNAP!

Steroid users also deal with dysplasia of collagen fibrils (which means that it’s growing strangely) and increased bone production (which you DO NOT want).

So-called “general physical problems” of steroid use also include:

  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Eventual physical dependency (i.e. steroids do terrible things to your body — then make you addicted to them!)

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Steroid User Common Traits

Check out these steroid statistics:

  • HDL levels are 50 percent higher than average (not actually too bad, but not worth terrible side effects of steroid usage)
  • LDL Levels are 56 percent higher (that’s BAD)
  • 57 percent more likely to experience increased levels of anger and irritability
  • 67 percent more likely to experience changes in libido
  • 25 percent of users develop hypertension
  • 250 percent more likely to develop heart disease (which is already the number one killer in America)

Steroid Use Side Effects by Gender

While there are general use side effects of steroids, there are also some side effects that are dependent on gender.

– Steroid Use Side Effects for Men

Men who use steroids can experience the following:

  • Accelerated/unnatural hair loss
  • Breast development
  • Shrunken testicles (When you inject testosterone into your body, your testicles think they no longer need to produce it naturally)
  • Impotence
  • Infertility
  • Decreased sex drive

Many of these male-specific side effects are highly ironic, considering that many males take steroids to make their physiques more typically masculine and impressive.

– Steroid Use Side Effects for Women

Women who use steroids conversely end up looking and feeling more masculine. They can expect:

  • Shrunken breasts
  • Increased/new facial or body hair
  • A deeper voice
  • Irregular periods (may result in the eventual cessation of periods due to hormonal disruption)

Steroid use in women also increases the chance of:

  • Breast cancer (a leading affliction amongst women in developed countries)
  • Osteoporosis (another leading affliction)
  • Anemia
  • Birth defects (for those who become pregnant while on steroids)

The many terrible side effects of steroids go on far longer than this article has space for. Be sure to check the full graphic above for details about how steroids affect teenagers and do your own research online.

The bottom line is: steroids don’t make you stronger, they make you weaker. Skip out on using steroids and instead use natural supplements and hard work with a great workout plan to meet your fitness goals!

Consider signing up for our PRO plan today to stay focused on getting fit the right way.


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