Do you know how steroid use will harm you? Find out in the following paragraphs.
Steroids encompass a diverse group of organic compounds that exert various physiological effects in both humans and other animals. In a medical context, the term “steroids” commonly refers to corticosteroids—synthetic derivatives of hormones naturally produced by the adrenal gland. These corticosteroids serve purposes such as reducing inflammation and swelling, often prescribed to address conditions like asthma, arthritis, and allergic reactions.
However, the focus of our discussion shifts away from these organic steroids to another category: anabolic steroids. Unlike their corticosteroid counterparts, anabolic steroids are synthetic replicas of testosterone. Athletes and bodybuilders frequently turn to anabolic steroids to elevate performance and augment muscle mass. Yet, it’s crucial to recognize that their usage comes with significant and potentially severe health implications.
Mike Israetel decided to talk openly and informatively about how steroid use will harm you.
Dr Mike Israetel, PhD in Sport Physiology and co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, is a well-respected professor in the bodybuilding community. He doesn’t only talk about workouts and fitness tips, he often dives deep into health and nutrition.
The information below is not aimed at pushing any agenda. Steroids, like any other drugs, have their positives, negatives, and appropriate use cases. However, misuse can lead to serious consequences.
See below what Israetel had to say and warn about the dangers and harms that steroid can have in a person’s health.
How Steroid Use Will Harm You
Starting with a major concern, chronic high blood pressure is a significant side effect that escalates with the dose of steroids. This condition can lead to various health issues, including kidney failure, strokes, heart failure, and a plethora of other problems. The catch is that chronic high blood pressure often goes unnoticed until it causes severe damage, making regular monitoring essential.
Next on the list is a poor lipid profile, characterized by excess LDL cholesterol and too little HDL, the good cholesterol. This imbalance can contribute to atherosclerosis, where blood vessels fill with plaque, potentially leading to cardiovascular problems such as blood clotting, strokes, and embolism.
Moving on to less discussed issues, there’s growing speculation about the impact of steroids on the brain. Some studies suggest a potential link between prolonged steroid use and a permanent decrease in intelligence, particularly affecting visual-spatial intelligence. Additionally, short-term use can lead to temporary decreases in certain types of intelligence, impacting cognitive function.
Steroids can induce uncontrolled inner rage, toxic righteousness, and heightened anxiety. These emotional states can be challenging to deal with and may affect personal and professional relationships. Anxiety, in particular, can persist throughout the entire duration of a steroid cycle, making it a significant concern for users.
Now, when talking about potential health risks, there’s a question mark around cancer. While it’s not entirely clear whether steroids directly cause cancer, they can stimulate the growth of existing tumours. This poses a potential risk for individuals with a predisposition to cancer.
Moving into cosmetic concerns, steroid use can lead to hair loss, severe acne, changes in skin tone (known as the “Tren tan”), and unwanted body hair growth. While these issues may not be life-threatening, they can significantly impact one’s appearance and self-esteem.
Liver damage is often cited as a potential harm of steroids, particularly with oral forms. However, the extent of liver damage is often exaggerated, and the liver has remarkable regenerative abilities. It usually requires prolonged and intense misuse of oral steroids to cause significant and lasting damage.
The next phase in the steroid journey is the endogenous test production shutdown. This is when your body, having detected an abundance of testosterone or testosterone-like substances in your blood, decides to halt its own production of testosterone. It’s like a feedback loop – the body senses high levels, assumes the testicles are doing a fantastic job, and decides to minimize their workload.
For those unfamiliar with the HPTA axis, it stands for the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular Axis. It’s the system that regulates testosterone production. So, when the body detects an excess of testosterone, it signals the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to reduce their signals to the testicles. The result? The testicles start producing less testosterone.
Now, this shutdown isn’t a universal experience. Some folks, after a few weeks or months of using steroids, find their testicular size dramatically reduced. Picture it like going from a standard size to something closer to the dimensions of a caper.
But it’s not just about appearances; your ejaculate volume can also take a hit. While it might not be the end of the world, having a profoundly reduced volume might raise a few eyebrows.
And here’s the kicker – fertility. Steroids, in some cases, can reduce fertility to the point where having children becomes a distant dream. It’s a rare outcome, but it’s a risk, especially if you’re in your early twenties and dreaming of a family someday. So, it boils down to decisions – are you willing to trade fertility for gains?
Now, let’s talk about a group that often engages in risky behavior: teenagers using steroids. Honestly, it’s one of the dumbest, lamest things a teen could do. If you’re not growing muscle as a teen, it’s likely due to not eating or training properly. Taking steroids at this stage is just asking for trouble, and certain types can even close your growth plates early, ensuring you never reach your full adult height.
So, to all the teens out there contemplating steroids, just don’t. Wait until you’re an adult, your health is in check, and you’ve considered the potential consequences.
Alright, so we’ve covered the potential downsides, but how can you mitigate these effects? It’s not just about scaring you away from steroid use; it’s about being informed and making responsible choices. Let’s break it down:
- Safer Drugs:
- Consider drugs engineered to be safer, like oxandrolone (Anavar), primobolan, or testosterone or masteron in moderation.
- Avoid the gnarly drugs like Tren, Halo, and Anadrol, even if they promise quick gains.
- Moderate Your Doses:
- Start with a low dose, somewhere between 200-500 milligrams for men, and adjust based on results.
- For women, it’s a much lower dose, about a 50th of what men might use.
- Take Off or Low Periods:
- Regularly get off drugs entirely for months of the year or switch to TRT levels.
- Regular Blood Work and Ancillaries:
- Monitor your health with regular blood work.
- Control blood pressure with medication if necessary.
- Avoid long-term anti-estrogen use, as it can have negative impacts on health.
- Regular Blood Donation:
- If hematocrit levels get too high, regular blood donation can help prevent issues like stroke.
- Consider using metformin to reduce systemic inflammation and boost insulin sensitivity.
Remember, it’s not about discouraging your choices but ensuring you’re well-informed and making decisions that align with your long-term health goals. And if you ever decide to explore other substances like growth hormone or insulin, be aware that each comes with its own set of downsides.
So, there you have it – a guide to the potential pitfalls of steroid use and how to navigate them responsibly. Stay safe, stay strong, and, above all, don’t do anything stupid that you might regret later.
Watch the video below for more information from Israetel himself.