Steroid medications are the widely used not only by sportsmen but also by people that are not professionally engaged in sports but are eager to build up their muscles. Anabolic steroids that are used in this purpose can only be prescribed by a doctor. However, there are pathways and each person can get to these medications rather easily, better to say illegally. They can be and are mostly distributed in gyms and each competition has at least one athlete that has been disqualified because of the steroid abuse. One more way of getting steroids is by purchase from the drug manufacturers in illegal laboratories. These medications are even smuggled across the borders. In certain European countries as well in Mexico steroids are available even without doctor's prescription. For all those who want to use these medications it is highly recommendable to read and get familiar with all the side effects that these medications posses. Thorough information may be beneficial and some may even change their mind and either discontinue with the usage of steroids or will not even attempt to use them.
Increased Susceptibility to Infections
People who are using steroids for a longer period of time are more prone to infections than general population. These medications act immunosupressively therefore reduce the ability of immune system to act properly and fight against even the mild infections. What is more these people are at higher risk of getting HIV or hepatitis B or C. This complication is related to sharing of needles.
Liver and Spleen Complications
The possible complication of prolonged abuse of steroid medications is a medical condition called peliosis. This condition features with the formation of cysts that are filled with blood. The cysts may affect liver as well as other organs such as spleen. In case that these cysts are multiple and large they may affect the function of the liver and as time goes by the liver failure may develop. There is even a chance that the cysts turn into malignant so that the liver cancer occurs. One additional complication of steroid abuse in jaundice.
Metabolic and Heart Complications
Long term usage of steroids leads to increased levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) while the level of good cholesterol (HDL) is insufficient. This fact together with increased blood pressure is responsible for accelerated atherosclerosis and problems with hypercoagulation and clotting. The result is a potential stroke and premature heart attack.
Steroid can affect the normal growth especially in teenagers. Muscles are stronger and larger but inappropriate development and growth of bones and joints in teenagers puts an additional pressure on to the skeletal system. The outcome are frequent injuries of ligaments and joints.
The consequence on neurological system depends on the age and the damage may be reversible or permanent. Depression can be induced by prolonged usage of steroids and majority of people tend to become more aggressive. Depression is more expressed in women as a result of hormonal imbalance.
There are several more complications that include bacterial infections of the skin caused by repeated injection. Acnes are also possible especially in teenagers. And two types of cancer may be a result of steroids abuse. They include prostate and kidney cancer.