Anabolic Steroids What are they and how do they work? - Side effects and contraindications

Anabolic Steroids What are they and how do they work? - Side effects and contraindications

Anabolic Steroids What are they and how do they work? - Side effects and contraindications
Anabolic Steroids What are they and how do they work? - Side effects and contraindications

In its early days, the use of anabolic steroids was intended for medical purposes. Steroids are useful for those who have genetic problems with testosterone synthesis.

Beginning in the 1970s, anabolic steroids were widely used by athletes, bodybuilders and fitness professionals.

Today, anabolic steroids are still used as a supplement to increase muscle mass. The story that no one tells is the price you have to pay for your health.

This article describes in detail how anabolic steroids work and what are their side effects and contraindications.

Anabolic Steroids - What Are They?

Anabolic steroids are synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone. These compounds are able to  significantly increase testosterone  in the blood.

One of its main effects is the rapid accumulation of muscle mass. For this reason, the use of anabolic steroids is common among bodybuilders.

There are different types of steroids, although they all cause similar effects. Synthetically increases the levels of male sex hormone.

How do anabolic steroids work?

Anabolic steroids are supplements that stimulate male sexual characteristics, muscle and sexual desire due to increased concentrations of the hormone testosterone.

High testosterone levels accelerate muscle growth and recovery. In turn, because testosterone acts in the opposite way to  cortisol - the stress hormone  , it allows training with greater intensity and duration.

During a steroid cycle, people can even  achieve muscle hypertrophy  without exercise. Steroids release a cascade of processes in the body that signal muscle building.

The problem - after completing an anabolic cycle,  testosterone drops  . Which can even lead to  symptoms  of  withdrawal  . This stage is characterized by symptoms of depression and decreased sexual desire  . (1)

Muscle mass tends to disappear over time, which puts pressure on a person to repeat the anabolic steroid cycle over and over again.

Reasons for using steroids

Every year the number of people who feel dissatisfied with their body increases. In 1972, 15% of Americans were dissatisfied with their appearance, while in 2010 this percentage reached 43%.

In  adolescents, the  numbers are even higher, up to 80% confirm that they want to change some characteristics of their body. According to experts, lack of intake is the main reason that motivates people to use steroids. (4.6)

The main reasons for the use of steroids are:

  • Bad experiences in adolescence
  • Living in a cult of physical society
  • Hypomania
  • Propensity for compulsiveness
  • Low self-esteem

Are steroids dangerous?

The answer to the question of whether steroids are dangerous is a resounding yes. They not only serve to build muscle mass, but have also been shown to have serious side effects such as increasing the chances of developing cancer. (4.5)

High doses of testosterone have negative effects on the normal functioning of the body.

Anabolic steroids allow to increase the volume of muscle mass at a high cost of infection with all kinds of health disorders.

Side effects of anabolic steroids

The harms of anabolic steroids become apparent after several years of use. Studies show that they not only increase the work of the heart, but can also lead to the formation of cancerous tumors, mood swings and personality disorders  (2,3,4)  .

The side effects of anabolic steroids are:

  • Joint disorders
  • Hair loss
  • Oily skin - Acne on the face and back
  • Gynecomastia (nipple enlargement)
  • Mood swings, irritability and aggression
  • Increased risk of heart attack
  • Increased risk of liver cancer
  • Reduced testicular size
  • Feminization

Anabolic steroids - contraindications

Steroid use is contraindicated for both men and women who have had previous liver, kidney or other health problems. Use as a treatment should be evaluated by a physician. Contraindications to anabolic steroids are:

  • Severe kidney, heart and liver disease,
  • Men with breast cancer and prostate cancer
  • Venous thromboembolism
  • Pregnant women or women who may become pregnant
  • Breastfeeding women
  • Hypersensitivity to any component of the formulation.
  • Myocardial infarction and stroke

Why is it not good to take anabolic steroids?

Taking anabolic steroids is dangerous in all its phases. It has been confirmed that steroid use can lead to increased aggression and mood swings.

At the end of the cycle, there is a hormonal  decline  , where episodes of depression often occur.

Among the side effects of using anabolic steroids are liver function disorders.

Steroids may lead  to  increased levels of bad LDL cholesterol. Increased size of the mammary glands, skin damage and baldness.

"But my friends tried and everything went well ..."

During the first cycle of steroids, people can feel like real Marvel heroes with steel muscles, as well as feel an increase in the strength of their sexual activity. Towards the end of the cycle, the side effects of steroids appear and muscle growth stops.

Taking anabolic steroids has dangerous health consequences. You will inadvertently convince yourself and your friends that everything is fine. However, the story that no  friend  tells is that life expectancy can drop by at least 10 years. (two)

Steroid brands - examples

Here are 10 examples of steroid brands:

  1. Methandrostenolone
  2. Nandrolone
  3. Anabol
  4. Dianabol
  5. Nnapolon
  6. Deca Durabolin
  7. Stanozolol
  8. Winstrol
  9. Anavar
  10. Oxandralon

History of steroids

The  history of steroids  continued during World War II. Where they found that synthetic forms of testosterone could improve soldiers' ability to increase their abilities. It was a simple and effective way to improve physical performance.

The side effects and consequences of taking them have apparently not yet been understood. 

In 1958, the US   Food and Drug Administration   (FDA) registered testosterone for the first time under the company   Ciba Pharmaceuticals  : Dianabol  (5)

At that time, it was used as a treatment for people with   low testosterone  , especially the elderly. A curious fact at that time in history was that steroids were sold in pharmacies without a prescription.

During this time, more than 40 testosterone analogues appeared on the market: Stanozolo, Winstrol, Nerobol, Naposim, DBOL and others.

Only 20 years later (in 1976), the first bans began to be made on the basis of analyzes on the consumption of anabolic steroids in professional athletes.

As with muscle stimulation devices  , its  use was later adopted for aesthetic purposes.

Cycle Steroids Can You Start And Stop?

Starting an anabolic steroid cycle and slowing it down is really unlikely. The most common pattern is to repeat the cycle at least twice. If it is identified with the  causes of vigorexia  ; I didn't try it.

The desire to be more muscular every day is like a snowball. Seeing better results will make you forget about side effects or contraindications. However, it is only a matter of time before your body takes its own.

Can You Buy Anabolic Steroids Legally?

Steroids have different levels of "legality" depending on the regulations of each country; in most cases, the purchase and use of these substances is a crime. The use of anabolic steroids is reserved exclusively for people under medical treatment.

However, the illicit sale of anabolic steroids is common.

The use of anabolics has serious consequences for the body. For this reason, it is not possible to buy them legally. If you are thinking of buying steroids illegally, you may need to read the side effects and contraindications again.

Use of anabolics in bodybuilding athletes

In the high-performance community of bodybuilders and athletes, an extra dose of testosterone can create significant muscle changes. That's why the use of anabolics among athletes in powerlifting, American football and wrestling is so common.

Contraindications and side effects of steroids are clearly expressed in the life expectancy of these athletes. Recourse to a steroid cycle strategy to achieve body sculpting is clearly not the best in terms of health.


  • Anabolic steroids are synthetic variations of the hormone testosterone.
  • The use of these types of supplements has serious side effects and a number of contraindications.
  • The most common side effects are gynecomastia, liver, kidney and heart disease, and they are associated with an increased chance of developing certain types of cancer.
  • Taking anabolic steroids can be addictive.
  • Why not take anabolic steroids? Its effects on increasing muscle mass have a high cost of reducing duration and quality of life.


  1. Anabolic steroids and the relationship of depression. Source
  2. Improper use of anabolic steroids. Source
  3. Anabolic steroids can weaken the heart. Source
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse: Anabolic Steroids. Source
  5. Anabolic steroids. Drug Facts. Source
  7. Anabolic steroids can weaken the heart. Source
  8. National Institute on Drug Abuse: Anabolic Steroids. Source
  9. Adolf Butenant. Source