Contentious Effcts Of Steroids

The use and illegal steroids has been in debate for a very long time. Te effects of steroids in particular have garnered the kind of attention that would be suitable for any major international story. In this story, there have been some confirmed side effects of steroids, yet there are many others which are open to debate and have not been confirmed so far.

One such side effect of steroid that has been sensationalized and is much talked about is the purported steroids direct on the liver and its functioning. The evidence linking steroid use to liver malfunction is not substantive and in general, the liver damage is not a side effect of all steroids but it is that of some in particular. The main such steroids are the ones having C17 alpha alkylated compounds. The basic contention of people is that since the liver enzymes are elevated when steroids are used, it means that the liver is being damaged. But the function of the liver itself is to act as a purifier and it will be activated when something passes through it. In any case, we need more evidence to conclusively link liver malfunction with steroids.

One liver condition that has been associated with steroid use is ‘peliosis hepatitis’. In this, the liver develops blood filled cysts and this can be life threatening. It is also known that with the discontinuance of steroids, this condition is reversible. Peliosis hepatitis is not a general condition associated with steroid use and is not present in all the athletes that use steroids.

Another attributed side effect of steroids that is open to debate is their effect on the prostate. It is generally alleged that steroids lead to prostate enlargement. Generally it is seen in the human body that there are two phases of prostate growth. The first stage is during puberty and is due to the secretion of androgens. The second stage is much later in life and is due to the combined effects of estrogen and testosterone. Since it is a hormone induced process, it can be caused by steroids cycles (which are essentially composed of the hormone testosterone). With the input of steroids, this prostate enlargement can take place at a faster rate and can lead in the extreme case to prostate cancer. It is generally seen that the effect of steroids on the prostate can be reversed with the cessation of their intake.


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