Steroids can be legally prescribed to treat those with low testosterone levels and to treat body wasting in patients with AIDS and other diseases. These drugs are also used illegally by athletes, body builders and others who claim that the drugs give them a competitive advantage or improve their physical appearance.
Anabolic steroids are any drug or hormonal substance chemically and pharmacologically related to testosterone that promotes muscle growth. Most illicit steroids are sold at gyms, competitions and through mail order operations.
The major side effects from abusing anabolic steroids can include:
Decrease in HDL (good cholesterol)
High Blood Pressure
Increase in LDL (bad cholesterol)
Liver Tumors and Cancer
Other side effects include kidney tumors, severe acne, and trembling.
In addition, there are some gender-specific side effects:
Development of Breast
Increased Risk for Prostate Cancer
Reduced Sperm Count
Shrinking of the Testicles
Changes in or Cessation of the Menstrual Cycle
Enlargement of the Clitoris
Growth of Facial Hair
Growth halted prematurely through premature skeletal maturation and accelerated puberty changes. This means that adolescents risk remaining short for the remainder of their lives if they take anabolic steroids before the typical adolescent growth spurt.