Some of the symptoms that you can think of include:
- Negative developments in serum cholesterol
- Thickening of the heart walls
- Raised blood pressure
- Vascular reactivity changes
In itself, the acute risk of serious problems when using anabolic steroids not huge. The resources you take will not easily lead to concrete problems in healthy people.
However, if you abuse it for a long time anabolic steroids, then there is a possibility that all kinds of serious adverse effects will get the chance to pile up.
For example, it is not very likely that someone without apparent problems will have a heart attack as a result of an enlarged heart after using a single or a few cures. The same applies to a stroke or liver problems.
If you however long-term abuse of anabolic steroids, then there is a possibility that all kinds of serious adverse effects will get the chance to pile up. Over time, these developments can indeed lead to serious, lead to serious complaints.
Cholesterol and lipids
One of the most common problems with the use of anabolic steroids in the long term is its influence on the cholesterol ratios and the amount of triglycerides present. This allows the veins to silence over time due to plaque effect of AAS on it cardiovascular system builds up in the walls of the veins.
HDL / LDL ratios
The most concrete shifts what cholesterol as a result of AAS is the reduction in it HDL cholesterol (good) in combination with a quantity LDL cholesterol (bad) that remains the same or increases. This causes problems in the long run.
The reason that the HDL decreases is that the use of anabolic steroids stimulates the production of hepatic lipase in the liver. This is a enzyme that is responsible for disposing of HDL cholesterol. If your liver starts producing this enzyme to a greater extent, your HDL will decrease automatically.
When the excess of LDL starts to accumulate, plaque develops in the veins.
When the excess of LDL starts to accumulate, then there arises plaque in the veins. You can best see this as a thickening of the walls of your veins, making them narrower. In itself everyone is affected to a greater or lesser extent, but if these accumulations become too large, this can be a serious problem for your health.
Plaque and anabolic steroids
Not all anabolic steroids cause the same risks when it comes to developing plaque. Certainly the oral variants, which are stronger hepatotoxic can cause a strong decrease in HDL. That does not mean that the use of injectable variants does not entail any risk.
However, it also seems that increasing doses does not lead to a linear decrease in HDL. So if you use the double dose, your HDL will not decrease twice as fast. There are indications that there is a kind of ceiling after a certain amount.
When you stop using anabolic steroids and you take the right measures, your cholesterol ratios will usually recover. That initially seems to solve the problem.
However, the plaque that arose during periods when your cholesterol ratios were worse is of a more permanent nature. So the idea may arise that you recover well every time after each course, but meanwhile an AAS builds up in your veins on the cardiovascular system problem.
Stable and unstable plaques
Usually plaque does not lead to an acute problem. You can grow old with it without causing problems. Namely, as long as the restriction does not close off the blood vessel in such a way that there is more pressure on a blood vessel, this is called a “stable plaque”.
However, it may also be the case that your vein is clogging up. As a result, there is a chance that your vein will rupture, which will make you one “unstable plaque” calls. If this happens then the tear in the vein comes in contact with blood. Thus a clot of this blood can settle on top of the plaque. This can cause problems very quickly.Incidentally, it is also possible that such a coagulation breaks off from the plaque and gets stuck in narrower parts of the veins and thereby blocks the vein. Because of this the body parts behind this vein no longer receive oxygen and you speak of an infarction.
A common phenomenon that many long-term users of anabolic steroids face are heart problems. Although – due to the very long-term development – it is often difficult to determine the ultimate cause of these problems, there are clear indications that abuse of anabolic steroids can play a substantial role in many cases.
Enlargement of the heart
The human heart is ultimately just a muscle. There are functional in this muscle androgen receptors which are also capable of growth through male steroids. This explains, among other things, why the heart of men is relatively larger than that of women.
When you introduce super-physiological amounts of anabolic steroids to the body, this will also have an immediate effect on the heart.
When you supraphysiological amounts of anabolic steroids to the body, this will also have an immediate effect on the heart. This is as stated above that it also heart responds to certain aspects of male hormone levels. A greatly enlarged heart carries an increased risk of heart failure.
There are of course other ways that the heart can become larger. Resistance exercise (anaerobic), among other things, can tend to increase the heartbeat through a thickening of the ventricular wall, without an equal expansion of the internal cavity. This is known as concentric remodeling.
Damage to the heart muscle
There are also indications that the abuse of anabolic steroids can also cause direct damage to the heart. This would mean that AAS actually contributes to weakening the heart muscle.
In studies that expose heart cell cultures to AAS, there was evidence of reduced contractile activity, increased cell fragility, and reduced cellular (mitochondrial) activity. This supports the suspicion of a possible direct toxic effect of AAS on the heart muscle.
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Furthermore, a number of studies have found similar pathologies in heavy users. A number of examples that have been observed are:
- Myocardial fibrosis (build-up of scar tissue in the heart)
- Myocardial inflammation (inflammation of the heart tissue)
- Cardiac steatosis (accumulation of triglycerides in heart cells)
- Myocardial necrosis (death of tissue)
Although it is always difficult to attach very concrete conclusions to such results, such indications are a clear signal to people who are reminded to take serious heart risks into account.
Raised blood pressure
The use of anabolic steroids often causes an increase in blood pressure. There are a number of reasons why this is caused.
You can think of:
- Increased water retention
- Increased vascular stiffness
- Increased hematocrit