Not only can anabolic steroids lead to serious side effects during use, including depression and heart failure, but they can continue to be harmful years after you quit, according to 2 studies that looked at the effect of anabolic steroids in individuals who took them. they had previously used .
Anabolic steroids are synthetic hormones that mimic the naturally occurring sex hormone testosterone and are used to increase athletic performance and increase muscle mass.
Anabolic steroids are used as performance-enhancing drugs and have harmful side effects in men such as erectile dysfunction, decreased testosterone levels, hair loss and breast growth, and increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and kidney or liver failure. However not much is known about the effects after their use has been stopped.
In one study, 64 healthy men who participated in recreational strength training were evaluated. The men were between 18 and 50 years old and 28 of them used anabolic steroids, 22 had previously used steroids and 14 had never used steroids.
The researchers assessed the amount of blood flowing to the heart muscle during exercise and rest using a PET-CT scan with the radioactive tracer Rubidium-82, and observed that both current and previous users had a blood flow weak heart blood.
The findings suggest that people who have previously used steroids are more likely to develop heart disease than people who have never used them.
Previous studies have shown that heart function more or less normalizes after anabolic steroid use is stopped, but the study indicates that men who have previously used anabolic steroids have a higher risk of heart disease years after quitting because the blood flowing through the smallest vessels of the circulatory system known as cardiac microcirculation appears to be persistently impaired. Previous use of anabolic steroids could be another risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
In another study, questionnaires and blood samples to measure testosterone levels were obtained from 3 groups of men between the ages of 18 and 50: 89 men who are currently using anabolic steroids, 61 men who had previously used steroids, and 30 who had never used steroids.
They found that men who had previously used anabolic steroids reported worse quality of mental and physical health, which included emotional well-being, social functioning and fatigue, despite having stopped years earlier. The same group also had reduced testosterone levels compared to men who had never used steroids.
Previous studies have shown that men experience withdrawal symptoms immediately after stopping using steroids, which include depression and low motivation, and have reduced testosterone levels.
These 2 studies reveal that an impairment in quality of life in men who had previously used anabolic steroids appears to persist years after quitting and could be due either to withdrawal symptoms and/or hypogonadal following a sudden drop in blood testosterone levels. . Unfortunately, a reported worse quality of life may be a reason that men who have previously used these steroids start using them again.
Both studies included only a few anabolic steroid users, ex-users and non-users. Initial results reveal that men who had previously used anabolic steroids are more likely to develop heart disease, but these findings need to be confirmed in larger studies.
Side effects from steroids in men who have used them previously appear to continue much longer than previously thought.
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