If you have ever taken anabolic steroids then you might already be aware of some of the potential negative side effects.
A lot of people who take this steroid have suffered from acne, diminished testicles, and developing breasts due to the increase in estrogen in their bodies.
However, there is a much more severe side effect of taking steroids over a prolonged period of time, and that’s cardiovascular disease.
Whether you are taking steroids to get jacked or your on a course of them to treat an illness, you can expect your heart to suffer after a certain period of time.
Research has shown that if you are a weightlifter aged between 34 and 54 years and you’ve been benching on average of 275 pounds and you’ve been taking steroids, then you can expect a severe narrowing of your arteries.
As well as having much higher blood pressure, both of which combine to make bad news for your heart.
So how bad can steroids affect your heart?
How long would you have to take steroids before you notice any significant damage?
What are the visible effects of taking these steroids over a long period of time?
Is there any way that you can take these steroids without them affecting your health?
Well, if you are anxious about some of the negative effects of taking steroids, then we would suggest that you keep reading.
We’ll give you a quick rundown of what steroids are used for, what effect they have on your body as well as specifically what effect they have on your heart.
Why Take Steroids?
There are around 3-4 million Americans taking anabolic steroids on a regular basis to enhance their performance in the gym or during weightlifting competitions.
This will give you much higher muscle mass without the unsightly fat that often comes with it.
Getting jacked is one of the more common goals of weightlifting, but if you are unable to shift that stubborn fat, then some weightlifters might be becoming frustrating and end up going for anabolic steroids.
There are also people who take steroids for medical reasons. This will be to reduce swelling and inflammation in the body, giving you significant pain relief.
They will also slow down the reactivity of the immune system, which might impair your ability to fight off diseases, but they will also help give your body time to recover and reduce pain.
However, even if you are taking steroids for medical purposes over the long term, you can still expect to suffer from some degeneration of the body.
It is suggested that people who are on a course of steroids are 6 times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than your average person.
The Effect Steroids Have On Your Body
Steroids do have the function of reducing the amount of inflammation that you’ll experience, which can often be quite painful.
If you are suffering from unsightly symptoms of certain conditions such as arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, then taking anabolic steroids can certainly help.
However, if you are taking anabolic steroids to get jacked, then you will start to experience impaired function in your body after long-term use.
As well as narrowed veins and arteries, you can experience a loss of responsiveness in your muscles. High blood pressure is also a significant factor in developing heart disease.
The Effect Steroids Have On Your Heart
When you are taking steroids, then your heart will have a reduced function.
Scans have shown that those people taking anabolic steroids have a decreased ventricle pumping operation in their hearts.
This means that you will be getting less blood to the rest of your body.
Studies divided up steroid users between ever-users and current users.
Ever-users are defined as those people who use steroids over the long term, whereas current users have only been using them recently. Both of these users have been reported as having heart-pumping issues.
Steroid use has also been linked with a holdup of plaque in the heart.
This will also lead to impaired function in your heart, which might not only lead to more serious health conditions down the line but will also reduce your capacity for building muscle.
The side effects of taking steroids in the long term can be very serious and can impede your ability to lift even years after you stop taking them.
Some weightlifters have reported issues with circulation and numb limbs, even after they have stopped taking them years before.
Other Steroids Treatments
Steroids can be used to treat all manner of diseases. Here is a list of a few things that they are used to alleviate along with some symptoms:
- Rheumatoid arthritis - this will usually express itself as incredibly painful and stiff joints. Steroids are usually used to reduce inflammation.
- Bowel disease - this usually manifests as a bloated and inflamed feeling. Again, steroids are used to reduce the amount of swelling that you’ll experience.
- Giant Cell Arteritis - this is experienced using increased swelling, along with headaches and other symptoms. Steroids are once again used to reduce inflammation.
- Polymyalgia Rheumatica - another serious condition that can manifest itself in tiredness and stiffness in the hips and joints.
- Lupus - this is a very common condition, often manifesting itself as stiffness in the limbs and tiredness in the body. People with lupus also experience skin rashes.
- Vasculitis - this condition usually manifests itself as a rash on the skin, however, it can also be an indication of more serious issues in the heart, kidneys, and liver.
Our Final Say
We hope that our run-down of steroids and their potentially harmful effects has given you a better idea about whether or not you should take them, either in the long or the short term.