Do anabolic steroids affect the cardiovascular system?
Anabolic steroids can negatively affect the activity of the heart and blood vessels, increasing the risk of hypertension, stroke and myocardial infarction. In particular, steroids are able to stimulate erythropoiesis, which leads to an increase in hematocrit (percentage of red blood cells in the blood), causes an increase in blood viscosity and, consequently, a decrease in its circulation, which means that it can cause embolism and stroke. Almost all alkyl anabolic steroids due to androgenic activation of hepatic lipase, which is responsible for the breakdown of high density lipoproteins, reduce the level of so-called good cholesterol and can significantly increase the level of low density lipoproteins (the so-called bad cholesterol).
It should also be noted that the heart muscle, like other muscles in the body, contains androgen receptors and, as a result of their stabilization with steroids, can increase in size. Although there is currently no evidence of direct damage to the heart muscle as a result of sales of steroids in USA, this possibility should not be completely ruled out.
What is the effect of anabolic steroids on behavioral reactions and mental state?
The human brain has receptors for interacting with testosterone, so it can be considered as a target organ both for the hormone itself and for its synthetic analogues. Therapeutic doses of anabolic steroids can help improve memory, reduce mental fatigue and increase mood. In turn, the cyclical administration of steroids, accompanied by interruptions, causes constant changes in the mental state, which negatively affects the activity of the brain.
A variety of side effects depends on the dose of anabolic steroids, while their variability is quite wide – from depression associated with a sharp cessation of steroid use to the onset of a manic-depressive state. An overdose of anabolic steroids can lead to increased aggressiveness, a tendency to violence, and even hallucinations.
Are there sex differences in the effects of anabolic steroids?
Compared to men, women’s anabolic steroids are several times more effective – they are affected by the lowest doses and the “lightest” drugs like Winstrol. At the same time, women recover more easily in between cycles of taking anabolic steroids. But there are also disadvantages. Many USA women like the use of steroids due to increased libido, but at the same time their behavior becomes masculine, which is a certain problem in communicating with other people, especially with males. In addition, women can take anabolic steroids with a loss of adequacy of their worldview – they try to underestimate the self-esteem of men, unreasonably increasing their own. As a result, many couples in which american women use anabolic steroids diverge, as they constantly quarrel and cannot reach a compromise.
Is there an age dependence of the risk of side effects of anabolic steroids?
The younger the person, the higher the risk of side effects resulting from the use of anabolic steroids. At the same time, the recovery period between the cycles of taking anabolic steroids is easier for young people, while after 40 years it is more difficult and requires special pharmacological support.