Some severe conditions require the treatment in form of steroids. But steroids have major side effects. This article gives you information on some of the possible side effects of steroids

Steroids Side Effects

You must have heard of the word ‘steroid’ before. But, what exactly is it? Steroids are organic compounds that contain a specific arrangement of carbon atoms that form rings which are further attached to each other. There are different types of steroids such as animal steroids, plant steroids, steroid hormones etc. The one in question here is steroid hormones. They are further sub divided into sex steroids (that support reproduction), corticosteroids (controls metabolism and immunity) and anabolic steroids (increase bone and muscle synthesis). Popularly, the steroids we are talking about are anabolic steroids. They can be taken in orally or injected. It is used by different people to cure diseases such as asthma and anaphylactic shock. They have anti inflammatory action and are called ‘wonder drugs’. All this aside, steroids have potential side effects that can be consequential. Read on to find out more about the possible issues that can arise. 

Side Effects Of Steroids
  • Anabolic steroids are taken to increase muscle mass and gain stamina. Synthetic steroids are harmful for both men and women and may cause serious side effects. For example: testosterone is a natural anabolic that is responsible for development of secondary sexual characteristics among men. They promote natural growth and health in men.
  • However, in the sports and fitness field, synthetic steroids are banned because when taken, they are detrimental to the person and cause side effects such as development of high cholesterol, blood pressure, impotency, mood swings and sometimes even cancer.
  • Roid Rage – people taking anabolic steroids often reach a point of addiction and totally lose control of their emotions. They get irked at every single thing that happens. Steroids abuse could also lead to reduced sperm count, painful urination, shrinking testicles and man-breasts.
  • Women taking steroids have side effects such as voice deepening, facial hair growth and shrinkage of breasts, altered menstrual cycle and enlargement of the clitoris.
  • Teenagers are some of the most affected class of individuals. Side effects include: height impairment, bone deficiencies, suicidal tendencies owing to mood swings, anger and irritation.
Drugs are called systemic when they are taken orally or through injections. These life saving steroids come at a price – they have both long term and short term side effects.

Short Term Side Effects 

  • Increase in appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in mood and behaviour
  • Redness of face or acne
  • Weight gain due to water retention
  • Blood clotting
  • Depression
  • Damage to tendons due to increasing muscle size
  • Those with diabetes mellitus, experience an increase in blood sugar. Those with hypertension, see an increase in blood pressure. People with glaucoma can see increasing pressure within the eyes. Congestive heart failure patients may have water retention.
Long Term Side Effects
When taken for a long period of time, or on multiple occasions, more serious side effects can occur. Hence, duration and time period (must not be taken daily) of these steroids should be kept in mind. These medicines are usually taken with calcium and/or vitamin D to prevent bone loss.
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Kidney failure
  • Adrenal Genital Syndrome
  • Acid reflux
  • Osteoporosis
  • Myopathy
  • Arthritis
  • Liver disease
  • Heart attacks
In this way, there are several other side effects of steroids that can affect the normal functioning of the body. Before consuming/inhaling any of the steroids it is best that you consult a doctor regarding the possible side effects incidental to them.

How to Cite

More from