Hepatitis C Treatment Cost and Nutrition Part 5
There have been a few anecdotal reports of liver function problems in anabolic steroid-abusing athletes, who increase the risk of potential side effects by combining injectable and oral anabolic steroids and at doses 10 to 40 times greater than those prescribed therapeutically. Interestingly, even under these circumstances, there have been only rare reports of severe or life-threatening side effects in athletes and bodybuilders who have abused anabolic steroids.28 In a placebo controlled study, no negative effects were seen in liver function after anabolic steroid administration.29
Overall, it appears that liver damage should not be considered a property of anabolic steroids.30 Thus, the scare tactics used during the anti-anabolic steroid years regarding severe health hazards of anabolic steroids have been exaggerated.
One study suggested that one anabolic steroid, oxandrolone, actually diminished the severity of the liver injury in patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis and suggested that anabolic steroids should be added to the patient’s treatment.32 In another placebo-controlled study, results showed that there was no statistical difference between hepatotoxicity in patients treated with oxandrolone versus those on placebo.
Overt liver damage has been occasionally associated with the long-term use of some, but not all, oral anabolic steroids. The damage occurs because they are 17-methylated or alkylated. Oil-based injectable anabolic steroids do not have this property.3435 This potential negative side effect is also noted in the long-term use of 17-methylated estrogen steroids used as contraceptives, Such as the birth control pill.
The effect of anabolic steroids on heart function has also been studied. In separate controlled studies, there were no detectable differences in heart measurements in weight training athletes who used anabolic steroids and those who did not.3637 Blood pressure at rest and during exercise in weight lifters who used anabolic steroids was also studied, concluding that blood pressure remained insignificantly elevated and that the slight elevation may be a result of the circumference in the larger arm mass of weight lifters.
Potential Side Effects of Steroids
The following is a list of potential side effects associated with anabolic steroids. They include: rare hepatocellular neoplasms, cholestastatic hepatitis, edema, serum cholesterol increases, serum triglyceride decreases, acne and gynecomastia. All androgenic side effects are dependent on the dose and the androgenicity of the compound. Reported side effects are usually reversible.
Gynecomastia, is the excessive development of the male breast tissue often first noticed as a hard thickening under the nipples, is a negative side effect usually seen after the administration of high dosages of anabolic steroids for long periods of time.
Safe Use with Other Medications
Anabolic steroids do not compete with other medications for binding sites and are neither nephrotoxic or cytotoxic.40 Anabolic steroids are not associated with anemia or granulocytopenia, as seen in AZT therapy.
Some anabolic steroids, such as oxandrolone and nandrolone decanoate, have actually been shown to be immune stimulating.
Women and Anabolic Steroids
Wasting syndrome is actually more common in women than men.45 While there are only a few controlled studies focusing on the use of anabolic steroids in the treatment of women, they have been shown to be an effective treatment of weight loss in women.46 Anabolic steroids also have a long history of use in women suffering from osteoporosis.