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There may be as many as 70 side effects. They can range from those as serious and life threatening as liver cancer, heart, or kidney disease to more minor ones such as baldness, unusual distribution of body hair or acne. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Education, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the parts of the body most seriously affected by steroids are the liver, cardiovascular and reproductive system. Children or adolescents may have stunted growth due to the premature closing of the ends of long bones. as well as disturbance in sexual development. Males may experience shriveled testicles and/or lowered sperm counts, or impotence. Balding may occur in both males and females. Women produce less natural testosterone. When taking steroids they may experience masculine characteristics which, unfortunately, are irreversible. Characteristics such as male pattern baldness, voice change , enlarged clitoris, facial and body hair , menstrual irregularities, smaller breasts, oily skin, and sterility. Fetal damage to a developing infant may occur as well. Emotional or psychological symptoms such as depression can occur and uncontrollable aggression and combative behavior (roid rages) often develop . Abuse or addiction syndrome is now being recognized with chronic use of these drugs. Long-term use can lead to a preoccupation with, and craving for the drug, even if side effects are being experienced while taking the drug.
Other established effects or adverse reactions or conditions might include: cancer, jaundice, liver tumor and liver disease; increased cholesterol, or decreased HDL ("healthy cholesterol), increased risk of heart disease, heart attack or stroke, water retention in tissue and/or swelling of feet or lower legs; decreased glucose tolerance; prostate enlargement, frequent or continuing, prolonged or painful erections in males; fetal damage; and acne.
There is also a possibility of abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting , blood in the abdomen. black, tarry or light-colored stools, diarrhea, chills and fever; high blood pressure, continuing headache, insomnia, listlessness; purple or red spots on the body, muscle cramps or bone pain, sore tongue, weight loss, problems with urination, kidney stones from an increased calcium level, and dark urine.
One possibility that isnt often talked about is the fact that those who inject steroids illegally risk getting HIV from contaminated needles.