Steroids in the gym may appear to be harmless and seem to make training that little bit easier and more productive in terms of muscle size and strength. However, the side effects that they have which make them dangerous, apart from the fact that they are illegally obtained so that you don’t really know what you are taking.
So what are the side effects Psychosomatic changes such as depression, paranoia, and feelings of isolation are common. There are also metabolic changes such as salt and water retention giving a bloated look. Hormonal changes are also quite common eg. testicle atrophy, low production of sperm production, enlargements of the breasts (which can be particularly troublesome in males) and changes in libido (you may have an increased sex drive for a while and then have no sex drive at all). Other changes include skin, stretch marks and hair changes such as acne and baldness. Because the muscles increase in size and strength very rapidly, this can cause tendon ruptures and the pectoralis major muscle in the chest is a common one to tear. The thermoregulatory system may not function properly so if you are exercising to a high extent or in high temperature and sudden death syndromes may occur. This is where your body goes into respiratory distress due to the heat build-up and can be life-threatening. Other effects of anabolic steroids are damage to the kidneys and liver. This damage may be irreversible.
It is now known that the same networks which distribute the narcotic and other illegal drugs are now also distributing anabolic steroids. It is a big issue in competitive sports competitions.