Steroids often emerge as the hot topic in the media. Their utility is widespread in all of the cross sections of society. Steroids became very popular in the market mainly because of its "so called benefits" such as fast action and improved results. Many people such as sports athletes are attracted to steroids with the urgency to attain results through a quick fix, without much effort. But the scientific studies have revealed that the merits of steroids are only misconceptions and exaggerated truths. The experts warn about the use of steroids since they have the potential to cause many harmful and sometimes irreversible side effects.


Actually, steroids are organic compounds synthesized in the body that often acts as the hormone. But the commercially popular steroids are not natural compounds; they are artificially synthesized products, which mimic the structure of natural steroids. The steroids are in different categories and the most notorious one is anabolic steroids. The athletes and other sports people use anabolic steroids to attribute better performance. They believe that steroids will help them to increase their muscles, bone weight and give them more strength. Even though the use of steroids is prohibited, many athletes are still attracted to steroids with an impression that it will act as a shortcut to their success, but in fact they are stepping into a permanent disaster.


The regular consumption of steroids increases the level of male hormones, as the steroids mainly resemble the male hormone, testosterone. The male hormone may trigger the energizing reactions, but increased amounts of androgens will be converted into estrogen and results in the discouraging effects by binding to the estrogen receptors. The side effects of steroids may include the dysfunction of major functional systems of the body. Liver damage is one of the major side effects as the steroids such as 17-alpha-alkylated compounds are not decomposed by the digestive system. The altered left ventricle morphology is another major side effect, which affects the functioning of the cardiovascular system. The increased level of LDL cholesterol will add to the risk of coronary heart disease.  Increased blood pressure is another possible side effect of steroids. The chances for physical deformities may also occur because of steroids. Premature baldness and gingival outgrowth are some of the structural side effects of steroids. Acne is even reviewed as one of the obvious effects of steroids, as they are very common in most steroid consumers.


Apart from the structural and physiological side effects, psychological effects are also visible in some people. The other most prominent side effect of steroids are the gender based effects. The increased levels of testosterone and estrogen will cause male specific and female specific side effects in people. In males, the elevation of estrogen will induce the condition of breast development, which is called gynecomastia. The testicular atrophy is a temporary side effect in men, along with sexual dysfunction and temporary infertility. In females, the specific side effects may induce expression of male characteristics, called virilizing effects. The increase of body hair and especially facial hair, and the deepened voice due to the thickening of vocal cords are some of the expressed male characters in males. The enlarged clitoris and alteration of the menstrual cycles are some of the female specific side effects.


However the most severe harmful effects are expressed in adolescent consumers of steroids. The stunted growth may result in teenagers since increased levels of estrogen may result in the epiphyseal fusion and hold back the lengthening of bones. The reduced expression of secondary sexual characteristics is also a result of adolescent steroid abuse.


Steroids are often referred to as "sweet coated", but in the real scene, they are more dangerous. As steroids enhance the balance of a compound in the body, certainly it may harm the body as well. The possible side effects will be far more than the ones mentioned since long term study results of steroids are not available. The best method to avoid the harmful effects of steroids is to abstain from steroid use, as it is not a necessary product for physical health.