Many bodybuilders die early. When you look at their short life spans, it is usually not because of natural causes. It’s all the steroids. Most bodybuilders who use anabolic steroids are doing it to enhance their performance in competition. But at what cost? There are many costs, including increased aggression and paranoia. This could lead to poor decision making which can result in depression or suicide if their goal is not achieved. Some steroid users will take other illegal drugs like cocaine to counteract some of the bad effects of steroids, but these drugs too take a toll on the body with long-term use as well as they affect judgment more than even steroids do.
One study found that men between 40 – 60 years old who were using illicit drugs were 3.5 times more likely to have a heart attack than men in the same age group who did not use illicit drugs. The study found that older male steroid users had almost nine times the risk of having a heart attack compared with non-users and over five and a half times that of young steroid users aged 16 – 34 years old. One reason young athletes that were using steroids suffered fewer heart attacks might be because they too were exercising and their hearts were better conditioned for an infarct (heart attack). But this was no excuse to take such risks with your health since it only takes one infarct or stroke to end up in death or debilitation.
Another study concluded that people between the ages of 19 – 44 who used anabolic-androgenic steroids were seven times more likely to die than people with similar characteristics who did not use such drugs and that steroid users also had a higher rate of cancer. One British study showed that out of ten men using steroids, only one would live past the age of 65 years old, whereas most otherwise healthy non-users of anabolic steroids living in the same area would probably see 65. The causes of death for these bodybuilders were mostly due to heart disease or suicide by about 50%. Steroids can cause high blood pressure, and you might be able to take some pill orally to counteract the effects, but when taken over a long period, this is no longer effective, and then there is always liver damage too since oral contraceptives like Dianabol (Methandrostenolone) have a very poor effect on the liver even while being used moderately.
Anabolic steroids also decrease coronary flow and increase hypertension (high blood pressure) which is one of the major causes of heart disease, but there are other negative side effects to taking steroids such as increased aggression or depression, which can lead to suicide or violence or accidents. Most male steroid users in their 40s suffered from paranoia that could be attributed to high levels of androgens and androgen receptors (estrogen has an opposite effect). Psychiatric symptoms like loss of libido (inability to feel sexually aroused), mood swings, delusions, hallucinations, impaired judgment were found in about 15% of steroid users in one study. Steroids make it hard for men to achieve orgasm, and when they do, it will be unpleasurable.
One study found that steroid users who used such drugs for more than five years had a 19 times greater death rate than expected in the normal population. Another study reported that bodybuilders died at an average age of 33 or 34 years old, with half dying before reaching the age of 40, which was about 20 years younger than non-steroid-using athletes, usually due to heart-related events. Prolonged steroid use also leads to liver cancer, among other things. Most people don’t know how bad these drugs are until after they had taken them because there is no telling what organ damage may already have been done before you started taking steroids without your knowing it. Steroid use has also been implicated in steroid-induced psychosis, depressive disorders and often leads to extreme mood swings. There are many possible side effects that have been linked to steroid use, including increased incidence of cancer, increased risks for heart disease & stroke, suppression of the immune system, glucose intolerance which leads to diabetes mellitus, heightened blood pressure levels, jaundice, fluid retention leading to edema (water weight), elevated LDL cholesterol levels while suppressing HDL cholesterol levels or possibly having no effect on them at all. Cholesterol is needed by your adrenal glands for producing hormones like cortisol which helps you deal with stress, but steroids interfere with this process which can lead to an overabundance of cortisol resulting in insulin resistance syndrome. The body tends to turn excess carbohydrates into body fat, and such a situation is worsened by steroid use because of increased cortisol levels. On the other hand, steroids can also increase your appetite, which leads to emotional eating and weight gain. The liver’s ability to process cholesterol is impaired by anabolic steroids leading to a possible increase in LDL cholesterol or a decrease in HDL cholesterol depending on what type of drug you are taking. Polycythemia (increased red blood cell count) can be caused by anabolic steroids as well as thrombocytosis (increased platelet count). You probably already know that using doping drugs like HGH, EPO, IGF-1, THG, etc.. may result in testicular shrinkage, but steroids can also cause loss of sex drive, which is a red flag for low testosterone levels. The use of steroids in women can cause hair loss, menstrual irregularities, deepening of the voice, and clitoral enlargement, which is permanent. One study found that 60% of females taking anabolic steroids missed at least one menstrual period per year while on steroid therapy. Steroid users are often consumed with irrational thoughts about the need to take more drugs or end up suffering from paranoid delusions that may lead to violence or suicide if they stop using drugs completely cold turkey without tapering off gradually.