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How anabolic steroids (used for bodybuilding) affect heart?

Effect of anabolic steroids on heartThe use of anabolic steroids is becoming very popular among the bodybuilders. Anabolic steroids are not safe to use, in fact, in higher doses anabolic steroids are extremely dangerous. Athletes do use them, but they take them under the supervision of a qualified medical practitioner, who continuously monitors them for the onset of side effects.  But a common man doesn’t do that, he follows them without any supervision and is at higher risk of having bad effects of their overuse.
In this article, we will discuss only the effects of anabolic steroids on the heart.
  1. Anabolic steroids increase the stamina of the bodybuilder or athlete. They allow him to work for a longer period of time. When he workouts for a longer period, his heart also works harder for that period of time and his heart muscles grow stronger with the passage of time. This is called cardiac hypertrophy. Cardiac hypertrophy beyond limits is very dangerous. The safer method of making heart muscle stronger is to increase the stamina without exogenous steroids. Our body has the capacity of increasing its stamina naturally without the use of steroids. Although this may take a few more weeks, this is the safer method of increasing stamina.
  2. Anabolic steroids have the tendency of retaining more water inside the body. This puts more stress on heart and kidneys. Therefore, the heart may become weaker and weaker if you continue to use steroids despite having symptoms of water retention.
  3. Anabolic steroids may cause hypertension, and hypertension, in turn, may result in cardiomyopathies.
  4. Steroids influence the level of blood hormones. Increased concentration anabolic hormones (eg. testosterone, androgens) and exercising for a longer duration of time under the influence of these, put much more stress on the heart and do more harm than good to heart health.


Cardiac effects of anabolic steroids, by J R Payne, P J Kotwinski, and H E Montgomery Weblink: Accessed on 2/23/2014


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