Anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing drugs are becoming increasingly common in the world of athletics. Their use has become so commonplace that some athletes may fear that they won’t be competitive without using them.
However, use of steroids poses serious health risks, including the risk of contracting a chronic and potentially fatal case of hepatitis. The Mayo Clinic lists liver abnormalities and tumors as possible side effects of steroid use.
Hepatitis is a swelling and inflammation of the liver. It may be caused by a viral infection or may result from liver damage due to other causes such as chronic alcoholism. The severity of hepatitis depends on a number of factors.
Steroids may damage the liver and cause hepatitis directly. Many athletes use excessively high doses of steroids, which will increase the risk of suffering liver damage. The effects of taking such high doses of steroids are not well understood.
Clinical tests involving excessively high doses of steroids would put the test subjects at great risk of serious health problems and therefore simply have not been conducted. Most of the evidence of the effects of high doses of steroids comes from observation of the effects on people who have taken the drugs on their own. Nonetheless, since steroids can cause liver damage even at therapeutic doses used for medical reasons, it is reasonable to assume that higher doses will increase the risk.
Steroid use can also cause hepatitis indirectly through the use of a contaminated needle during intravenous injection.
Coming into contact with the blood of someone who has been infected with the hepatitis virus is a common way to contract the disease. People who inject drugs of all types are at risk for contracting hepatitis, and steroids are no exception.
Using steroids to improve athletic performance is very risky; users may develop serious health problems, including chronic hepatitis. Steroid use can also be addictive.
If you or someone you know needs treatment for steroid abuse, call our toll-free 24 hour helpline at 615-490-9376. Our trained addiction counselors can answer your questions about steroid addiction and help you find the treatment and resources you need.