I’ve gotten a lot of questions about steroids and one of the biggest ones being, “What are the consequences after stopping steroids?”
Basically, what happens short and long-term? Good and bad… positives and negatives?
And to begin with – why should you listen to me? Well, my doctorate degree is in pharmacology and endocrinology.
Pharmacology – is the study of DRUGS. And I’ve also taken it a big step deeper with the study of nutraceuticals – herbs and plant extracts – since over 50% of drugs have been based on natural substances found in nature.
Endocrinology – is the study of hormones.
So, this makes me a bit of an expert on this topic.
More importantly, I also have many years of real-life clinical experience dealing with professional athletes and bodybuilders, where I had to redo their entire drug protocols so they can be safer, healthier, and actually get MORE results.
As far as the positive effects for HEALTHY men taking steroids – thus, people who are not sick or ill (AIDS or other wasting diseases) – the only real positive effect of doing a cycle of steroids is that it will actually help you surpass your natural genetics.
Or more accurately, help you get to your “limit”, much faster.
And thus, after the cycle, you’ll actually be able to KEEP some of the “newly” grown “steroid-induced” muscle growth.
For example, you’ll gain 20 lbs of muscle on your 12-week cycle. You’ll end up losing 12 lbs and keep about 8 lbs of muscle. This is the NEW muscle that would have taken you years to gain, but you fast-forwarded the results and grew it all in 3 months.
However, this is assuming you do everything correctly — during, and more importantly, AFTER your cycle… which is another topic, for a different day.
This is the only REAL benefit.
Now, let’s move on to the negatives.
Transient, Short-Term Side Effects
There are lots of short-term negative effects that will come and go.
Acne – some will get them, some won’t – it depends on genetics, your diet, hygiene, and the TYPE of steroids you take. These will go away after your cycle. However, if you pick at them, they can leave acne scars and that’s the only “permanent” negatives.
Liver Stress – your liver will be under extra stress with steroids, mainly with orals. Again, after your cycle, your liver enzymes will go back to normal.
Fatigue – many steroids will initially give you more energy. But over time, they can decrease your energy levels, especially with orals.
High Cholesterol – almost all steroids will cause negative effects on your lipid levels. Orals are the worst, but so are most injectables that don’t convert to estrogen. Needless to say, your lipid and cholesterol levels will go back to normal after the cycle. And unless you were doing steroids for many years, your body will heal itself. Make sure you eat healthy foods on your cycle.
High Blood Pressure – like cholesterol, will go back to normal after your cycle. HOWEVER, if it’s elevated too much for too long, you might get a stroke and it could cause renal and kidney problems, which can result in kidney failure and dialysis. This does happen, so keep an eye on your blood pressure.
Long-Term, Permanent Side Effects
Hair Loss – now, this is a real problem that NOBODY wants. However, this is caused by genetics and the type of steroids you take. Needless to say, even people with the best genetics will lose hair when you take high doses of steroids, especially certain ones, for long periods of time.
Testicular Shrinkage – ALL steroids will cause this. There are ways around this, but it’s too complicated to get into in this article. They will grow back after your cycle. However, they will NEVER be as big as they were previous to you ever taking steroids.
Infertility – did you know that male birth control is steroids, specifically testosterone and also nandrolone-based steroids? This is because exogenous testosterone (from the OUTSIDE) causes your testicles to shrink and thus, stop producing sperm. Now, some guys can still get a woman pregnant even during a cycle, but generally no. However, the REAL problem is that this “infertility” actually continues even post-cycle for many men. And the longer you’re on steroids, the worse this situation is. And YES, there are ways around this – but again, too much for this one article.
Loss of Libido – speaking of which, the above two situations also cause loss of libido in most guys. All steroids will decrease your sex drive, except for pure testosterone. Even with testosterone, too much or too little will also decrease your libido due to conversions to other hormones, specifically estrogens. This is a major issue because this will negatively affect your relationships and this also continues post-cycle for most guys.
Mood – finally, I believe the biggest problem of all is the changes in your mood and mindset. Certain steroids will make you down, gloomy, and depressed. Certain ones will make you aggressive, angry, and short-tempered. These are bad for your relationships. However, the real problem is that these powerful hormones are very addictive – physically AND emotionally. So, it’s very hard to get off of steroids and STAY off.
Just remember that anything that will turn OFF your natural hormones, specifical testosterone, will cause lots of negative side effects, both short and especially long-term.
Genetics plays a big part in all of this. As does the type of steroids, dosage, and duration.
Anyway, you can do whatever you’d like — it’s your health. However, make sure you do a lot of research and prepare. And please don’t listen to all the bullshit “bro-science” you read on message boards and so forth. 95% or more of all the information you read about is completely WRONG.