Anabolic androgenic steroids are synthetic derivatives of testosterone used by men with low testosterone or athletes and body builders who want to enhance their physique. Testosterone is responsible for the mineralization of bone in men. The Steroids work similarly to testosterone. Through their anabolic action, they increase protein synthesis that leads to muscular hypertrophy and better recovery from intense exercises. They cause lipolysis of fat deposits.
Anabolic steroids that are available in the market include Trenbolone, Anadrol, Anavar and Winstrol. They are usually taken in phases and cycles. They are generally taken in the oral or injectable format. The initial dosages for beginners are usually lower and the dosage is increased with continuation of the cycle. They are also used in combination through a method called stacking. This is to cause a synergistic action and to counteract the side effects of each drug.
Despite their many benefits and advantages, anabolic steroids have unpleasant side effects. The most worrisome is the effect of anabolic steroids and cardiovascular function. They increase the levels of low density lipoproteins, bad cholesterol. This cholesterol attaches to the wall of blood vessels leading to thickening of blood vessels. This thickening leads to increased resistance to blood flow which in turn causes increase in blood pressure. Deposition of LDL on blood vessel walls also puts the user at risk of thrombosis. Thrombosis is responsible for heart attacks due to blockage of coronary arteries.
High blood pressure is harmful to the heart as it causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This is where the heart undergoes hypertrophy but its ability to pump out enough volume of blood is frustrated. When combined with intense exercises, anabolic steroids increase myofibrillation with an increased risk for arrhythmias. With hypertrophy, some areas of the heart do not get enough blood and oxygen and this causes necrosis and fibrosis. In the long run this will lead to heart failure and the fatal sudden cardiac death.
The effects on the cardiovascular system vary from one individual to the next. Their severity also depends on the type of steroid in use and the type of exercises combined with the steroid.