If you check various medical articles about anabolic steroids and testosterone, you will find a long list of possible side effects. This is expected in a way since an axiom of pharmacology states that if a drug didn't have side effects, it wouldn't work. Newly developed drugs make it to the market after a series of expensive studies that involve both animals and humans show that the benefits of the drugs outweigh the potential side effects. Of course, this isn't an exact science, since many drugs make it through the bureaucracy only later to be found to have serious toxic effects. With anabolic steroids, the two primary potential side effects involve liver function and cardiovascular effects. In relation to liver function, this is primarily a problem of oral anabolic steroids. The oral drugs were developed mainly in the late 50s and early 60s in an attempt to maximize the anabolic effects of testosterone while minimizing the androgenic effects. Anabolic steroids themselves are synthetic versions of testosterone. The anabolic effects include building muscle and increasing bone mass, while androgenic effects include possible prostate gland problems, acne, and male pattern baldness. Women produce far less testosterone naturally compared to men, so any dose of an anabolic steroid is already a large dose for women. Some women believe that if they use anabolic steroids that are considered less androgenic, they will avoid some of the possible androgenic side effects, such as male pattern baldness, deeper voice, acne, and enlargement of their sexual organs, especially the clitoris. But this is wishful thinking on their part. If they stay on the steroids for any length of time or use them consistently for years, some androgenic effects are inevitable for women.
Oral steroids can harm the liver because they have been structurally manipulated to prevent premature breakdown by liver enzymes. Without this structural manipulation, testosterone is rapidly degraded in the liver when ingested orally. The liver will process the ingested testosterone to make it more water-soluble, which eases its excretion by the kidneys. But with oral anabolic steroids, the drug modifications prevent this process of premature breakdown. This can result in an accumulation of oral steroids in the liver. That increase in oral steroids in the liver leads to a type of liver inflammation that is readily determined by measuring liver enzyme levels. These enzymes increase when using oral anabolic steroids, suggesting a localized inflammation in the liver. If the oral steroids are used short-term; that is, if the user gets off the steroids, the local inflammation in the liver will recede to normal. But staying on the oral drugs indefinitely will not allow the liver to repair itself. Some online idiot "steroid gurus" often advocate a technique they call "bridging" that involves staying on lower-dose oral steroids year-round. This inevitably leads to eventual liver problems. When the inflammation occurs in the liver from using oral steroids, especially larger doses, the circulation of . . .