Steroid Side Effects
A synthetic steroid is an artificially manufactured organic compound having four molecules arranged in a particular configuration. The synthetically produced steroids have two main biological functions: they change membrane permeability in cells and act as signaling substances in cells. These biological activities are essential to the existence of every living cell in the body, and all cells are required to function properly. The presence of steroids in the body does not necessarily result in cancer or other diseases; however, it does have several negative side effects. It is also important to note that even if a small amount of steroidal activity is present in the body, it does not mean that all the activity of the body is related to steroid use.
The basic function of steroids is to regulate the production of hormones. It is this hormone activity that regulates the normal levels of circulating hormones in the body. The role of steroids is not just limited to regulating hormones but is also necessary for the proper functioning of cells. In the liver, for example, a steroid hormone known as glucocorticosteroids is responsible for the regulation of both liver glycogen and hepatic glycogen content. These two tissues together play important roles in the maintenance and repair of the liver tissue. Without these tissues, the liver cannot function properly.
Glucocorticosteroids also control blood glucose levels by increasing insulin sensitivity in the bloodstream. Insulin resistance is an increased risk for diabetes. Thus, glucocorticosteroid hormones are necessary for the normal functioning of the kidneys and the pancreas.
Other functions of steroid hormones are unknown, but they are believed to promote bone health. For example, testosterone is known to promote healthy bone development, but there are no long-term studies to support this conclusion. Some researchers argue that the development of healthy bones is dependent on a balance between estrogen and testosterone. The levels of testosterone in the body, and its effects on osteoporosis, have been studied in some detail, but the results have been inconclusive. There are certain hormones that may help the process, including glucocorticosteroids.
Because of their potential side effects, steroids increase the risk of developing certain cancers, especially cancer of the bladder and prostate. A few studies suggest that some side effects of steroids may be beneficial in reducing the risk of colon cancer, though other studies have found no evidence for this. However, it is important to remember that steroids also cause many beneficial effects in the body. In men and women alike, steroids are effective at improving cardiovascular health and controlling the immune responses.
The most important effect of steroids in the body is that they enhance the absorption of dietary calcium and phosphorus. Calcium and phosphorus are important to the functioning of the kidney and liver. It has also been shown that steroids increase the production of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. High levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of heart attack. This is why high doses of steroids are often prescribed for high cholesterol patients.
Although they do not have a direct effect on human growth hormones, steroids may contribute to the formation of a tumor in the pituitary gland, causing problems such as enlarged prostate, kidney stones, or thyroid tumors. In animals, steroids may also stimulate testicular atrophy, a condition that causes the pituitary gland to produce less testosterone.
Different types of steroids will have different side effects depending on their individual chemical makeup and metabolism. It is not surprising, then, that when steroids are used to treat certain conditions, they may produce different results from person to person. So it is important to understand how steroids work in the body before choosing a treatment plan to treat your particular symptoms. Talk to your doctor if you have questions or concerns.