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How do anabolic steroids affect the endocrine system?

      Anabolic steroids imitate the endocrine hormone testosterone,
 leading to the many possible side effects described in this
 database.  They cause the pituitary gland to stop secreting FSH and
 LH, which results in temporary infertility in men and menstrual
 irregularities in women.(1,2)  

      Steroids cause the thyroid, which regulates the body's
 metabolic rate, to stop secreting the hormone TSH.(2,3) 
 In spite of this, the thyroid gland itself appears to be
 unaffected, and thyroid function is normal.(3)

      In rats prone to diabetes, anabolic steroids speed the
 development of diabetes.(4)  In humans, steroids are
 associated with increased insulin resistance and changes in glucose
 tolerance.(2,5)  These conditions imitate the symptoms
 of diabetes, although there has never been a case of diabetes known
 to have been caused by steroid abuse.(2,4,5)


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REFERENCES 1. Wagner JC. Abuse of drugs used to enhance athletic performance. American Journal Of Hospital Pharmacy 1989 Oct;46:2059-67. 2. Johnson MD. Steroids. Adolescent Med 1991 Feb;2(1):79-93. 3. Johnson MD. Anabolic steroid use in adolescent athletes. Pediatr Clin North Am 1990 Oct;37(5):1111-23. 4. Hickson RC, Ball KL, Falduto MT. Adverse effects of anabolic steroids. Med Toxicol Adv Drug Experience 1989 Jul- Aug;4(4):254-71. 5. Cohen JC, Hickman R. Insulin resistance and diminished glucose tolerance in power lifters ingesting anabolic steroids. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1987;64(5):960-3. by Trent Tschirgi, R. Ph. (c) 1992 University of Maryland Office of Substance Abuse Studies. All Rights Reserved.
Disclaimer: Steroid use is illegal in a vast number of countries around the world. This is not without reason. Steroids should only be used when prescribed by your doctor and under close supervision. Steroid use is not to be taken lightly and we do not in any way endorse or approve of illegal drug use. The information is provided on the same basis as all the other information on this site, as informational/entertainment value.

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