What effects do anabolic steroids have on the stomach?
There are no case reports in the medical literature of anabolic steroid interactions with the digestive system. However, in high doses, anabolic steroids begin to have effects on the body like those of the other classes of steroids.(1-3) Some medical conditions (such as ulcerative colitis) require people to take large doses of corticosteroids, sometimes for years at a time. Severe cases are treated by surgery, which makes it unneccessary to take the corticosteroids. In a third of these patients, withdrawal of corticosteroids causes temporary small bowel obstruction along with stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.(4) There is no evidence that withdrawal from anabolic steroids leads to intestinal blockage in this way. However, if a steroid user experiences stomach pain, ausea and vomiting after stopping steroid use, s/he should be seen by a doctor.
1. Wilson JD. Androgen abuse by athletes. Endocrine Reviews
2. Knuth UA, Maniera H, Nieschlag E. Anabolic steroids and semen
parameters in bodybuilders. Fertility And Sterility 1989
3. Giannini AJ, Miller N, Kocjan DK. Treating steroid abuse - a
psychiatric perspective. Clinical Pediatrics 1991
4. Stelzner M, Phillips JD, Fonkalsrud EW. Acute ileus from
steroid withdrawal simulating intestinal obstruction after
surgery for ulcerative colitis. Arch Surg 1990 Jul;125(7):914-
by Trent Tschirgi, R. Ph.
(c) 1992 University of Maryland Office of Substance Abuse Studies.
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