GASTROINTESTINAL TRACK EFFECTS OF ANABOLIC STEROIDS
Gastrointestinal tract runs from the mouth to the anus, and includes the stomach, small bowel or intestine, and the large bowel (colon and rectum).
Oral alkylated testosterone can cause primary biliary stenosis and cholestatic jaundice, and this may progress to hepatorenal syndrome.
Anabolic steroid use may cause a reversible rise in aminotransferase levels, and may also increase the incidence of hepatic tumours in susceptible individuals.
Steroid users can suffer many side effects on the digestive system from the use of anabolic steroids. This is because the blood circulates throughout the body and takes the steroids through the entire body, not just one particular organ. People who use steroids can experience frequent nausea that leads to vomiting. Liver damage can also occur, leading to pain and other symptoms associated with liver damage. One of these symptoms is jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes.
Steroid abuse can also be hepatotoxic, promoting disturbances such as biliary stasis, peliosis hepatis, and even hepatomas, which are all usually reversible upon discontinuation. Suppression of the hypothalamic adrenal axis can also lead to profound adrenal changes that are also reversible with time. Although rare, renal side effects have also been documented, leading to acute renal failure and even Wilms’ tumors in isolated cases. Much of our knowledge of these potentially severe but usually limited side effects is confounded by use of combinations of different steroid preparations and by the concomitant use with other substances.
Gastrointestinal effects occurring during oral anabolic steroid therapy include nausea and vomiting.