On top of that, some of the extra testosterone breaks down into estrogen, the female sex hormone, as a way for the body to stay somewhat balanced. This can lead to some unwanted physical changes. “In the back of muscle magazines, you’ll see ads for surgeries or supplements to help get rid of breasts in men,” Hoffman says. “That’s because of the steroids. The increased estrogen leads to the formation of what’s called ‘bitch tits’ in the gym.” Doctors have also seen a link between steroid use and bad cholesterol , liver cysts , kidney damage , and blood clots .
One last point: Because steroids have all these side effects, a lot of abusers will then take other drugs to offset the effect—steroid abuse causes you to grow man-boobs, so people take another drug to mitigate those side effects. Guys who take steroids often also take augmenting drugs to decrease estrogen production or to improve athletic performance even further, like human growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1, insulin, erythropoietin, stimulants, diuretics, levothyroxine, and/or gamma-hydroxybutyrate, according to the study in FP Essentials . That means on top of all these side effects of steroids, most abusers are also looking at a whole separate list of effects from their peripheral drug habits.
NOT NECESSARILY TRUE . Faced with an unnatural rise in estrogen, some steroid users will then take a class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors , which are designed to block the production of estrogen in women with breast cancer, Weinerman says. That's right: It's a breast cancer drug. And aside from the obvious danger in further messing with hormones, guys who turn to aromatase inhibitors can have side effects like joint and muscle pain, the loss of sex drive, and the loss of bone density, which can then result in osteoporosis, according to a Susan G. Komen Foundation report .