Corticosteroid myopathy presents as weakness and wasting of the proximal limb and girdle muscles and is generally reversible following cessation of therapy.
Corticosteroids inhibit intestinal calcium absorption and increase urinary calcium excretion leading to bone resorption and bone loss. Bone loss of 3% over one year has been demonstrated with prednisolone 10 mg per day. Postmenopausal females are particularly at risk for loss of bone density. Sixteen percent of elderly patients treated with corticosteroids for 5 years may experience vertebral compression fractures. One author reported measurable bone loss over two years in women on concomitant therapy with prednisolone mg per day and tamoxifen. [ Ref ]
In addition to the mentioned side effects several others have been reported. In both males and females acne are frequently reported, as well as hypertrophy of sebaceous glands, increased tallow excretion, hair loss, and alopecia. There is some evidence that anabolic steroid abuse may affect the immune system, leading to a decreased effectiveness of the defense system. Steroid use decreases the glucose tolerance, while there is an increase in insulin resistance. These changes mimic Type II diabetes. These changes seem to be reversible after abstention from the drugs.
Of all the side effects of steroid use there is one that is absolutely 100% guaranteed and it is that of testicular atrophy and it is also 100% reversible. The reason for this occurrence is simple; when anabolic steroids are introduced our natural testosterone production is suppressed. When anabolic androgenic steroids are introduced the body then has no need to produce its own testosterone; the human body is not going to do any more work than it has to do. For this reason, as testosterone is manufactured in the testicles, once this production comes to a halt they simply shrink. No, shrinking does not mean they disappear, were simply referring to slight atrophy, they simply lose some of their fullness and the majority of men will not notice a significant difference. Now, once the use of anabolic steroids comes to an end guess what happens? The body now has a need to produce testosterone and as testosterone is now being produced the testicles return to their normal size; they regain their normal fullness.