Anabolic Steroid And Liver Damage: How Harmful It Is For The Liver?

Anabolic steroids are synthetic drugs similar to the male hormone testosterone. Athletes and bodybuilders frequently utilize them to create more substantial and more muscle.

Anabolic steroids are typically taken orally or injected into the muscles. They may also be used topically in the form of a cream or gel.

Some people take them in cycles, meaning they take them for a few weeks or months, stop for a while, and then start again. 

People who take anabolic steroids may experience a range of side effects, including liver damage. In some cases, this damage could be reversed with treatment.

If you are considering taking anabolic steroids, you must be aware of the risks. This article will provide an overview of the research on anabolic steroids and liver damage.

all about anabolic steroid and liver damage


What Is Liver Damage?

Liver damage is an injury to the liver that could be caused by several different factors.

The liver is a vital organ that plays an important role in the digestion of food and the removal of toxins from the body.

When the liver is damaged, it may no longer perform these functions effectively, which could lead to a variety of health problems.

How Do Anabolic Steroids Damage The Liver?

Anabolic steroids are hormones typically used to build muscle and increase strength.  However, when used in excessive doses and steroid cycles, they could cause damage to the liver.

This is because steroids may cause the liver to produce too much of a protein called low-density lipoprotein (LDL).

LDL is a type of cholesterol that could build up in the arteries and cause blockages.  This may lead to a condition called atherosclerosis, which could be fatal.

Steroids also have the potential to increase the risk of liver cancer. This is especially true if used in high doses or for long periods.

Who is Most At Risk For Liver Damage From Anabolic Steroids?

Most people who use anabolic steroids do not experience serious liver damage.

However, some people are more at risk for liver damage than others. The risk of liver damage is increased by several factors, including:

  • Using anabolic steroids in high doses over a long period
  • Use of multiple anabolic steroids at the same time
  • Injections of anabolic steroids straight into the liver
  • Use of anabolic steroids that are taken orally


If you are concerned about liver damage from anabolic steroids, talk to your doctor.

They may help you understand the risks and make sure you are taking the necessary precautions.

What Are The Symptoms Of Liver Damage from Anabolic Steroids?

There are a variety of symptoms that could be associated with liver damage from anabolic steroids. These may  include:

  • Jaundice
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Light-colored stools


    If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor right away as they could be indicative of a more serious problem.

Types Of Anabolic Steroid-Induced Liver Damage

There are several types of anabolic steroid-induced liver damage,

  • Cholestasis

    This is a condition where the flow of bile is blocked. This could lead to jaundice (yellowing of the skin) and dark urine.

  • Hepatitis

    This is an inflammation of the liver. It may be caused by a virus, but it could also be caused by anabolic steroids.

  • Liver cysts

    These are fluid-filled sacs that may form in the liver. They are usually benign, but in rare cases, they could be malignant cancer.

  • Liver tumors

    These are growths that may form in the liver. They may be malignant and benign cancers.

  • Peliosis hepatis

    Peliosis hepatis is a condition in which blood-filled cysts form in the liver.

Treatment For Anabolic Steroid-Induced Liver Damage

There are a few treatments available for anabolic steroid-induced liver damage.

If the damage is mild, treatment may not be necessary. However, if the damage is more severe, treatment may include,

  1. Surgery

    During surgery, the damaged part of your liver will be removed.

    This could help to improve your liver function and reduce the risk of liver failure.

  1. Transplant

    The need for a liver transplant may arise in extreme circumstances.

  1. Medications

    A variety of medications may be used to treat anabolic steroid-induced liver damage, including ursodiol, s-adenosylmethionine, and N-acetylcysteine.

  • Ursodiol

    Ursodiol works by reducing the number of bile acids in the liver, which may help to protect the liver from damage.

    It could help to lessen symptoms and enhance the quality of life for persons who are suffering from liver disease, but it is not a cure.

  • S-Adenosylmethionine

    S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) is a substance that is naturally produced by the body.

    SAMe has been shown to help protect the liver from damage caused by anabolic steroids.

    SAMe does this by working to remove toxins from the liver and by helping to repair liver cells that have been damaged by the steroids.

  • N-Acetylcysteine

    N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) is a potent antioxidant that is effective in treating liver damage caused by anabolic steroids.

    NAC works by scavenging damaging toxins from the liver, thereby protecting the liver cells from damage.

    In addition, NAC has been shown to help regenerate liver cells that have been damaged by anabolic steroids.

  1. Dietary Changes

    Making changes to your diet may help to protect your liver and reduce the risk of further damage.

    Some of the dietary changes that are effective in treating anabolic steroid-induced liver damage include:

    • Increasing antioxidant intake
    • Adjusting the proportion of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids
    • Adding milk thistle to the diet
    • Taking vitamin E supplements
    • Consuming more soy products
    • Eating more cruciferous vegetables
  1. Avoiding Alcohol

    Alcohol consumption could exacerbate liver damage, so it’s important to abstain from drinking if you’re taking anabolic steroids.

Tips To Prevent Liver Damage From Anabolic Steroids?

There are a few things you may do to help prevent liver damage from anabolic steroids:

  1. Make sure you take the steroids as directed by a doctor or other medical professional.
  2. Take a liver support supplement with steroids to help protect your liver.
  3. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol while taking the steroids.
  4. Get regular blood tests done to check on the health of your liver.
  5. Stop taking the steroids if you start to experience any liver damage symptoms.


We will never recommend anyone to consider anabolic steroids. As these are not FDA approved and could affect your overall health and may also adversely affect your internal organs.


The usage of anabolic steroids by athletes to boost performance is common. However, these drugs may cause liver damage.

The liver is responsible for breaking down and removing toxic substances from the body, so when it is damaged, these toxins could build up and cause serious health problems.

If you are taking anabolic steroids, be sure to monitor your liver function and consult your doctor if you have any concerns.