IGF-1, or insulin growth factor 1, is a protein-based anabolic steroid similar to insulin that is used to increase testosterone and muscle growth in its users. As with any anabolic steroid, there are a number of side effects that can result from use.
Inhibition of Natural Hormones
Inhibition of natural hormones is the most common side effect of steroid use. Once you ingest an outside source of hormones into the body, it sends a message to your endocrine system that it no longer needs to produce it. Your body does this to remain in an equilibrium state and does not want to produce too much of one chemical. When steroid use is stopped, the body no longer produces enough of that particular hormone, leaving your body without vital hormones it needs to remain at homeostasis.
Increased aggression, more commonly known as "roid rage", is a common side effect of steroid use. This is commonly attributed to the elevated levels of testosterone present in the body and can lead to increased violence and even psychosis. It is important to note that the personality of the individual plays a key role in whether or not these symptoms persist. If the individual is already prone to aggression and violent behavior, the steroids will likely increase these characteristics. Conversely, those with more passive personalities may not experience increased aggression at all.
Anabolic steroids pass through the liver when being processed by the body, leaving the possibility that repeated steroid use can result in liver damage. When something is processed by the liver, it is broken down by enzymes and subsequently passed into the bloodstream. Steroids cause liver enzymes to become elevated after they are done breaking it down, and eventually this can lead to long-term damage.
Gynocomastia refers to the feminization of the breast tissue and the development of female breast characteristics, a side effect that is very common when using anabolic steroids. In addition to raising testosterone levels, steroids also raise estrogen levels in its users to counterbalance the influx of hormones being ingested. This excess estrogen finds its way into the breast tissue of the user and binds to the tissue that is already there, leading to an increase of fatty tissue. Common indicators of gynocomastia are itchy nipples and pain in the breast. Discontinue steroid use when any of these symptoms become present.
There are several reproductive issues that can arise as a result of the increased levels of testosterone present when using steroids. These include prostate enlargement, shrinkage of the testicles, and sterility. It is important to note that many of these problems only arise after long-term steroid use.
It is important to realize that these side effects come as a result of using any anabolic steroid, not just IGF-1. If you experience any of these side effects, please seek the help of a medical professional immediately.