Steroids (also known as cortisone or corticosteroids) are chemicals (hormones) that occur naturally in the body.
Steroids decrease inflammation, suppress the body’s immune system, block DNA from being made, as well as blocking a chemical called histamine (released during an allergic reaction).
When are oral steroids usually prescribed?
Oral steroids are used to treat an outsized range of conditions. Some examples include:
- Inflammatory bowel diseases (for example, colitis, lesion colitis).
- Autoimmune diseases (for example, response hepatitis)
- Joint and muscle diseases (for example, atrophic arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica)
- Allergies and asthma attack.
They are conjointly used to treat some cancers. Additionally they will be prescribed as replacement treatment for those who have stopped creating their own steroids – Addison’s syndrome.
Short-Term Effects of Steroids
People who use and abuse anabolic steroids do so for the effects related to improved physical performance and muscle growth.
However, with these intended improvements in strength and performance can come many unwanted short-term effects, which include:
- Mood swings.
- Restlessness/ agitation.
- Decreased appetite.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Decreased sperm count.
Since anabolics steroids are typically liquids that are injected into areas of muscle, some might notice injection sites with infections or swelling. If a steroid cream is being used, there may be a noticeable odor.
What Are the Possible Side Effects of Oral Steroids?
Side effects are more common with a higher dose and longer treatment. Side effects are much more common with oral drugs. Some side effects are more serious than others. The Main Side Effects Of Oral Steroids include:
- Increase in blood pressure. So, have your blood pressure checked frequently. It is treated if it becomes high.
- Muscle weakness.
- High blood sugar which can mean further treatment if you have got diabetes. Steroids may occasionally cause diabetes to develop. If you take long-term steroids, your doctor may arrange a yearly blood sugar test to check for diabetes – in particular, if you have a family history of diabetes.
- Skin issues like poor healing when injuries, cutting skin, and simple bruising. Stretch marks typically develop.
- Weight gain. You may also develop a puffiness around the face.
- ‘Thinning’ of the bones (osteoporosis). However, there are some medicines that can help to protect against this if the risk is high. For example, you can take a medicine called a bisphosphonate to help prevent bone loss.
- An increased risk of developing cataracts.
- An increased risk of duodenal ulcers and stomach ulcers. Tell your doctor if you develop indigestion or tummy (abdominal) pains.