Steroids (short for corticosteroids) are often prescribed for autoimmune conditions, and other inflammatory conditions like asthma, and have considerable side effects. They are synthetic drugs that closely resemble cortisol, a hormone that your body produces naturally. Steroids work to decrease inflammation and reduce the activity of the immune system.
Corticosteroids come in many forms; these medications can be taken orally or injected (into a joint, into a muscle, or via intravenous infusion) - all of which may be used in inflammatory arthritis. They may also be applied to the skin as a cream or ointment, used for rashes including those of lupus, or inhaled, as is done for asthma and nasal allergy.However, like all drugs, corticosteroids can have negative side effects. The degree to which they occur is usually dose-dependent: the higher the daily dose and the longer the period of time you take the drug, the greater your risk of side effects. If your dose is low, your risk of serious side effects is quite small, especially if you take the precautions below and any others your physician recommends.
Steroids side effects can commonly include:
- Blurred vision
- Cataracts or glaucoma
- Easy bruising
- Difficulty sleeping
- High blood pressure
- Increased appetite, weight gain
- Increased growth of body hair
- Lower resistance to infection
- Muscle weakness
- Nervousness, restlessness
- Stomach irritation or bleeding
- Sudden mood swings
Your body's own steroid hormones are made by your adrenal glands.
You can support your adrenals to work better by cutting out sugar and the caffeine in colas, coffee and tea. Some common symptoms of the adrenal gland not functioning well are:
- chronic fatigue
- digestive problems
- body aches
- low blood pressure
- light headedness
- Pantethine, 600 mg a day - essential for the proper functioning of the adrenal glands and for the producing of natural steroids, called glucocorticoids. Pantethine increases essential omega-3 fatty acids in the body, which reduce inflammation.
- Vitamin C 1-2 g a day
- Vitamin B6 50-100 mg a day
- Vitamin B12 getting B vitamins is very important for your adrenal glands, especially as deficiency in B vitamins has been linked to adrenal stress
- Vitamin A 12,500 IU a day
- Ashwagandha benefits adrenals because it lowers cortisol levels and maintains healthy adrenal function.
There is a huge list of products that you can get these days for adrenal support.
Have a look here This is a link to Amazon of which I am an affiliate. This means I will receive a small percentage of anything purchased through this link but at no extra cost to you.
You might also enjoy this book The Everything Guide To Adrenal Fatigue: Revive Energy, Boost Immunity, and Improve Concentration for a Happy, Stress-free Life.
I had adrenal fatigue and read a bunch of books on it. This was my favorite. Made things understandable and gave great suggestions for healing, through diet and other ways. Dr. Maggie Luther's book definitely lives up to being an "everything" guide to the condition known as "adrenal fatigue", which is brought on by heightened stress-related situations reducing the body's ability to regulate hormones. The book provides very readable and useful descriptions, explanations, techniques, and recommendations for returning to a healthy lifestyle. The book also contains more than 100 creative food preparations to help in the recovery process, from smoothies and juices to daily meals, desserts, salads, snacks, and soups.
With many thanks to Natural Remedies at The Healthier Life and steroid information at MedicineNet
If you are continuing to take Corticosteroids there is a very helpful article to help you reduce the risks of side effects by the Attending Physician, Hospital for Special Surgery, Professor of Clinical Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College,