Many individuals use steroids without even knowing about their side effects. As you probably know, in 2017, several athletes died or developed severe ailments due to the use of steroids. Therefore, it is very important to know the risks of using steroids. Do you know that such drugs as Dianabol and Testoviron depot can lead to increased blood sugar? The same goes for corticosteroids (drugs, which are used for treating some autoimmune & inflammatory diseases). In this article, we will consider this issue in more detail.
Anabolic drugs and corticosteroids
Anabolic steroids are a group of hormones that are naturally formed in the body and are responsible for the development and regulation of the reproductive system. Synthetic anabolic steroids are taken orally or in the form of injections to increase strength and muscle volumes. They are also used for medical purposes in cases of testosterone insufficiency. Steroids, including their counterfeit versions, are widely distributed on the black market.
Corticosteroids are used to treat a wide range of ailments, from autoimmune disorders to problems associated with inflammation, such as arthritis. They work by reducing the functioning of the immune system of our body and reducing inflammation, and therefore are useful in preventing self-damaging tissues by the body.
Why can blood sugar rise after administration of steroids?
People who take steroids are complicated by controlling their blood glucose levels. These meds can increase blood sugar levels in the following ways:
- Suppress the functioning of insulin which leads to insulin resistance.
- Reduce the flow of sugar from the blood into the muscle and other cells. As a result, the glucose level rises.
- Affect the liver, which begins to intensively produce glucose in the bloodstream.
Scientists have found that inhaled corticosteroids that are used to treat asthma do not cause an increase in blood sugar. This is due to the fact that they do not have a systemic effect on the body, which cannot be said about oral and injection steroids.
However, the level of glucose in the blood can begin to increase after a while after the administration of steroid administration in tablets. The degree of change varies depending on the type of drug, its dosage, and the duration of its use. The same goes for intramuscular injection. Their negative effect on glucose level may be more pronounced because injectable steroids have a longer half-life than oral tablets. Long-term use of such drugs can lead to a significant deterioration of the control of blood glucose levels in the body (the so-called steroid-induced diabetes).
If you think that the sugar in your blood is elevated, you need to see a doctor. How to recognize the symptoms of high blood glucose?
A person can experience:
- blurred vision;
- fatigue or feeling sick;
- frequent urination;
- constant thirst;
- dry mouth;
- dry skin;
- weight loss.
Why is it dangerous? High blood sugar increases the possibility of developing infectious ailments of the genitourinary system, can lead to very dangerous conditions, such as diabetic ketoacidosis, and damage to internal organs.
How to prevent the increase of sugar during the use of steroids? Stick to a diet low in simple carbohydrates. It is these nutrients that lead to a sharp jump in blood glucose. Also, limit the consumption of saturated animal fats, as they enlarge insulin resistance.
Possible consequences of rise in blood sugar
Steroid-induced diabetes, which occurs due to a constant elevated blood glucose rates, is similar to type II diabetes, in that the organism’s cells do not react with insulin. However, steroid diabetes disappears some time after the end of the administration of steroids. Nevertheless, the risk of developing of type II diabetes from the steroidal type of diabetes rises with increasing dose of steroids and time or their using.
Other risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
- age 45 years and over;
- relatives who have type 2 diabetes;
- deterioration of glucose tolerance.
Other side effects of steroids
High blood sugar after steroid injection is not the only side effect of the above-mentioned meds. Adverse effects of anabolics can affect almost all organs. When they are used, hypertension, rapid heartbeat, decreased mood, sudden aggression, disruption of the liver and pancreas are often observed. Muscles grow quickly, so cartilages and ligaments did not keep pace. This can cause increased traumatism and frequent ruptures and strains of the tendons. Also, steroids can accelerate the development of cancerous tumors. Anabolic steroids exert a bad effect on the psyche and even lead to its full destruction in mentally unstable individuals. In persons taking anabolic steroids, aggressiveness and depression appear. The slightest erosion of the volume of the muscles causes a strong deterioration. People who take anabolics can have problems in relationships with their relatives and friends.
As for corticosteroids, these meds also can cause many other adverse effects. Among them are cataracts, increased risk of infections, thinning bones and fractures, problems with mood, memory, behavior, etc. However, in most cases, corticosteroids are used under the supervision of a doctor. If the patient follows all the doctor’s recommendations, he minimizes the risk of side effects.