Many folks use drugs without even knowing about their side effects. As you probably know, in 2017-2018, several sports persons died or developed severe disorders because of the use of steroids. Therefore, you need to know the risks of using these products.
Corticosteroids which serve for treating some autoimmune and inflammatory diseases can trigger increased blood sugar which leads to diabetes. In this article, we will consider this issue in more detail.
Anabolic Drugs and Corticosteroids
Anabolic steroids (AAS) are hormones that are responsible for the development and regulation of the reproductive system. Synthetic AAS are taken orally or in injection form to dramatically boost sports performance. They are also used in medicine to treat testosterone insufficiency. Steroids, including their counterfeit versions, are distributed on the black market and across the internet.
Corticosteroids are efficient in treating many illnesses (autoimmune disorders, inflammations, such as arthritis). They affect the body by suppressing inflammation and preventing tissue damage.
Why Can Blood Sugar Rise After Administration of Steroids?
People who take corticosteroids (glucocorticoids) have difficulty in keeping their blood glucose levels under control. These meds can elevate this rate in the following ways:
- Inhibit insulin production, which turns into insulin resistance.
- Reduce the sugar flow from the blood into the muscle and other cells. Subsequently, the glucose level rises.
- Affect the liver, which begins to intensively produce glucose in the bloodstream.
According to a narrative review by Héctor Eloy Tamez-Pérez, Dania Lizet Quintanilla-Flores and others (Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, 2015) hyperglycemia is one of the most typical and representative side effect of glucocorticoids.
Scientists have found that inhaled corticosteroids, aimed at removing asthma don’t induce elevated glucose level, since they don’t affect the body systemically, in contrast to oral and injection steroids.
The level of glucose in the blood can increase after steroid administration in tablets. The degree of change varies depending on the drug, its dosage, and the duration of 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 notice any signs of increased sugar rate, visit a specialist immediately.
How to recognize these symptoms?
A person can experience:
- Blurred vision
- Fatigue or feeling sick
- Frequent urination
- Constant thirst
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin
- Weight loss
Why is it dangerous? A high glucose level provokes the development of infectious disorders of the genitourinary system. It may also trigger dangerous conditions, such as diabetic ketoacidosis, and internal organs damaging.
How to prevent this disorder during the use of steroids? Stick to a diet low in simple carbohydrates. These nutrients cause a sharp jump in blood sugar. Also, limit the consumption of saturated animal fats, as they escalate insulin resistance.
Consequences of High Blood Sugar after Steroid Injection
Constant elevated blood glucose rates lead to diabetes, which resembles type 2 diabetes. Similar features imply the absence of a cell’s reaction to insulin. However, steroid diabetes vanishes after you stop administering steroids. There is a high possibility of this condition transforming into type 2 diabetes, because of the chronic use and abuse of the steroids.
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
- Age 45 and over
- Presence of relatives with this illness
- Deterioration of glucose tolerance
Side Effects of Anabolic Steroids
Side effects of anabolic steroid injections can affect any organ. Their intake is often associated with:
- Rapid mood swings
- Testicle shrinkage
- Bleeding ulcers
- Decreased sperm production
- Testicular cancer
- Enlarged breasts
- Peliosis hepatis
- Cardiovascular dysfunction
- Pancreas disruption
- Liver enlargement and failure
- Cystic acne
- Muscle increase
- Oily scalp
- Greasy hair
- Cartilage or ligament tears and sprains
Anabolics like Dianabol, Testoviron Depot, and boldenone cypionate can cause cancerous tumors. Anabolic steroids exert a bad effect on the psyche and create mental instability. In persons taking anabolic steroids, aggressiveness and depression are common The slightest erosion of the muscle volume causes a strong psychical deterioration. People who take anabolics can have problems in relationships with their relatives and friends.
The main danger of anabolics, such as testosterone cypionate, is that adverse events are not noticed quickly. They have a way of sneaking up on you like a thief in the night. You might not notice the slow deterioration. The use of testosterone causes men to lose their libido as the body reduces the production of its own testosterone. Women experience decreased estrogen because these main female sex hormones are replaced by masculine ones. Such women become incapable of giving birth, they get secondary masculine traits: the voice becomes rough, hair grows in “male” places, a beard and mustache appear. But anabolic steroids shouldn’t be demonized. If you take these meds correctly and for a short time (under the supervision of a healthcare expert), they are a good way to improve the gaining of muscle mass.
Corticosteroids can cause many adverse effects besides high blood sugar after steroid injection. Among them are cataracts, increased risk of infections, thinning bones, and fractures, problems with mood, memory, behavior, etc. Corticosteroids are used under the doctor’s supervision. If a patient follows all physician’s recommendations, he/she minimizes the risk of side effects.