Steroids are man-made hormones that are given to a person ailing with some issue. The use of steroids has increased lately due to coronavirus infection. These are life-saving drugs that doctors prescribe for chronic ailment patients but their overdose can be life-threatening. There are two types of steroids- corticosteroids(used for medical treatment) and anabolic steroids for bodybuilding and muscle gain. Rampant use of both of these types of steroids is harmful to people. Onlymyhealth spoke to Dr. Hari Kishan Boorugu, Consultant Physician & Diabetologist at Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad to know the possible side effects of steroids overuse.
What are the side effects of steroids?
Steroids are one of the life-saving drugs used in some medical conditions. Steroids give instant relief in asthma exacerbation and some forms of arthritis. Many people use them beyond the prescribed period which can be fatal for them. Many non-allopathic forms of medication also contain steroids and it is not uncommon to see patients on non-allopathic treatment with steroid-related adverse effects.
Steroid usage is associated with certain side effects like worsening of diabetes, steroid-induced diabetes, hypertension, bone weakness (osteoporosis) leading to fractures, depression of immunity resulting in susceptibility to various infections, etc.
Hence it is imperative to use steroids judiciously, use the appropriate dosage, and for the right duration as indicated depending on the medical indication.
How do steroids affect the body?
People on long-term steroids tend to gain weight, develop round or moon facies, swelling of the nape of the neck, and thinning of the limbs. When a patient has these features, doctors suspect Cushing's syndrome which may be due to the production of excess cortisol (a form of steroids) in our body in some medical conditions or exogenous steroid usage by the patient.
- Sometimes patients pressurize doctors for instant relief and some doctors prescribe steroids under pressure.
- Some people abuse steroids (a type of steroids called anabolic steroids) for body-building purpose.
- Keeping these facts in mind, it is important to use steroids only when indicated for a medical condition in the right dose and right duration.
Case Study: A Man Died Of Steroid Abuse
Anabolic steroids are said to promote muscle gain and aid bodybuilding. Some people take steroids to enhance their performance and build a sturdy body. The only deadly mistake they commit is not consulting a doctor for this. Here is a true story of a 40 YO man who died of brain hemorrhage due to steroids(his medical reports claimed).
He used to take steroids for better fitness output. One day, he consumed alcohol without flushing steroids. For the uninitiated, steroids and alcohol is a fatal combo that can take life of a person. Unfortunately, this happened with this young man. He died of brain hemorrhage after two days. His medical reports mentioned the reason behind this to be steroids present in his body. He would have been alive if he flushed steroids from the body first and then consumed alcohol.
We must take lessons from this incident. Taking any kind of steroids, supplements, enhancements, etc. without expert prescription can be injurious for your health. When taking these, understand all the necessary tips and precautions to prevent a health hazard.
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