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Side effects of corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are one of the most commonly used drugs these days, and of course they cause concern for patients. It is said that these drugs have many side effects and cause weight gain, drug addiction, diabetes, stomach ulcers, etc. If you are also being treated with corticosteroids, it is best to learn more about this drug and its side effects.

1- Obesity complication

Corticosteroids do not necessarily cause inflammation and obesity; It all depends on the amount and duration of use of this drug. Obesity is the result of high doses of this drug in the long run. According to experts, the maximum dose of this drug is one milligram per kilogram of body weight, and its short-term use for treatment (for example, treatment of sinusitis) will not cause obesity. If you also feel swollen and obese with short-term use of this medicine, it is better to avoid consuming a lot of salt and salty foods during your treatment period. For long-term consumption, you should also have a low-salt diet, increase protein intake (meat and fish), and prioritize slow-absorbing carbohydrates.


2- Risk of stomach ulcers

Corticosteroids increase acidic gastric secretions and, as a result, may increase the risk of injury and gastric ulcers. If you have a family history of stomach ulcers, you need to be more mindful; Especially if you are taking oral corticosteroids. It is best to take the medicine before meals. These drugs are not recommended for people with stomach ulcers.

3- Risk of high blood pressure

Corticosteroids cause water and salt to accumulate in the tissues, thus raising blood pressure in the arteries, which can eventually lead to high blood pressure. According to experts, this problem can be solved by stopping taking the drug. In any case, it is better to follow a low-salt diet while taking corticosteroids and avoid eating industrial and ready-to-eat foods. The result is an increased risk of developing diabetes. According to French experts, when blood sugar rises due to the use of these drugs, the body is forced to return sugar into the cells to lower blood sugar, which in turn causes weight gain. You should reduce your sugar intake while taking corticosteroids. People with diabetes who are being treated with corticosteroids can use insulin to control their blood sugar.


4- Decreased immune system

Long-term use of oral corticosteroids (for months or years) reduces the strength of the immune system. For this reason, it causes problems such as tooth infection, urinary tract infection, mycosis (fungal disease), etc., and delays the wound healing process. In this case, it is necessary to observe the health of the body in the area of ​​mouth and teeth, feet as well as personal hygiene (to prevent urinary tract infections) and see a doctor if you notice the slightest signs of infection. It is good to know that reducing the body’s defenses by taking corticosteroids in the case of an organ transplant will benefit the patient, as it preserves and cares for the transplanted organ and reduces the risk of rejection.

5- Osteoporosis

Long-term use of corticosteroids causes loss of bone mineral salts and, as a result, damage to their tissues. Therefore, it increases the risk of osteoporosis. Note that short-term use of corticosteroids (for example, to treat severe ear infections or allergic rhinitis) will not cause bone problems. Serious side effects on the bones are the result of long-term use of corticosteroids. If you have to take corticosteroids for a long time, be sure to increase your calcium absorption. You should increase your intake of dairy products, fruits and green leafy vegetables. Drink mineral water. Be aware of the amount of vitamin D in your body as well, as this vitamin helps you absorb more calcium. This vitamin is found in cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna, egg yolk and mushrooms. However, to absorb vitamin D, you need to be exposed to sunlight for 15 minutes daily.