Steroids often get a bad rap. There has been a lot of negative press about the side effects of anabolic steroids, sometimes used -- and misused -- by athletes or other people who want to bulk up. However, these medications do have a legitimate medical use for certain sexual and genetic disorders.
ROCHESTER, MINN -- Steroids often get a bad rap. There has been a lot of negative press about the side effects of anabolic steroids, sometimes used -- and misused -- by athletes or other people who want to bulk up. However, these medications do have a legitimate medical use for certain sexual and genetic disorders, the May issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource reports.
Futhermore, another class of steroids, called corticosteroids, can do wonders to relieve the symptoms of dozens of diseases and conditions. Corticosteroids alleviate the symptoms of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, osteoarthritis and allergic rashes. They can also prevent organ rejection in transplant patients.
But there is a downside; corticosteroids cause a variety of side effects, depending on the type of medication, the dose and how long you've been taking them. Weight gain, thinning skin, more frequent bruising, increased risk of infections, loss of calcium in bones, higher blood pressure, fluid retention, higher blood sugar, increased risk of cataracts and suppressed adrenal gland hormone production are just some of the problems that can result from corticosteroid use. Techniques such as using inhaled or injected medications can help reduce these side effects.
Corticosteroids have their pros and cons, like all drugs. They have both powerful healing properties and the potential for serious side effects. But with proper administration and monitoring, the benefits can outweigh the risks.
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