It is an unexpected increase in blood sugars that’s related to the use of steroids. It can occur in people with or without a history of diabetes.
In most cases, it’s going away shortly after when you stop taking the steroids.
If you’re using steroids for the long term, then there are chances to develop type 2 diabetes and it will need lifelong management.
There are risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes after taking steroids long-term:
- If you have close family members with type 2 diabetes
- Haveing overweight
- Its comman to Developed diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
- Having polycystic ovary syndrome
- You are 40 years or older and white
Environment and genes can both play an important role in this.
Historically marginalized groups Trusted Source tend to disproportionately face challenges that can increase the risk of diabetes, such as lack of access to healthcare, discrimination in healthcare, and lower socioeconomic status.
Causes of Steroid-Induced Diabetes
Typically, when your blood sugar is high, your pancreas creates serum insulin, which then goes to your liver.
Steroids can make the liver less sensitive to insulin. This results in the liver start releasing sugar continuously, even while insulin is being sent to it. The continued production of sugar then tells your pancreas to stop making insulin.
In this contrast, steroids include cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone made by the inner adrenal glands and is commonly associated with the acute physiological body stress response. If you become stressed, your breathing system reaches certain difficulty levels of cortisol. The excess cortisol makes your fat and muscle cells less sensitive to insulin. For healthy people with severe diabetes, that usually means you may need to take more medication or insulin to keep your blood sugar in a normal range.
Long-term steroid usage can lead to insulin resistance. This is when your cells stop responding to insulin anymore, and your blood sugar levels increase to a point that you are diagnosed with diabetes and this is called steroid-induced diabetes.
If you’re taking artificial steroids alone, it’s important to be aware of steps it can take to significantly lessen the perceived chance of accidentally taking another side effect. You users can also do this by keeping a good eye on all biological substances and only by taking certain steroids together for a short period of time if possible.
Symptoms of Steroid-Induced Diabetes
Steroid-induced diabetes is similar to those of type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Sometimes symptoms of steroid-induced diabetes are not noticeable until blood sugar is significantly high.
Some symptoms of steroid-induced diabetes are:
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Tiredness or lethargy
- Unintentional weight loss
- Dry or itchy skin
- Nausea with or without vomiting
Treatments of Steroid-Induced Diabetes
There is currently no best way to treat steroid-induced diabetes that’s widely agreed upon by experts.
Before depending on treatment, vitamin certification allows for a healthcare professional to continuously check your metabolism and evaluate your metabolic potential for lowering blood sugar ( hyperglycemia ) and improve health resistance. The dose, type strain, and dose frequency of steroid exposure are not very important to note.
For some unknown reasons, perhaps it might be possible not to treat steroid-induced diabetes with just diet and physical activity, but others may need prescription diabetes medications or vitamin insulin.
The effective approach to insulin treatment will depend on the dose level of steroid lowering your blood sugar levels… Choices of medications include insulin, metformin, and sulfonylureas.
As the steroid dose level is gradually decreasing, the diabetes medications or insulin medications should also be brought down to below zero levels. A healthcare safety professional should follow them up to properly evaluate your recommended health outcomes and make sure that all acceptable risk levels remain where they belong to be.
Role of lifestyle
Lifestyle plays an important role in managing diabetes, including steroid-induced diabetes.
Heaving a healthy and balanced diet, along with getting regular exercise, can also help you to improve blood sugar management. Working with a dietitian may also help to manage blood sugar spikes after meals.
Although exercise can help you to manage your blood sugar, talk with your doctor before starting any type of exercise program to make sure it’s safe for you and won’t affect any health conditions.
Taking steroids with diabetes
If you have diabetes and you want to take steroids, then talk with your doctor first. Let them know about your diabetes diagnosis. This might change their decision about which drug to prescribe. If it’s not possible for you to avoid steroids, then your doctor may need to change the dosage.
There are things you can do to manage your diabetes:
- Check your blood glucose levels more often — ideally four or more times a day — and talk with your doctor about whether continuous blood glucose monitoring is an option.
- Increase your insulin or medication dosage based on your blood sugar levels and your doctor’s recommendation.
- Monitor your urine or blood ketones.
- Call your doctor immediately if your blood sugar is too high or if medication does not bring it down.
- Carry glucose tablets, candy, or juice in case your blood sugars drop unexpectedly.
Like any medication, taking steroids carries some risks and potential side effects.
This is something to be aware of when taking steroids, especially when taking them long-term.
Steroid-induced diabetes usually only goes away once the production of steroids itself is complete, but sometimes it can develop severe type 2 diabetes, especially with long-term steroid use.
If you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, talk briefly with your doctor before taking on any steroids. Your doctor advice can help you make informed and appropriate decisions appropriately, helpful as well as adequate medication options to help keep you upper and slightly lower risks.
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