Continued use of steroids can sometimes change how your body produces hormones. Steroids can be taken orally, through injection, by applying to the skin as a cream, or by inhaling. They are most reliable when you want to relieve the pain and other symptoms of inflammatory arthritis. Read on to find out how you can tackle the hormonal changes that are likely to occur after taking steroids.
1. Ensure A Slow And Steady Withdrawal
If you have been taking steroids for quite some time, immediate withdrawal could cause a syndrome that might include fever, joint pain, and fatigue among others. It can even get more complicated in instances where some of these symptoms resemble the ones of your underlying disease. Therefore, to avoid this, ensure that the withdrawal procedure is slow and steady.
Your physician should help you to continually achieve this by guiding you through Post-Cycle Therapy. Post-Cycle Therapy is a method of employing drugs that work through various mechanisms to try stabilizing and restoring your hormones back to normal after continued use of steroids. Several drugs can be used to restore different hormones to normal during Post-Cycle therapy and this article shades a lot of light about some of these drugs and the types of hormones they can help to restore.
2. Manage Your Weight
Continued use of steroids affects your metabolism thereby leading to an increase in your appetite. This, in turn, causes you to gain more weight. In order to avoid gaining excess weight, ensure you exercise regularly and watch your calorie intake. Also, consider reducing your salt intake in order to prevent side effects associated with fluid retention. In case you happen to gain weight, understand that you are not likely to stay that way forever. Your body will return to normal with time.
3. Inform Your Family And Friends About Possible Mood Swings
In case you are on a dose that is over 30MG per day; your mood is likely to be affected by the steroids. You are bound to experience mood swings and irritability. Let your family and friend know about these side effects so that it becomes easier for them to understand you in case you happen to respond to them in an unexpected manner. Other medications can also be added to help with the mood problem.
4. Protect Yourself From Possible Infections
Steroids tend to suppress your body’s immune system; hence exposing it to infections. Ensure that you get an annual flu shot and discuss with your doctor about the pneumonia vaccine. Seek immediate medical attention in case you notice any signs of possible infections like high fever among others.
5. Find Ways Of Tackling Insomnia
When taken in the evening, steroids are likely to impair your ability to fall asleep at night. Discuss with your physician to see if it is possible to take the steroids in the morning as opposed to evenings. If not, try creating a cool, dark and quiet ambiance in your bedroom. Relaxation exercises will also help you in getting rid of the day’s tension.
6. Increase Your Calcium Intake
Steroid therapy is likely to lead to a decrease in bone density. You will be required to consider eating extra calcium and taking calcium supplements. Your doctor and nutritionist should advise you on the correct amounts of calcium you should take on a daily basis. Milk products like yogurt or cheese will also contribute to increasing your calcium level.
Also, eliminate habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol as they too tend to contribute to a decrease in bone density. Stay safe by assessing and eliminating any risks of falls in and around your house by removing obstacles that might cause you to fall down and possibly fracture your bones.
7. Take Care Of Your Stomach to Avoid Ulcers
The stomach is known to naturally produce a mucous layer that helps to protect it against the acid it produces. Continued use of steroids suppresses the production of this mucous leading to a thinning of this protective layer; hence exposing you to a greater risk of developing ulcers. There are of plenty over-the-counter medicines that can easily reduce this risk and most of them do not have side effects.
Also, consider taking your meals with antacids which help in reducing stomach irritation. Add more protein to your diet and try to avoid taking things like citrus, caffeinated coffee and a lot of chocolate. In case you begin to feel any discomfort, ginger tea can be a wonderful remedy in reducing stomach discomfort. Milk may also give some initial relief. As seen above, you should fully understand the risks that are associated with taking steroids before prescribing to them. This should, however, not be the case for some people since some people take them with minor or no side effects at all. Therefore, before deciding to use them, ensure that you discuss with your physician to fully understand how the steroids will be of use to you.