Steroids

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Corticosteroids are man-made drugs that closely resemble cortisol, a hormone that your adrenal glands produce naturally. Corticosteroids are often referred to by the shortened term steroids. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about steroids and what theyre used for in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

You may have heard of anabolic steroids, which can have harmful effects. But theres another type of steroidsometimes called a corticosteroidthat treats a variety of problems.

These steroids are similar to hormones that your adrenal glands make to fight stress associated with illnesses and injuries. They reduce inflammation and affect the immune system.

You may need to take corticosteroids to treat

Arthritis

Asthma

Autoimmune diseases such as lupus and multiple sclerosis

Skin conditions such as eczema and rashes, and

Some kinds of cancer

Steroid medications are available in several forms that vary in how easily they dissolve or how long they stay in the body. Steroids might be given locally or systemically, which means throughout the system or body.

When possible, local steroid treatments are prescribed instead of systemic steroids to reduce the risk of side effects.

Steroids are strong medicines, and they can have side effects, including weakened bones and cataracts. Because of this, you usually take them for as short a time as possible.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.