What clicks on your mind when you come across the word “steroids”? Most certainly, bodybuilding. Steroids are popular among bodybuilders because it speeds up muscle building. In fact, about 54% of bodybuilders take steroids according to the findings of a recent study.
But what most people may not know is that there are many other uses of steroids away from bodybuilding. You can use steroids to reduce the immune system’s activity and treat various inflammatory diseases, among other issues. Let us dig into these other uses of steroids.
What are Steroids?
The human body comprises hormones that perform different functions. Steroids are the synthetic version of these natural hormones, and they closely resemble cortisol hormone. Steroids such as Anavar can help you increase strength and muscles to achieve the best outcomes in athletic performances.
Here are some of the uses of steroids:
1. To Reduce Inflammation
Steroids help to reduce the activity of the immune system and inflammation. Inflammation is a body process whereby chemicals and white blood cells protect the body from infection because of organisms such as viruses and bacteria. The defense system of the body may fail to function well when attacked by certain diseases. This leads to inflammation, redness, and pain.
Steroids can come in handy in such cases by helping to reduce the body’s production of inflammatory substances. Additionally, they affect the function of white blood cells to reduce the immune system’s activity. Research shows that steroids can reduce swelling in kidney infection or arthritis, among other conditions. They are similar to the body’s natural hormone called cortisol that helps to fight inflammation.
2. Steroids for Asthma Treatment
Asthma is a common chronic respiratory disease that is prevalent across the world. It causes discomfort, and in advanced asthma, patients have to rely on inhalers to combat each attack. The good news is that steroids can help asthma patients to manage their condition. Inhaling steroids regularly is beneficial to asthma patients and helps to reduce asthma attacks. Studies show that taking steroid medication consistently reduces inflammation in the airways of the lungs of asthma patients as well as prevents future attacks.
When treating asthma, steroids work by reducing the production of mucus in the airway, swelling, and inflammation. This results in less inflamed airways making it hard to attract asthma triggers such as dust. People with asthma can have better control of their condition by using steroids. Steroids are a legal treatment option for asthma and inhalers are available in hospitals and pharmacies across the world
3. To Treat Arthritis
The fact that steroids are both immune responsive and anti-inflammatory makes them an excellent option for treating arthritis. Inflammation causes swelling and joint pain in arthritis, and patients can use steroids such as methylprednisolone and prednisone to address this issue. Patients can use topicals on joints and any aching body party or oral medications. There are two main reasons why one should use steroids to treat arthritis. First, they decrease the swelling in the joints, tendons, or other organs in patients.
There is no disputing that over the counter medications may help to reduce inflammation. However, they have too many side effects. It is for this reason that doctors may opt to prescribe steroids instead of NSAIDs. Secondly, steroids are immunosuppressive and
prevent the immune system from harming the body tissues. Steroids are essential in reducing this harmful autoimmune activity.
Doctors prescribe steroids for arthritis patients to help reduce symptoms, discomfort and pain, and the extent of damage to blood and heart vessels. However, it is crucial to begin with small doses that are effective and then increase the dose gradually to achieve desired effects. Ensure you talk to your doctor to prescribe the right dosage and type of steroid for asthma. This is because there are specific steroids for asthma, and they react differently to each person.
4. To Treat Skin Conditions
Topical steroids are applied directly to the skin to reduce irritation and inflammation. They are available in different forms, such as gels, lotions, creams, and mousses. Additionally, they come in various potencies, including moderate and mild potency. Steroids can treat conditions such as eczema, nappy rash, psoriasis, lichen planus, and skin irritation. Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis cause inflammation, and steroids can help with that
issue. Steroids are also useful in controlling skin flare-ups and managing symptoms like irritation and itching.
Furthermore, they decrease any likelihood of infection resulting from trauma or scratching to the skin. Patients can go for topical steroids such as hydrocortisone to prevent cells from producing inflammatory chemicals. When using steroids to address skin conditions, ensure that you follow the advice of dermatologists in regards to usage, quantity, and potency. For example, doctors may recommend a steroid with low strength for sensitive areas of the skin such as the face. You can also use oral steroids to address skin conditions.
5. To Reduce Pain
Steroids act as an adjunct to treat both mild and chronic pain. Since they reduce inflammation, they are an appropriate choice to treat pain because pain mostly comes from swelling. Findings from a recent study show that health practitioners use steroids in palliative care to treat pain, alleviate fatigue, and suppress nausea. They prove useful for visceral pain, neuropathic pain, and metastatic bone pain. It is beneficial to use steroids than opioids for pain because they don’t produce any adverse side effects.
Conditions such as pain and inflammation can make it hard to sleep. Although steroids are not the best option if you want to improve sleep, cannabis can help you achieve that. One of the conditions that cannabis is effective in treating is insomnia. According to evidence from research by Shenglong Zou and Ujendra Kumar, cannabis interacts with the endocannabinoid system to regulate functions such as sleep, pain, and mood. Therefore, after experiencing pain reduction from steroids, marijuana can be vital in encouraging good sleep and ultimately speeding up the healing process.
To summarize, steroids have many other users apart from bodybuilding. They resemble the hormone cortisol, which is majorly responsible for producing inflammatory properties. Steroids not only reduce pain and inflammation but also treat conditions such as arthritis and skin diseases.
Their main advantage of steroids is that they don’t cause major side effects, and this makes them better than medications. They are safe for use as long as you have the right potency and dosage and use specific steroids for specific health conditions.