Is Steroid Therapy Right For You?

Steroid therapy is the usage of steroid medications, generally known as corticosteroids, to treat many types of autoimmune disease, including myasthenia gravis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis, and other disorders, such as asthma. Steroid medications include medications like prednisone and cortisone. Corticosteroids can be prescribed to be studied orally or in other ways, such as by inhalation.
According to Western medicine, steroid medications are medically essential to treat many conditions and diseases. It is important not only to follow the recommendations of your medical professional regarding steroid use, for those who have decided steroid therapy is right for you personally, but also to explore other medical treatments assuming you have second thoughts about steroid medications.
Is steroid therapy right for you personally?
Steroid medications have major effects on the metabolism of calcium and bone. Steroid therapy can lead to severe bone loss, osteoporosis, and broken bones. High dosage of steroid medications can cause rapid bone loss, up to just as much as 15 percent per year. For anyone who is on steroids, you are a lot more than twice as more likely to have a spine fracture compared to an individual not taking steroids. Fracture risk increases because the daily doses of steroid medications increases. The major impact of steroid medication on bone is fractures (broken bones) that occur mostly in the spine and ribs. There are different rates of bone loss among individuals on corticosteroids. Bone loss occurs most rapidly in the initial six months after starting oral steroid medications. After 12 months of chronic steroid use, you will find a slower loss of bone. However, it must be mentioned that not all patients who take steroid medications experience bone loss.
Other adverse side effects of steroid medications are elevation of blood circulation pressure, weight gain, decreased resistance to infection, indigestion, thinning of skin, and potential development of cataracts and glaucoma.
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Let me relate my own experience with steroid therapy.
I was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis several years ago. Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease seen as a varying degrees of weakness of the skeletal (voluntary) muscles of your body. The hallmark of the disease is muscle weakness, which increases during periods of activity and anxiety, but improves after periods of rest and calm. Certain muscles, such as for example those that control eyes and eyelid movements, facial expression, talking, chewing and swallowing are often involved in this disorder. In addition, the muscles that control breathing, neck, and limb movements can also be affected.
Because of myasthenia gravis, I had developed ocular symptoms, such as for example ptosis (drooping of eyelids) and diplopia (double vision), and weak neck and limb muscles. Fortunately, I did so not need weakness of the pharynx muscles, which could cause difficulty in chewing and swallowing, along with slurred speech oftentimes of myasthenia gravis.
I was prescribed steroid medications and have been on a steroid therapy for 3 years. In addition, I was also given medications to cope with bone loss and other side adverse effects associated with the use of steroids.
In my case, there is some improvement, but not significant enough to create me decide to continue the steroid therapy after 3 years of treatment. I had to balance the risks of steroids and the symptoms of myasthenia gravis.
My rude awakening came when I realized that my disease fighting capability, which was the cause of the disease in the first place, is not only a network of cells that could protect me in times of contamination, but also something with many regulatory mechanisms that, if uncontrolled, would become my enemy instead of my friend. More importantly, these steroids may control the symptoms of myasthenia gravis, but they may also impair my immune system with lasting effects on my overall health and wellness further later on.
I recognized that the human body includes a natural mechanism for self-healing, if given the correct environment. Accordingly, I took matters into my hands, and made a drastic decision to avoid my steroid therapy without consulting my physician (Warning: I do not ask anyone to do the same.) I stopped the medication very gradually. Meanwhile, I did everything to boost my immune system by way of a thorough detoxification program, and a change of diet. I did so not gain weight, my blood pressure became normal and, most significant of most, my myasthenia gravis conditions did not deteriorate. Up to this day, I still have some double vision, which I have learned to cope with (I could still drive), but my other symptoms have disappeared. I have been off steroid therapy for several decade already.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, once said: “No man is a better physician than himself, who knows their own constitution.” No one can decide for you what is best for your health. A doctor can only give advice, but you are the person who makes the decision on whether steroid therapy is right for you personally. Listen to your body.