Steroid diabetes mellitus - what is it, causes, symptoms

Table of contents:

Steroid diabetes mellitus - what is it, causes, symptoms
Steroid diabetes mellitus - what is it, causes, symptoms

Find out if anabolic steroids can really cause diabetes and how to take courses to prevent this from happening. In medicine, there is such a thing as steroid diabetes mellitus. It can also be secondary insulin dependent. Most often, the disease develops against the background of disruption of the adrenal cortex and is associated with a sharp increase in the concentration of corticosteroids. However, the cause of the development of the disease can be long-term use of hormonal drugs or their use in high doses. Scientists note one feature of this ailment - it proceeds moderately and the symptoms are not expressed clearly.

Why can steroid diabetes develop?

A slide of sugar and sugar cubes

Most often, scientists note the hypothalamic-pituitary syndrome and Itsenko-Cushing's disease as the reasons for the development of this ailment. If the work of the pituitary gland with the hypothalamus is disrupted, then an imbalance of hormones occurs in the body. This, in turn, leads to a decrease in the indicator of the resistance of cellular structures to insulin. The most common disease in this case is Itsenko-Cushing's syndrome.

It is characterized by a high rate of synthesis of corticosteroids by the adrenal cortex. Until now, the exact mechanisms of the development of this disease have not been established. Scientists note the connection in women between pregnancy and the development of this ailment. It is no secret that during the period of gestation, the female hormonal system works differently and an imbalance of hormones is quite possible.

It should be noted that a feature of Itsenko-Cushing's syndrome is the absence of disturbances in the work of the pancreas, which synthesizes insulin. This is the main difference between steroidal diabetes and a classic disease. We have already said that medications and especially corticosteroids can be the cause of this phenomenon. They increase the rate of glucose synthesis by the liver, which can lead to glycemia.

Steroid diabetes is common in people with toxic goiter. In this case, the tissues do not absorb glucose as actively as required. If a patient's thyroid dysfunction is combined with the development of diabetes mellitus, then steroid insulin-dependent diabetes develops. Corticosteroids negatively affect the functioning of the pancreas and suppress the work of insulin. As a result, the body is forced to work to the limit of its capabilities. The longer corticosteroids are used, the higher the risks of pancreatic failure.

How do steroids affect the development of diabetes - is there a connection?

A man injects himself with steroids

Today, almost all professional athletes actively use anabolic steroids. Without these drugs, it is difficult to count on good results. According to many scientists, the use of AAS automatically puts a person at risk. Let's try to find out if there is a connection between steroids and diabetes? Doctors are sure that it exists and the risks of developing insulin-dependent diabetes are quite high.

Despite the fact that anabolic steroids are most often used in sports, rather than corticosteroids, the effects on the adrenal cortex cannot be avoided. This, in turn, leads to an increase in the index of tissue resistance to insulin. We can say that the connection between steroids and diabetes can be traced in two directions:

  1. The first path of development of the disease - synthetic hormonal substances disrupt the work of the pancreas, and the amount of insulin synthesized by the body decreases. As a result, the development of type 1 diabetes is possible.
  2. The second path of development of the disease - increases tissue resistance to insulin. Against this background, insulin-dependent diabetes can develop.

How do hormonal medications affect the development of diabetes?

Several types of hormonal drugs

Certain hormonal contraceptives used by women can cause type 2 diabetes. It is quite obvious that synthetic hormonal substances can disrupt the work of the endocrine system. Sometimes prednisone, anaprilin, etc., become the cause of the development of the disease. In fairness, we note that a violation of tissue sensitivity to insulin in such situations is rare. The metabolic disorders caused by these drugs are most often not pronounced.

But the risk of developing steroid diabetes when using thiazide diuretics is slightly higher. Recall that the drugs in this group include hypothiazide, navidrex, dichlothiazide and others. Corticosteroids are often used as therapy for lupus erythematosus, pemphigus, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. We have already said that these drugs may well cause serious metabolic disorders and cause the development of diabetes. If at the same time the beta cells of the pancreas are damaged, then the ailment will wear an insulin-dependent form.

Symptoms of steroid diabetes

Syringe with steroids close up

Symptoms of this ailment have signs of diabetes, both the first and the second type. We have already said that hormonal drugs can cause damage to the beta cells of the pancreas and the organ will not be able to cope with the task assigned to it. At some point, insulin production will decrease.

At the same time, the index of tissue resistance to the hormone may increase in the body. Once the pancreas stops secreting insulin, insulin-dependent diabetes begins to develop. Among the main symptoms of the disease, three can be distinguished:

  • Constant thirst.
  • A sharp decrease in performance.
  • Frequent and profuse diuresis.

The peculiarity of this type of diabetes is that the symptoms noted above are not so pronounced. As a result, the person does not even guess. That a disease is already developing in the body and is in no hurry to visit a doctor. Weight loss is rare in these patients. Even laboratory tests do not always give correct results, as the concentration of glucose in the blood can be in the normal range.

How is steroid diabetes treated?

Doctor and medicines

Steroid diabetes is treated in the same way as classically insulin-dependent ailment. When prescribing therapy, it is necessary to take into account all the pathologies the patient has. This suggests that the treatment can only be prescribed by a doctor. Among the measures for the treatment of steroid diabetes, we note:

  1. Insulin injections to normalize the pancreas.
  2. Be sure to use a low-carb nutrition program.
  3. Antihyperglycemic medications are used.
  4. In rare cases, surgery is necessary to remove excess tissue from the adrenal cortex, which slows down the synthesis of hormones of the corticosteroid group.
  5. Cancellation of all medications that can provoke metabolic disorders. Although this exercise is not always possible, for example, with asthma. In such cases, constant monitoring of the state of the pancreas is necessary.

It should be noted that insulin injections are prescribed only after the hypoglycemic medications cannot bring the expected effect. The patient should remember that insulin administration is only one way to normalize blood glucose levels. The main task pursued by the therapy of steroid diabetes is to compensate and delay any possible complications.Diabetes in this regard is a very serious ailment and can disrupt the work of almost any system of the human body. Surgical removal of adrenal cortex tissue is the most extreme measure, as it can cause serious harm to human health.

Why is a low carbohydrate diet important in diabetes?

Low carb foods

For all types of diabetes, it is worth switching to a low-carb dietary program to control blood sugar levels. The daily dosage of this nutrient should not exceed 30 grams. It is also important to consider the amount of protein compounds and vegetable fats in the diet. Here are the main benefits of a low-carb diabetes nutrition program:

  1. The body's need for insulin and drugs that reduce the concentration of sugar in the blood decreases.
  2. Even after a meal, glucose levels are easier to keep within normal limits.
  3. The state of health improves, and the symptoms of the disease are suppressed.
  4. The risk of complications is reduced.
  5. The balance of lipoprotein structures is normalized.

How can the development of steroid diabetes be prevented?

Smiling doctor

One of the ways to prevent the development of this ailment is the constant use of a low-carb nutrition program. This applies to both people with diabetes and those at risk. If you have been actively using hormonal medications, then you should think about fitness classes. Otherwise, an increase in body weight is possible, which often becomes the causal development of the disease.

If you constantly feel weak and your performance has dropped dramatically, you should see a doctor. Insulin diabetes is rarely completely cured. This also applies to classic diabetes mellitus. You must remember. It is important not to start the disease, because in this case it will be extremely difficult to fight it. Note that several studies have proven the benefits of natural bodybuilding. Moreover, the more actively the athlete is engaged, the lower the risks of developing the disease turn out to be.

Is there a genetic predisposition to diabetes?

Laboratory staff examine a sample

Today they often talk about genetics and predisposition to something. Surely you have met posts on the genetics of athletes on specialized web resources. Of course, hereditary information can be important in relation to diseases as well. If we talk about the relationship between genetics and diabetes, then it definitely exists.

If we talk about type 1 ailment, then you should consult a doctor if you have relatives suffering from this ailment. Scientists are confident that the genetic predisposition to this disease is primarily important for people of the European genotype. Studies have shown that the more melanin in the skin, the lower the risk of developing diabetes.

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, a person should be tested in the following situations:

  • Being overweight and even more obese.
  • Atherosclerosis in the presence of severe hypertension.
  • The presence of gynecological pathologies in women, for example, polycystic ovary disease.
  • The presence of permanent stressful situations.
  • Low physical activity.
  • Age over 40 with any of the factors listed above.

Learn more about steroid diabetes in the video below:

Popular by topic