This article will discuss the effects of steroid treatment on blood sugar levels. It will also explain the drug interactions that may occur with steroid treatments. And, you will learn how to prevent steroid-induced diabetes by preventing the use of steroids. Before reading any further, read our information on the side effects of steroid treatment and steroid-induced diabetes. We also cover prevention tips for those who may be at risk of developing steroid-induced diabetes.
Drug interactions with steroid-induced diabetes
When you have diabetes, your healthcare provider likely tells you to watch your blood sugar closely. Whether you use insulin or glucagon, your healthcare provider will let you know which drugs might interact with your current prescription. This information can help you adjust your diabetes medications accordingly. If you notice an increase in your blood sugar, you should raise your insulin dose to compensate for the change. In addition to watching your blood sugar, you should monitor the effect of steroids on your overall health.
In one study, Dr. Marta Korbonits, an endocrinologist at the London School of Medicine, found that metformin partially reversed the negative effects of steroids in-depth article. Researchers found that metformin, which is used to treat diabetes, reversed the blood glucose levels of people who were on steroid-induced diabetes. Researchers gave metformin to half of the participants, while the other half received a placebo.
Side effects of steroid treatment
While it might seem that a drug that raises your blood sugar can actually help you to control it, there are several side effects associated with this treatment. Steroids make your liver more resistant to insulin. This causes your body to stop producing insulin, and your muscles and fat cells are less responsive to insulin. As a result, your blood sugar levels may rise dramatically. Symptoms of high blood sugar may include blurred vision, thirst, and increased or decreased urination.
Although steroid-induced diabetes typically resolves on its own, some people experience severe problems and require ongoing diabetes management. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes require ongoing management. Gestational diabetes occurs in some pregnant women. In either case, your blood sugar levels will need to be controlled with a healthy diet and exercise. Managing your blood sugar levels is essential to staying healthy and feeling your best. For more information on the side effects of steroids, read on.
Increased blood sugar levels after steroid treatment
While taking steroid treatments, people with diabetes are likely to experience higher blood sugar levels. Increasing insulin and D-medication can help manage blood sugar levels. Checking blood glucose levels more often is essential, and people with diabetes should make sure they have home-testing equipment. Increased blood sugar levels may also cause an increase in insulin dosage. This is why diabetes patients should make sure they have access to hypoglycemia treatments.
While the symptoms of steroid-related hyperglycemia can be controlled by increasing the amount of short-acting insulin or the insulin pump basal rate, some people may experience severe spikes in blood sugar levels. To find out whether steroid use causes high blood sugar levels, DiabetesMine reached out to the online community for information. There were dozens of stories shared. One person with T1D for nearly 20 years said she was prone to massive spikes in BG levels after steroid use.
Prevention of steroid-induced diabetes
It is important to check your blood sugar levels frequently, preferably four to five times a day, and adjust your insulin and/or oral medication as needed. If your blood sugar level rises too quickly while taking steroids, increase the insulin or oral medication to compensate. It is a good idea to carry glucose tablets with you when you’re on the go, as these are helpful in the event of a sudden blood glucose drop.
Glucose monitoring should begin at the time of steroid therapy. It is important to have a baseline level of glucose and educate patients on the importance of self-monitoring. Daily monitoring should be initiated when glucose levels exceed 200 mg/dL or if they rise to 180 mg/dL. For patients who experience recurrent episodes of hyperglycemia, it is important to begin insulin therapy.