What are catabolic steroids?

Catabolic steroids, often called corticosteroids, are used in a variety of medical applications. They are often confused with anabolic steroids, which are used to build muscle mass. In fact, they have the opposite effect, breaking down muscle mass. They are often used to reduce significant swelling and to treat autoimmune diseases or severe asthma.

One of the most common catabolic steroids is cortisone. This can be injected into the sight of a soft tissue injury to reduce pain and swelling. Cortisone skin creams can be applied to reduce swelling, itching, and inflammation associated with skin conditions, serious insect bites, or severe reactions to poison oak.

Prednisone is another common catabolic steroid, often used for long periods of time to reduce symptoms of autoimmune conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Prednisone is believed to reduce swelling in affected joints and soft tissues, and generally reduces some symptoms associated with these conditions. It also speeds up the healing of infections.

Prednisone and similar steroids may also be used for short periods of time to reduce swelling caused by injury or temporary conditions, such as a severe skin allergy. It is also used in some cases to minimize swelling due to a concussion, or it can be used to help someone quickly resolve a case of antibiotic-resistant pneumonia or bronchitis.

Other types of catabolic steroids are now commonly used in the treatment of severe allergies. Products like Nasonex® and Rhinocort® reduce nasal allergic reactions during allergy season. These products are inhaled directly into the breasts so that they are specific to a certain area of ​​the body. They are often believed to be a better alternative to the use of oral steroids such as prednisone, since they affect only their recipients in the body.

Other medications of this type that are specific to the condition include products such as Restasis®, which relieves chronic dry eye. Products like Pulmocort® can be inhaled as asthma preventatives, replacing oral steroids for people with severe asthma.

Catabolic steroids have some notable side effects. Since they can destroy muscle tissue, the constant use of oral steroids can have serious effects on the intestinal tract. Such medications as prednisone can also cause changes in appetite, weight gain, fluid retention, diabetes, and mood swings if doses are high. Mood swings may be particularly noticeable when one is taking a short-term medication regimen such as prednisone.

Condition-specific medications like Restasis® have been linked to permanent and irreparable damage to the retinas, as have oral steroids. Although oral steroids are frequently the first line of treatment for certain conditions such as asthma and allergies, one should weigh the risk versus benefits before using catabolic steroids for long periods of time. Short-term use may provide short-term side effects but are unlikely to cause lasting damage to the body.

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