Arthritis, Steroids, and Your Diet

The benefits of corticosteroids for people with arthritis come with some undesireable, but manageable diet-related side effects.

Steroids-not the performance-enhancing anabolic drugs that some athletes are known to use-are strong, effective anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed for a variety of serious medical conditions, including some of the more than 100 types of arthritis. However, if youre a patient who has been prescribed steroids, you may have to manage one or more nutrition-related side effects. Oral corticosteroids (also called glucosteroids, glucocorticoids, and simply steroids) affect your entire body instead of just a particular area, says Cleveland Clinics Andrea Dunn, an Advanced Practice Registered Dietitian. Side effects depend on the dose of medication and how long you have been taking the drug. Within days or weeks of starting oral therapy, you may have a risk of increased blood pressure, fluid retention, and weight gain.
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