Steroids including corticosteroids have been reported to increase blood glucose levels when administered to patients with type 2 diabetes. This is a serious issue as corticosteroids are used to treat many conditions like allergies, auto-immune disorders, and certain cancers (among others).
The concern around using steroids like corticosteroids to treat health conditions in patients with type 2 diabetes has led to an increase in research. This research has primarily been conducted to gather data on how steroid injections affect blood glucose levels, specifically when administered to deal with joint issues.
Corticosteroids & Type 2 Diabetes
A recent study conducted by researchers at The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel focused on a specific group of people. 25 research participants were selected, all of whom had type 2 diabetes and were prescribed corticosteroid injections in the shoulder. The participants were also not currently using insulin to treat their diabetes.
The participants were monitored for 11 days after the first corticosteroid injection in the shoulder. Participants’ blood glucose readings for the 11-day period were compared to levels taken before the corticosteroid injection.
The study concluded that corticosteroid injection had a significant effect on blood glucose levels. Blood glucose levels increased from an average of 4.3% to 9.5% on the first day after the corticosteroid was administered. Hyperglycemic episodes manifested in several participants, and none of the participants required extra care.
Close monitoring of the patients was used, with daily check-ins for all 11 days and testing on every other day. The importance of close monitoring of participants in a blood glucose study is magnified when the participants already suffer from type 2 diabetes.
Are Steroids Safe to Use for People with Type 2 Diabetes?
The researchers concluded that none of the patients in the study needed any change in antidiabetic treatment or any medical care after the injection. This means that this study was very definitive in its answer to the question of steroid safety and people with type 2 diabetes.
The results, however, are taken from one study of just 25 people. More research needs to be done for a definitive answer to the question. The results of the study also noted elevated blood glucose levels and several episodes of hyperglycemia in participants. This information emphasizes the importance of staying in touch with a doctor or medical team for anyone with type 2 diabetes who is using steroid treatments.
Research at Biofortis
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