Steroids for Rheumatoid Arthritis: All You Need to Know

Steroids for Rheumatoid Arthritis
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by Jessica Smith

The popularity of steroids about relieving inflammation continues to gain momentum each day. With the different autoimmune medical conditions that a human being suffers, steroids are increasingly becoming a solution for it. In the treatment procedures for a disease like Rheumatoid arthritis, steroids are in one’s treatment plan at a point. Therefore, it is fundamental to understand what steroids are and their functions in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis: What it is

Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of arthritis whose effects are quite pronounced. It means that they are acute, and the individual suffers from imbalance issues, acute inflammation, and it destroys the joint muscles and bones, among others. The condition gains the severe name arthritis and can affect mostly the hands, especially the wrists, the skin, feet, and knees.

Steroids: What are they?

Steroids are drugs that are essential in the treatment of arthritis. They are synthetic, but the body also produces them in small amounts. If facing inflammation such as in arthritis, steroids play a massive role in providing you relief. They can limit swelling and prevent it from spreading, making you feel much better.

Steroids: Types

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There are many types of steroids that a physician can prescribe to a rheumatoid arthritis patient. These will ensure that the patient suffers fewer flare-ups from the joints as time passes. Some steroids are highly potent in comparison with others. Knowing the patient’s needs, allows doctors to prescribe them accordingly. The steroids include dexamethasone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone, and prednisone.

Steroids: Uses

If suffering from kidney inflammation, steroids help prevent its progression, which reduces the chances of kidney failure. They ensure your kidneys are back to being healthy, especially for people with lupus vasculitis.

It provides relief from acute inflammation and pain that is as a result of rheumatoid arthritis. Besides, they aid in reducing flare-ups that frequently occur with this medical condition. They also provide relief to patients whose medications are not working while at the same time maintaining the status of your blood vessels. RA damages blood vessels, which can lead to low or high blood pressure causing heart diseases. Therefore, it helps prevent the occurrence of medical conditions that affect the heart.

Steroid Administration

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Administering steroids involves using an injection, a topical cream, or ingesting it through the mouth. The method is dependent on the symptoms, patient preference, and doctors’ advice for the patient. Let’s look at:

  • Ingestion through the mouth involves taking steroid pills and provides the desired effect after a while. It is advisable to take these pills in the morning. The body produces natural steroids at this specific time, which allows for the harmonious integration of the two.
  • The topical application involves using topical creams that are made of steroids to deliver the dose to the body.
  • Injections are essential in providing large steroid doses to the affected areas. They are said to contribute to the exact point in which the inflammation is, and studies indicate its essentiality in reducing RA nodules. Therefore, injections can deliver fast and efficiently in comparison with oral and topical applications. However, you should not use steroid injections if you have an infection in the area where rheumatoid arthritis is as the steroids may make your immune system to be defective in fighting it as it suppresses its functions. If suffering from bleeding or taking anticoagulants as injections can cause bleeding, this can be fatal, if you have undergone a similar treatment in the recent past i.e., 3-4 months.

Steroids: Dosage

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The dosage levels for using steroids are crucial to a patient. It is dependent on a patient’s health status and what is the desired outcome for using them. Large doses of steroids may indeed deliver the desired results faster in comparison to low doses. Therefore, a prescription of five to ten milligrams of prednisone is enough for a person. However, some may increase the dosage. We advise you to gradually increase the dosage while monitoring your body’s reception to it. A gradual increase will limit cases of overdependence on steroids, limit the effects of RA while at the same time provide you with relief. Studies indicate that low doses are effective in managing RA.

Steroids: Side Effects

Using steroids for a more extended period than desired can result in many different side effects.  According to studies conducted by Cyrus, steroids are highly effective in its anti-inflammatory purposes.  For this reason, medical professionals prefer applying the use of steroids only once by using a high dose. It helps get rid of some of the side effects while limiting the occurrence of others. Some of these side effects may include insomnia, which is lack of sleep. If suffering from it, you can engage the use of Zopiclone, which will have you sleeping like a baby in conjunction with your steroid treatment plan. Other possible side effects include blemishes or bruises on the skin, blood sugar, and pressure, mood swings, weight gain, among others.

Conclusion

Rheumatoid arthritis can be brutal to its patients, and steroids help in alleviating symptoms that cause it. Therefore, using them is beneficial in many ways and it provides relief within a short time. However, if aiming to use them, it is essential to seek a physician’s advice and prescription.