Nutrient Depletion: Corticosteroids

Posted on by Paula Gallagher

Corticosteroids are usually prescribed for conditions that cause swelling and inflammation. Applied as a topical, taken as a tablet, used as a nasal spray or eye drops, or even as an inhaler, there are many ways to take corticosteroids. Some conditions that corticosteroids are prescribed for include arthritis, lupus, kidney disease, asthma, and even eczema. Long-term use of steroids can have many side effects including changes in mood, increased blood pressure, stomach ulcers, diabetes, osteoporosis, increased appetite and weight gain. So talk to your doctor about what can be done to minimize these side effects, if they do occur. One thing that you can do is take calcium and vitamin D, since steroids reduce calcium absorption and increase urinary excretion and may interfere with calcium and vitamin D metabolism. Considering that osteoporosis is one potential side effect of these drugs, consider supplementing with at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day and 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 to maintain proper bone health.