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Endocrinology Study Shows Steroids Reduce Vitamin D Levels

Posted by floriza in Endocrinology

A new study conducted by Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism indicates that people who take steroids are more at risk of having low levels of vitamin D in the body. Researchers gathered information from a survey of 23,000 people taken from 2001 to 2006.

The data was evaluated based on other factors that might influence vitamin D levels, such as milk consumption, weight, and supplement intake. The study found that eleven per cent of the people in the survey who took steroids showed a low level of vitamin D, while only five per cent of the patients in the survey who did not take steroids showed a similar low level of vitamin D.

The endocrinology study concluded that people who take steroids are twice as likely to have a deficiency of vitamin D than people who do not take steroids. This necessitates observation of patients who are prescribed steroids so that their vitamin D levels can be tested and supplements can be suggested, if necessary.

Dangers of Vitamin D Deficiencies

Vitamin D deficiency has been in the news in recent years due to studies that have shown the need for sun exposure in order for the body to produce enough of the vitamin.

Studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D also increase the risk of developing prostate cancer and breast cancer. Additionally, vitamin D has been shown to play a role in the prevention of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, seasonal affective disorder, multiple sclerosis, and glucose intolerance.

Rickets and osteomalacia, diseases that are characterized by bones that are too soft, are two serious diseases that can result from severe vitamin D deficiencies.

What are Steroids?

Steroids are a type of medication that is famous because athletes often abuse them to improve their sports performance. There are different types of steroids, however, and some are routinely prescribed by endocrinologists and other physicians for a variety of ailments, including asthma, autoimmune diseases, anemia, breast cancer, blood clotting diseases, and Turner’s syndrome, a rare disease in which a girl is born with a missing or abnormal sex chromosome.

Anabolic steroids are particularly helpful in reducing inflammation and have been used to treat angioedema, a disease that causes swelling of various organs. Steroids are also sometimes used to assist patients in gaining weight after they have lost weight due to health reasons.

Endocrinologists in New Jersey and other parts of the world, as well as internists, can evaluate vitamin D levels and prescribe steroids, if advisable.

 

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