Corticosteroids, commonly known as steroids, are synthetic drugs that your body produces synthesizes naturally. Corticosteroids help to reduce inflammation and also reduce the activity of the immune system. Through research, it has been found that corticosteroids can be used to cure health complications caused by inflammation.

Though it could be easily confused with anabolic steroids used by athletes to gain muscles and stamina, corticosteroids are used primarily to treat inflammation in different parts of the body. There are various corticosteroids medications like cortisone, triamcinolone, methylprednisolone, and prednisone. Read on to discover facts related to using steroids to curb inflammation.

Steroids for Inflammation 

Steroids have existed in healthcare for a long duration. In the mid-90s, when arthritic patients got consistent steroid injections they developed impressive results. The doctors thought that they had discovered a cure for arthritis. However, there started to be side effects related to too much intake of steroids. It is during this period when patients received a warning against using too much of the drugs since they could cause irreversible side effects. Let us take a brief look at how cortisol works in the body.

The Role of Cortisol

Your body needs an excellent balance of water and salt, and this is where cortisol comes in. It also helps to regulate fat and carbohydrate hence causing a significant change in the overall rate of metabolism in the body. It is natural that when you have stress, part of your brain secretes Adrenocorticotropic hormone, better known as ACTH. This hormone helps to trigger the production of cortisol by stimulating the adrenal glands.

Cortisol also takes part in allowing the body to cope with stressful conditions. Stressful situations such as surgery, trauma, infection, are the ones that might trigger the production of cortisol. Once the problems are over, the creation of cortisol gets back to normal.

How Steroids Work

Corticosteroids work by targeting the immune system by helping to block the natural production of substances that stimulate allergic reactions when your body interacts with strange components or environment. It is worth noting that Corticosteroids also stop the normal functioning of white blood cells which takes part in the destruction of harmful substances that might cause infections. Therefore, the white blood cells keep the immune system in check so that your body functions properly. When the white blood cells are interfered with, you can easily catch the infection.

Injection Vs. Oral Corticosteroid

It is possible to inject a steroid directly into the affected area. With this method, medical experts can use a high dosage of Corticosteroids into the affected joint, then it goes directly into the tissues. This method is also ideal since it helps other parts of the body from the high concentration of the drug. Intra-articular is suitable for ensuring fast results since that is what the patient is always looking for, and a specialized medical expert must be the one to administer it.

After the injection, one is likely to experience an infection in the affected area; this is probably a side effect. There is a need to avoid frequent injection in the same area since it might lead to cartilage damage. Therefore, doctors tend to use this technique sparingly, most likely, after other options have failed. Most of the time, they tend to ensure that the number of injections does not exceed once every few months. They also avoid focusing on injecting one joint many times.

Oral Corticosteroids, on the other hand, can be taken as a pill or liquid. It is essential that you see a doctor before taking Corticosteroids orally. This method is mainly used to cure an infection after other arrangements fail to provide a satisfying result. This drug might have severe side effects in case you fail to adhere to authentic prescription. Therefore, it is a risky method, even if a doctor might still go ahead and use it. If you consume Corticosteroids orally in large amounts, it might concentrate on some tissues hence causing severe side effects.

How Long it takes Steroids to Work for Inflammation

Corticosteroids are types of steroids that work for inflammation. However, there are many types of inflammation, and they occur in different parts of the body. That said, there is no specific duration it would take to see impressive results after starting the medication. The severity of the inflammation also accounts for the overall period it would take for the swelling to go away. However, some patients reported impressive results within a week. To some patients, it takes as long as three months before seeing improvements. It is advisable that you consider working closely with the medical experts so that you get medical attention if you are not getting the expected results.


Corticosteroids are potent and can give you incredible results. However, you have to be careful when using them. There are negative consequences related to their use, and you should not ignore them. Always make sure your steroids canada health provider is aware that you are using them so that they can advise you accordingly.

About the author

Jessica Smith

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