While corticosteroids are often used to reduce inflammation in those with certain illnesses such as asthma, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis, they can have a significant effect on your blood sugar levels and can sometimes result in steroid-induced diabetes [1].

Some indicators of steroid-induced diabetes include [2]:

  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased need to urinate
  • Tiredness and lethargy

See also: What Does High Blood Sugar Mean?


How do steroids affect blood sugar levels?


Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas that allows your body to use the sugar from the foods you consume for both energy and for future use. Steroids cause your body to work that much harder to use the sugar; this means your body may not make enough insulin, resulting in high blood sugar levels [3].


Is steroid-induced diabetes permanent?


Steroid-induced diabetes can sometimes develop into type 2 diabetes though this isn’t always the case. In fact, many people find that when they stop taking the steroids, their blood sugar levels begin to return to normal [4].


The best and most reliable way to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels is by taking a test - you can do this by taking a trip to your doctor or with an at-home lab test.

LetsGetChecked’s at-home Diabetes Test for HbA1c can provide insight to your blood sugar levels over a period of time. A high HbA1c result indicates that you have too much sugar in your blood.

This is done by taking a simple finger prick sample which is sent to the same labs used by doctors and hospitals. Your online results will be available within 5 days and our medical team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.



References

  1. NHS Great Ormond Street Hospital. Steroid induced diabetes. Online: Gosh.nhs.uk, 2015
  2. University of Michigan Medicine. Steroid Induced Diabetes. Online: Cancer.med.umich.edu, 2009
  3. NHS Great Ormond Street Hospital. Steroid induced diabetes. Online: Gosh.nhs.uk, 2015
  4. NHS Great Ormond Street Hospital. Steroid induced diabetes. Online: Gosh.nhs.uk, 2015