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Steroid Therapy

Steroid therapy uses steroid medications (corticosteroids as its alternative names) to treat various diseases that relates to autoimmune system. More than 95% of kidney diseases involve in immune disorder and this therapy is very common for kidney disease patients.

What is steroid therapy?

Steroid therapy is used to treat both acute and chronic diseases and conditions and is generally used to suppress inflammation.

Is there any side effects of steroid therapy?

Side effect is a very important characteristic of steroid therapy. The following are the common side effects for your information.

- Facial mooning (Cushing's syndrome) May be minimized by restricted calorie intake.

-Potassium loss: Use potassium supplement.

- Insomnia, headache, fatigue, euphoria. Treat symptomatically.

- Weight gain: Restrict calorie intake; may require a change in steroid medication: may require a diuretic.

- Urinary frequency and nocturia: Check for evidence of genitourinary infection or diabetes mellitus; urinalysis

- Edema: May require diuretics and potassium.

- Acne: Treat with topical medications.

It is important for any doctor treating you to know you are taking steroids, for any reason. So, in case of emergencies, your doctor will give you a card to carry to say you are taking steroids. You should carry the card with you at all times.

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Benefits for managing kidney disease

Most people know that using steroids is not good for your health, but until now, their use for kidney disease is very common, especially in western countries. Why?

Because steroids can help control many common symptoms of kidneys, such as protein in urine, hematuria, blood pressure etc, quickly. And another impressive effects of steroids therapy is to fight against the inflammation in a very short time.

But, from a long run, steroids cannot cure your kidney disease and usually you will experience a relapse of more severe symptoms and kidney disorder.

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Can I take oral steroids?

This depends on your own condition. In fact, only a few people who cannot take it, such as the people who have serious infections. This is because steroids will suppress your immune system.

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What are the features of steroid therapy?

Steroid therapy is a kind of symptomatic treatment. It only can suppress the inflammatory response and control symptoms temporarily. However, when you reduce the dosage or stop having it, the symptoms will relapse at once. Every relapse of the disease is an significant attack to kidneys.

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Dos and don'ts

- Don't stop taking the medication without your doctor's guidance.

- Don't "double-up" if you miss a dose.

- No flush, no foul.

- Your card — don't leave home without it.

- Parents should monitor their children to use hormones closely since hormone can cause growth retardation. Meanwhile, the parents should observe if their children develop eye problems, osteoporosis, infections, etc.

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