Can Prednisone Cause Diabetes


    By Kennedy Shelley

    New research shows that certain anti-inflammatory drugs may increase your risk for diabetes.

    These are drugs that are prescribed for allergies, asthma, and arthritis.

    About 2-3% of the population take these drugs on a regular basis.

    The broad term for these types of drugs is glucocorticoids.

    Prednisone, methylprednisolone, hydrocortisone, and cortisone are some of the more common drugs in that class.

    Almost all drugs have unwanted side effects.

    Most people who have taken these drugs at a low dose and for short term use have had problems with dry skin, shortness of breath and problems sleeping.

    When you increase the dose and use it long term, patients complain of depressed mood and high blood pressure.

    But now you have to worry about long term chronic disease.

    Dr. Riccardo Pofi and Prof. Jeremy Tomlinson have been researching these drugs for years and found that these drugs start to affect how the body regulates blood sugar.

    The doctors recruited 16 healthy males and administered 10-15 mg of anti-inflammatory drugs.

    In a week the doctors noticed that just an average dose was enough to impact sugar regulation.

    “This is the first study to examine the very short-term metabolic effects of commonly prescribed doses of glucocorticoids on healthy men and indicates that, even at these lower doses, glucose metabolism is impaired, suggesting an increased risk of diabetes with continued treatment,” says Dr. Pofi.

    This is a small short-term study, but it should give pause to anyone who is looking at the possibility of taking these drugs for life to manage other diseases.

    If you develop Type 2 diabetes which is the term for chronically high blood sugar levels.  When your body can’t handle glucose anymore, the pancreas has problems producing enough insulin.

    Diabetes starts to create a host of other problems as it progresses.

    Type 2 Diabetes starts a cascade of negative effects which results in higher levels of inflammation in the cardiovascular system leading to increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

    It also starts to affect eye and kidney health.

    Nerves start to get damaged leading to neuropathy.

    If you survive all this, then there is an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

    In short, there is a good reason for wanting to avoid coming down with Type 2 diabetes.

    (See this article on how to possibly reverse Type 2 diabetes in as little as two weeks)

    The authors of the study urgently recommend that more long-term research is needed if 2% of Americans are taking these drugs long term and are at higher risk of metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes.

    Treating diabetes is expensive.  It costs over $16,000 a year to treat one diabetic person today.

    That means if these drugs do in fact cause Type 2 diabetes, it could cost the US health care system $16 billion to treat all the cases.

    It does sound like more long-term research is urgently needed.

    If you are on one of these steroids or your doctor is thinking about prescribing one of these anti-inflammatories, you might want to ask them about other alternatives.