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Steroid dependency - A hope in ayurveda

by: ayurdoctor Published on21-08-13 04:42 PM

Steroids are main stream drugs which are widely used in chronic and autoimmune conditions for longer period. Such therapy definitely saves the life of patient at the same time these drugs produce drug dependency which will slowly deteriorate the
health of the patient.

Ayurveda is science of life; which has a scope for solving such problems, in this article an attempt has been made to reveal the excellence of ayurveda in this area.

When cortico steroids are taken as medication, they would suppress the normal secretion of the adrenal glands. But when these are taken in for continuous medication, long term usage can cause the changes in the functions of the adrenal glands itself. the daily secretions of the gland corticosteroids is necessary to remain healthy psycho-physically, especially at the time of physical stress (surgery, severe illness / infection, trauma, acute asthematic conditions); in these conditions corticosteroids secrete from the gland 5-10times more than the natural to set right the symptoms. Also this secretion helps in the functions of metabolism. In acute stages of above said conditions one has to give steroids which save our life. But in certain conditions like psoriasis/ any skin related problems / asthamatic conditions / nephrotic renal syndrome; in these where recurrent attacks are observed and during acute conditions person becomes slave of these drugs and the quantity should also be increased every time. Here develops the "drug dependency". These drug dependencies start causing slowly the vitiation in the body. Specialists analyze a person has developed drug dependency with these criteria....

1) Frequent, short term oral corticosteroid treatment bursts in past 12months.
2) Regular use of high dose inhaled corticosteroids in past 12months.
3) Regular use of injected long acting corticosteroids.
4) Daily use of corticosteroids.
5) Alternate day oral corticosteroids.
6) Prolonged use of oral corticosteroids in past 1year.

When we are talking about steroidal dependency one should know about the side effects of long
usage and high dosage ; usually with long term usage first complication is person may suffer from hyperacidity, weight gain, water retention, rounding of face, osteoporosis(weakbones),high blood pressure, damage to hip bone, inhibition of linear growth of children, muscle weakness,
cataract,glaucoma,gastric ulcer, increased hair growth in women, acne, thinning of skin, loss of hair, menstrual changes, increased blood sugar, irritability, depression, increased risk of infections ayurveda this is termed to the condition of satmyata of oushadhi and a slow poisoning condition(when a small dosage of visha in sharira brings satmyata to that visha) even though this visha proves to be life saving but it certainly harms the dhatus of the body. For e.g; alcohol, smoking, adyashana causing ama in body.

Accordingly when a person reaches drug dependency stage ---- the first line of treatment is
noticing rogi bala and agni bala -- the shodhana therapy is planned. The above mentioned most symptoms suggest the increase of pitta vridhhi and prasara stages in different dhatus. So virechana option is more appreciable.
Noticing the symptoms
1) Tab. kamadugha rasa / praval panchamrita rasa / praval pishti in case of hyperacidity.
2) Panchatikta grhitha / mahatiktaka grhitha / indukanta ghritha are advised as shamanartha.
3) The liver is the first organ to react with these drugs... tab arogyavardhini rasa / tab. liv.52/ patola katuka rohinydi kashaya / bhunimbadi kadha / chirabilwadi kashaya these drugs can be selected for the continuous pitta saraka / rechaka drugs.
4) Through renal system also the toxins can be removed... gokshura, punarnava ,trina panchamoola etc. are the drug of choice.

The steroid dependency the wasting/atrophy of the adrenal gland occurs. It may take months to years to recover of the gland functions completely, long after use of a corticosteroid medication has been discontinued. So it is also very much important to treat gland function simultaneously. Ashwagandha ghritha, Shatavari ghritha, Phala ghritha, Jeevantyadi ghritha, Dashamoola siddha ghritha are proved helpful in these conditions.


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Shri Manjunatheshwara Ayurveda Clinic 1483
Deshpande Galli


Surgical Consultant Shri
Manjunatheshwara Ayurveda Clinic
1483 Deshpande Galli

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