Corticosteroids hormones are a large group (over 40 crystalline substances) compounds of steroid structure formed by the cortex of the adrenal glands. Bear its name from the Latin word cortex, which translates to bark. Their secretion is controlled by ACTH secreted by the pituitary gland, which is released by the action of the hypothalamus produced by kortikotropen hormone. This control connection is retroactive.
According to its biological function corticosteroids are divided into three main groups:
Mineralocorticoid - provide electrolyte metabolism.
Glucocorticoids - affect the metabolic processes (mainly carbohydrate metabolism) and protect the body from stress.
Genital corticoids - influence processes associated with the activity of sex hormones.
Corticosteroids are hormones with a wide application in various fields of medicine, and although they are clearly potentially dangerous side effects, they are highly inflammatory and antiallergic agents with immunosuppressive action.
Mineralocorticosteroids control fluid and electrolyte balance in the body, retaining water, sodium chloride and carbonate and the increased emission of potassium and phosphorus through the kidneys. The main and most active mineralocorticosteroids is aldosteronat. ACTH stimulates its synthesis and angiotensin control the release by the adrenal glands. When elevated levels of the hormone increases in blood pressure, while the shortage of the hormone due to reduced water and sodium in the body appears sodium (tasteless) diabetes. Violates sharply electrolyte balance, which is one of the most important factors for maintaining a relatively constant osmotic pressure in the body.
Glucocorticoids, entering the complex interaction of pituitary and pancreas, influence carbohydrate metabolism by stimulating the formation of glycogen in liver and muscle, decreased insulin sensitivity and delay disbursement of glycogen reserves in fasting. Due to the ability of glucocorticoids to maintain relatively normal levels of blood glucose by stimulating the formation of glucose degradation process of proteins. Moreover, regulating the processes of phosphorylation in the body, they affect the absorption of glucose in the intestines and its use in tissues. Together, they participate in protein metabolism, supporting the formation of glycogen from bezazotnite protein residue resulting from the deamination. Especially characteristic is their impact on muscle function. Glucocorticoid deficiency leads to muscle weakness and fatigue overtime. These phenomena are usually quickly resolved with the implementation of cortisone in the body - one of the main representatives of glucocorticoids.
Glucocorticoids have an effect on kidney function by inhibiting reverse absorption of water and thus act as antagonists of the antidiuretic hormone of the pituitary. These hormones are involved in the process of filtration, ensuring proper blood flow to the kidneys.
Glucocorticoids strongly influence inflammatory, immune and allergic processes, endocrine and central nervous system. Own desensitising effect. Their anti-allergic effect is associated with decreased synthesis of histamine in mast cells, activation of histamine properties of blood. They are used to treat rheumatism, asthma, neurodermatitis, allergic skin diseases, leukemia, autoimmune diseases, pancreatitis.
The main glucocorticoids hormones of the adrenal glands are cortisone and hydrocortisone, as in the human body Cortisone quickly became active metabolite Hydrocortisone. Hydrocortisone is used as an anti-inflammatory and hormone agonist. Synthetic analogues of glucocorticosteroids are mainly used to treat medical conditions caused by hypofunction of the glands.
The development of the reproductive system depends entirely on the biological action of sex hormones. Their synthesis takes place in the sexual organs and the adrenal glands under the control of hypothalamic gonadotropic hormone, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating pituitary. Sex hormones have a steroid structure and in terms of their biological activity is divided into four main groups:
Estrogens (play a key role in sexual development and functions of relevant organs in women).
Androgens (steroids which possess the activity of testosterone. Androgens have a stimulating effect on the processes of synthesis and metabolism of proteins, ie have an anabolic effect).
Anabolic steroids (testosterone derivatives, have a stimulating effect on the synthesis of proteins and fats in the body. So far, no synthesized anabolic agents under which lacks androgenic activity that have their side effects from their prolonged administration, especially at higher doses).
One of the most commonly used parenteral steroids are Nandrolone decanoate and Clostebole acetate, and also orally active Methenolone acetate. The latter steroid is very close structural analogue of Testosterone. It is known that anabolic steroids are of limited use in the treatment of osteoporosis, some cancers, and in the catabolism caused by prolonged treatment with corticosteroids.
Progestin (compounds of natural and semi-synthetic origin that have the activity of progesterone, a hormone, exerting a beneficial effect on the normal development of pregnancy).
It should be noted that corticosteroid use should be consistent with a specialist and also depends entirely on the individual characteristics of the organism and the pathological state in which it is located. A long-term use to achieve the desired therapeutic effect inevitably can lead to serious side effects.
One of the most common side effects are related to changes in the metabolism of individuals. Damage to lipid metabolism, as occurs redistribution of body fat - it is concentrated in the abdomen and around internal organs and face, while the limb was observed reduction of the tissue. On the other hand, stimulating the degradation of protein increases the synthesis of glucose, leading to myopathy with progressive muscle weakness, it is possible to reach osteoporosis due to loss of collagen and calcium metabolism disorder.
Increased activity mineralcorticoidal caused water retention and sodium, can lead to high blood pressure. And the immunosuppressive action of corticosteroids suggests high sensitivity to infectious agents like bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Some experts say that prolonged therapy with corticosteroids may lead to some secondary disorders such as irritation of the stomach, ulcers, disruption in the monthly cycle, hair loss, dizziness, headache and convulsions. Accepted for a long time with various ointments, these hormones may cause hair growth.
It is important to note that corticosteroids are drugs that should not be overdone. Furthermore, treatment with these hormones should not be interrupted abruptly. Must comply with strict deadlines and doses because the dose is given therapeutic effect. And experts say that the use of corticosteroids is observed decrease in the secretion of hormones from the adrenal glands. Which means that the gradual dose reduction will allow the glands to regain their normal secretion.
The use of corticosteroids, and all the more serious drugs, it should become mandatory consultation with a specialist in the field because there is no doubt that the expression of self-initiative, with subsequent healing would be absolutely inappropriate and undesirable consequences.
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