Over the years, it has become commonplace for women generally to be body conscious and try to make adjustments as they deem fit. Pharmacies and “chemists” have witnessed women come in to request drugs that will help with weight gain and also drugs that will help them lose weight. We may talk about weight loss medications on a later date, but for now, let’s talk about weight gain.
So about gaining weight. The narrative usually sold is that you are not the only who is “suffering” and adding weight in the right places will make you more attractive to potential suitors. So, the young lady is convinced to get drugs that will not only help bulk up her frame but supposedly add it in all the right places such as in her gluteal region (buttocks) and mammary gland. This cannot be farther from the truth. Through this practice, many have placed their lives and those of their loved ones at risk.
What they don’t realize is that these drugs are synthetic steroids used for the suppression of inflammatory (swelling) and allergic reactions (eczema, rash, hives etc.), helps the body manage stress, and regulate how the body uses fat and sugar. Examples include beclomethasone, triamcinolone, hydrocortisone, betamethasone, methylprednisolone and the aforementioned drugs.
However, long term use of these drugs beyond the recommended prescribed duration results in adverse effects such as;
Increased weight gain in an uneven manner with fat concentrated in the stomach, upper back, between shoulders, face (rounded or moon face), pink or purple stretch marks on skin.
Menstrual irregularities such as irregular menstrual cycles and amenorrhea.
Increased blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Monitoring is necessary for individuals on antihypertensives and hypoglycemic medications.
Decreased ability to absorb calcium resulting in osteoporosis (brittle bones) manifesting as back pain and post-menopausal women are at special risk as calcium depletion occurs normally in menopause.
Peptic ulcer and dyspepsia. Many tend to come down with ulcer due to prolonged use. In short term use, taking drug alongside food or milk helps to decrease the gastric effects.
Mental health challenges such as depression, psychological dependence, psychosis can also results.
Slow and impaired healing, skin atrophy, acne, greater susceptibility to infection, masking of infections also occurs.
Here is to the young ladies out there, before you start using dexamethasone and prednisolone, think again. You may just be putting yourself at severe risk unnecessarily. Appreciate your body and if you intend to make adjustments, do it through the proper channels such as dieting and exercise.