Corticosteroids and Interactions with Nutrition and Nutritional Supplements - Vitamin D and Beyond

Virtually everyone with lupus and/or other autoimmune diseases will at some point take corticosteroids for longer than two weeks. Some of the damage that corticosteroids cause in our bodies is the result of how they interact with nutrients and nutritional supplements. Some of the damage is not an unavoidable consequence of taking corticosteroids. And if we understand these interactions we can prevent some of the damage. Unfortunately, some physicians still prescribe corticosteroids without any instructions on how this damage can be prevented.

The COPD International Support Network has compiled a list of how these medications interact with a number of substances. The list is not meant to be exhaustive and is intended as a starting point for a conversation with physicians. I think that the list might be of interest to everyone with lupus. But I think it is especially important for those who are recently diagnosed. They can avoid many of the problems that us old timers suffer from if they start out with proper information.

I spend most of my time talking about vitamin D deficiency in people with lupus. If you have lupus you are probably insufficient/deficiency in vitamin D unless you are receiving proper supplementation (which actually works best on a daily basis). This insufficiency/deficiency will be greater if you take corticosteroids. This is why we get cataracts at a higher rate than the general population. This is what accounts for our greater bone loss.

If you are aware of other interactions, please share. If you have any dietary advice or other advice on how people can avoid the damage done by long term use of prednisone and its relatives, please share.

Let's save some bones and some eyes and some muscles, etc.