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Corticosteroids and HPTA Suppression

Hey everyone,
I havent posted before and am a relatively new member but have done alot of reading on this site. I have been having issues lately that I feel could be hormone related and wanted to ask around first before wasting money going to the doctor.

I have felt very tiered for the last few weeks, my lifts have felt weak (I’m not overtraining either) and I have had a loss of sex drive. My diet is in check, I have been eating 6 meals a day and been getting well over a gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. I am concerned that this may be a hormonal issue after doing some research on corticosteroids. I was prescribed corticosteroid cream around age 16 for a skin issue and used it everyday for over 2 years (I’m now 19) on both of my forearms. I used it so much because it was really the only way to deal with the skin condition (eczema) which I was very embarrassed about.

After doing a good amount of reading on this site and learning about things like HPTA suppression, I had looked up possible side effects of the medicine and that was a possible one, one that could possibly relate to the way I have been feeling.

So my questions are, can corticosteriod cream application to both forearms for over two years cause hormonal damage? Would this occur with a cream or a different source of receiving the drugs?
I’m not convinced that this would cause suppression but I know many on here are very knowledgeable and that this would be a good starting point. I am interested in knowing if this could negatively affect my testosterone level and if it is something I would need to consult a doctor on.

Thanks for any input and thank you for your time

HPTA in the title caught my attention but your question is really one for the doctor. Incidently its the Hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis that might be affected by your corticosteroids. When bodybuilders talk about HPTA suppression they usually mean gonadal suppression but you’re right to think about it in relation to corticosteroids too. Bottom line is that you test levels are likely to be unaffected

Anyway, as a topical treatment i dont know how much your cream treatment influences your blood levels of cortisol, it is possible if used for a long time on a lot of skin that it could cause adrenal suppression (by absorption through skin into blood) and in any case excessive cortisol tends to undo some of the gains made possible through your natural test levels - but again, this is one for your doc, i guess you are under observation / regular check ups?

More probable is that you might be run down, may have recently fought off an infection you werent aware of, need some more sleep and a few days ‘off’ your regular activities etc, after all you made made it from age 16 to now ok. If you carry on feeling really fatigued then, naturally, check in with the doctor.

As gswork pointed out, corticosteroids will not affect your natural Testosterone production. They may have (slightly) inhibited your natural cortisol production, but 3 years is way more than enough for this to return to normal.

Personally I don’t think your dilemma is drug related. If your really worried get a blood test done :slight_smile:

Thanks for the input, gswork youre probably right that it is from something like an infection or being run down. If this persists I will ask my doctor next visit and then take the appropriate steps to correct it; I just wanted to see if this was something that could be hormonal

Thanks again