Self Health Care

Articles about alternative ways of treatment and self health care

If you use corticosteroids, can you be an Olympic athlete?

Both in the abled Olympics we’ve just celebrated in Beijing and the Para-Olympics to come, the basic rules are laid down by the organizing committees and enforced through the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The general rule is that athletes can use inhaled, topical and systemic corticosteroids to deal with a wide range of medical conditions. Probably the most common is the use of inhaled corticosteroids and beta-2 agonists to allow asthma sufferers to compete. Other than that, topical corticosteroids are used for treating skin conditions. For this and the relief of joint pain and other inflammations, Prednisone is the most common medication, but athletes must get a full Therapeutic Use Exemption before using it. There are myths that using steroids enhances performance. Most health experts agree that these drug simply allow the body to resume functioning normally. So asthma sufferers are able to breathe. Inflamed joints are able to move more smoothly again. And so on. For example, Dr. Kenneth Fitch of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health at the University of Western Australia has conducted three double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies of asthma drugs. The results showed no enhanced performance. So why does WADA control their use? Probably because corticosteroids will mask the prohibited performance enhancers. So you can reach for Prednisone knowing it’s approved as the standard treatment by elite athletes. To get to the Olympics yourself, all you have to do is to become one of those elite athletes. No problem!

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