Type of publication:
Diabetes & Primary Care; Aug 2018; vol. 20 (no. 4); p. 151-153
Glucocorticoids are prescribed widely in primary care for the treatment of a range of conditions. Courses of treatment are usually short, but around 22% of use continues for over 6 months. As well as their therapeutic actions, glucocorticoids have a powerful impact on glucose metabolism, contributing to hyperglycaemia and a predisposition to diabetes. In the first of two articles on steroid-induced hyperglycaemia and diabetes, the author outlines the scale of the problem and explains the mechanisms by which glucocorticoids induce hyperglycaemia. High-risk situations are identified, and the short- and long-term dangers summarised. The second article will appear in the next issue of this journal.