If you don't have any of these conditions, it's still not necessarily the steroid that causes the problem. Pancreatitis can be triggered by tetracycline antibiotics and several other less commonly used kinds of antibiotics, old-style "pee pills" such as Lasix (furosemide), medications for epilepsy, medications for Parkinson's disease, estrogen replacement therapy, drugs for gout, drugs for gastroesophageal reflux disease, and pain relievers. The problem can be tumors, toxins, scorpion stings, or a literal kick in the gut (traumatic injury).
The new study looked at twenty patients who had either steroids or knee lubricating gel (hyaluronic acid or HA) injected into both knees and then were given a hormone stimulation test. A scary 60% of the knee steroid injection group had evidence of adrenal insufficiency versus 15% of the knee HA patients. Some patients in the steroid group still had adrenal problems two months after the injections! Adrenal insufficiency is a disease where the little glands on top of the kidneys don’t produce enough steroid hormones and can be associated with severe muscle weakness and fatigue, depression , extremely low blood pressure ( hypotension ), weight loss, kidney failure, and changes in mood and personality.
Radiculopathy occurs when something irritates a spinal nerve—say a “slipped disc” causing a pinched nerve. This is also called sciatica . There are resident stem and other cells in the local tissues everywhere in our body. Many live around blood vessels. These are obviously also present in the disc and nerves in the epidural space and they usually play an important role in suppressing inflammation and repairing damage. We know, based on a copious in vitro (lab) data, that the high-dose steroids used in epidural injections can kill these cells. So the progression of the series of epidural steroid injections looks a little something like this: