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According to the FDA, the steroid, clobestasol propionate, can cause stretch marks, thinning skin, and dilution of tiny blood vessels. Large amounts or long term use can cause more serious side effects, including hypertension, central obesity, diabetes, hirsutism , acne, osteoporosis, weakening of the bones, impaired wound healing, decreased resistance to infection, muscular wasting, and behavioral changes such as mania and psychosis. The steroid can also suppress the body s ability to produce its own corticosteroidsin helping it fight infection to deal with the body trauma. Commonly used oral steroids include betamethasone (Celestone). Steroids hurt bones several ways. They reduce amount of calcium through the kidneys. This causes the body to release a parathyroid hormone to remove calcium from bones to restore the calcium level in the blood to normal. Steroids also weaken the bone by simulating osteoclasts, cells that break down bone, and inhibitosteoblasts, cells that build new bone. As a result, buildup of the bone cannot keep up with breakdown. Within the first six months of cortisocrad therapy, there can be a 10 to 20 percent loss of bone mass. One in four could suffer a fracture as a result. Transplant patients take steroids to prevent rejection of donor tissue. Steroids are also for shorter periods to treat acute inflammation and severe allergic reactions. The drugs can be taken by mouth, injection or inhalation or they can be incorporated into drops or a lotion or cream. They typically impair bone health on;y when taken orally or by injection on a regular basis. Recent studies have shown that chronic uses of doses as low as 7.5 milligrams a day can cause gradual bone loss. The idealized male body image nowadays is beefy and muscled (McClelland 1). The FDA also warned that ceasing use of Skin-Cap without a dermatologist s help could worsen psoriasis or even convert plaque psoriasis to pustular psoriasis. An early red flag raised in June when the Netherlands Ministry of Health banned Cheminova International (Madrid) from marketing Skin-Cap there because, contrary to packaging information, the product contained prescription levels of clobetasol propionate and other steroidal ingredients. A formulated, steroid free version of Skin-Cap has since been okayed for marketing (Peter 6 ). Cheminova international marketed Skin-Cap in the united States via several distributors, primarily through mail order. The drug company claimed that the listed ingredient, zinc pyrithione, was the active agent. According to the NPF, zinc has never been found safe or effective for the treatment of and is approved by the FDA only as an activer OFC ingredient for dandruff. No other official products sold in this country have been reported to contain steroids(Johnson 2) None of these experiences is fun, but at least you have fair warning warning to save yourself. It s tougher when the disaster sign is subtle; the basement floor that cracks, just a littler, before the Big One swallows your house. And so it is , friends, with the crumbling foundation you call your diet. Fortunately, we re here to point out which of those little cracks just might be the start of something big: big gut, big pants, big gobs of fat surfing your bloodstream, big problems(Longley 4) High cholesterol and a bathroom scale that spins like a roulette wheel whenever you step on it are two obvious indications that your diet is off track. But there are other markers. What follows is a rundown of the subtle signals that your eating habits could use some tweaking. It s true, of course, that some of these symptoms could signal more serious health problems, so if things don t clear up after you change your eating habits, see your doctor(Lawrence 3). In the meantime, you may not be getting enough nutrients if: Your skin is a wasteland. Itchy, dry, reptilian, scaly skin not just in the winter, but year-round may signal a vitamin A deficiency, says Ayoob. Solution: every time you go to the supermarket, make sure your basket contains at least two orange/yellow and two dark green fruits or vegetables. Spinach, broccoli, apricots, cantaloupes, carrots, and sweet potatoes all have enough vitamin A to keep you from looking like a lizard and scratching like a dog. (Don t supplement. Too much vitamin A in pill form can be harmful.) *Your hair has lost its shine. In extreme cases, your coif can lose its luster because of significant protein of iron deficiencies, especially if your vegetarian or go on a fad diet. Solution: First of all, don t diet you ll only gain the weight back anyway. Eat a good mix of foods, concentrate on eating more fiber,

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