Difference between steroids and antibiotics
Steroids vs antibiotics:
All living things succumb to illness and disease from time to time. It is for this purpose that the medical science has introduced various drugs which can help living beings overcome these conditions and thus lead a happy and a normal life. Steroids and antibiotics are two such drugs which are designed to treat these various illnesses that hinder us from our day to day activities. Although steroids and antibiotics are often discussed within the same contexts, these are two different substances that have very different functions. Let us observe what different characteristics set steroids and antibiotics apart from one another.
Steroids can be described as fat-soluble organic compounds that are able to mimic the body’s most powerful regulator of general metabolism, the adrenal glands. Steroids are characteristic of an arrangement of four intertwined cycloalkane rings and are often used for treating inflammatory and allergic conditions. Steroids are of three types such as sex steroids, corticosteroids and anabolic steroids, all of which are employed for different functions. Sex steroids, better known as testosterone, are mostly used for reproductive regulations such as contraception and correction of hormonal imbalances while anabolic steroids remain to be the most commonly used of the lot, being utilized for muscle and bone synthesis and in enhancing strength. Corticosteroids , under which most medical steroids fall under are used in regulating metabolism, immune function, blood volume and renal excretion of electrolytes. The function of the steroids is suppressing the body’s natural reaction to foreign stimuli, thus giving it a chance to heal itself. Steroids are used for treating diseases caused by inflammation in the body such as asthma, arthritis, eczema and even leukemia. Steroids are usually applied directly onto the affected area and they often come in the form of eye or nose drops, pills or as injections.
The term ‘antibiotics’ was coined by Selman Waksman in 1942 with the intention of describing any substance produced by a microorganism which are perceived to be antagonistic to the growth of other microorganisms in high dilution. However, this definition excluded the substances that are capable of killing bacteria, but are not produced by microorganisms such as gastric juices and hydrogen peroxide. Yet today, antibiotics exist in both bactericidal or bacteriostatic natures and while the antibiotics that fall under the bactericidal category can be named as penicillin, cephalosporin, quinolone, and sulfonamide, antibiotics which fall under the bacteriostatic category can be named as tetracycline and aminoglycoside. Bactericidal antibiotics refer to the kind that target the bacterial cell wall, membrane or enzymes while bacteriostatic antibiotics refer to those that aim protein synthesis directly. Antibiotics are effective in treating bacterial infections and yet, it is also prone to destroy good bacteria which are responsible in the production of B vitamins and lactase which aide in the fight against tumors, high cholesterol levels and in digestion. Getting rid of these good bacteria can result in the body being vulnerable to various pathogens that can cause immunological, neurologic or endocrinologic problems such as food allergies, autoimmune disorders, and chemical sensitivities.
What is the difference between antibiotics and steroids?
It is true that both these drugs are of extreme use in the fight against harmful elements that cause problems within our bodies and thereby, they share certain similar characteristics pertaining to general health and well being of human beings. However, while steroids can be described as fat-soluble organic compounds which are able to mimic the body’s most powerful regulator of general metabolism, the adrenal glands, antibiotics can be described as a compound or substance that kills or slows down the growth of bacteria.
Antibiotics are used to treat diseases caused by microorganisms like fungi and protozoa by killing them or deactivating them. They directly target the bacteria in order to do so. Steroids however, are used to treat inflammatory and allergic reactions of the body. This is done so by suppressing the body’s natural reactions against foreign stimuli, thus allowing the body time to heal itself.
Overuse of both steroids and antibiotics can lead to adverse after effects. Overuse of steroids for prolonged periods of time can result in eye cataract, glaucoma, muscle weakness, high blood pressure, weight gain, inhibited growth in children, thinning of bones, skin problems like bruising, acne and in some cases, even immune system failure. Antibiotics can also have adverse affects too. They are quite capable of killing the good bacteria that are responsible for regulating the many processes that occur within the body and keeping it healthy, thereby resulting in many other disorders as a result.
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