Steroid abuse and the subsequent withdrawal will closely mirror the detox from many other drugs. Your body has adapted to the steroids you’ve been taking, and now your body needs to adapt to functioning without them. The detox process will not be easy and cannot be done cold turkey. When you’re ready to get into a healthy life again, your daily life tasks after recovery from performance enhancers will take some planning. Depending on how long you’ve been using, you may have suffered from agitation and hyperactivity, as well as mood swings and paranoia. While you may look forward to getting back on an even keel, be aware that calmer moods may feel like low energy, or that your productivity is down. Be gentle with yourself while your endocrine system gets back up to speed.
Withdrawal Symptoms: Be Prepared
To stop using steroids, you need to taper off your dosage so your adrenal glands can start producing again. This tapering will leave you feeling weak and exhausted. Your body needs rest to heal from the steroid abuse and your adrenal glands need you to get restorative sleep so your body can start functioning healthily again. Do your best to get proper rest. Darken your room. Wash your bedding so it’s soft and comfortable. Keep screens, televisions and your phone away from your bed. The withdrawal symptoms from steroid abuse are not unlike withdrawal from drugs considered to be “street” drugs. You will likely feel ill as you withdraw from the drug. Be greedy about water at this time, both in drinking it and in bathing frequently to help your body purge itself of toxins.
You may suffer from symptoms such as
- stomach pain, diarrhea, and nausea
- general weakness and fatigue
- weight loss and a low appetite
While working to up your intake of the foods listed above, take care to avoid processed foods, highly caffeinated beverages, products high in processed sugars, and fried foods. You want to load up your plate with foods your body doesn’t have to fight with for great nutrition. As you wean yourself off of steroids, do your best to put healthy foods into your systems to protect your immune system while your adrenal glands come back. Focus on a diet high in
- protein, including lean meats, eggs, and fish
- fats, including olive oil, nuts and whole dairy products
- dark leafy green veggies and colorful veggies for an array of antioxidants
- whole grains, including brown rice, whole oats and wheat bread
- low sugar fruits, including oranges, apples and grapes
Getting Back to Normal Life
Coming back from steroid use may mean that you need to repair some relationships. If you have a good relationship with a family member, ask them to help you reach out to anyone you’re estranged from. Don’t push this; you need to protect yourself from those who can’t give you another chance right now. Both of you deserve time and healing. You will also need to figure out how you can accomplish the daily tasks of living on what feels like a lower level of energy. At your work at your job or in your home, do your best to set your biggest projects early in the day, before exhaustion and decision fatigue get in your way. Use earbuds and the timer on your phone if you need a break, and get away from the stress of your job for a time until your energy level comes back.
If you do have to accomplish big things at a time of low energy, set the timer again and push yourself for 25 minutes, then take a five minute break before coming back to work. At home, set patterns or habits you can build automatically. Consider roasting chicken breasts on the weekend and freezing them once they cool so you can heat them up in the microwave for your lunch or your supper. Only buy groceries that will feed your body well. Don’t shop for food until after you’ve eaten a meal you’re proud of. Split out produce into snack packets so you can easily grab and go. Make healthy choices easier. When you’re ready to start building your life without steroids, our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 833-846-5669.