Being diagnosed with diabetes can be overwhelming due to blood sugar level monitoring, insulin dependence and prescription medications.  Along with mediations to manage diabetes, other prescription medications can interfere with diabetes.  To treat other ailments such as inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases, steroids are prescribed.  But steroids can cause blood sugar levels to rise dramatically.  The dose, duration and how the steroids are administered help determine how closely blood sugar levels should be monitored.  Steroid medications that enter the body orally or by injection in a joint or body tissue will almost always increase blood sugar.  Steroids that are in the form of an inhaler for asthma cause minimal rises in blood sugar because the drug is designed to work on a specific organ, such as the lungs.  Individuals treated with large dosages and for longer periods of time run the highest risk of developing hyperglycemia.  While it is not clear why steroids cause blood sugar elevations, researchers theorize that most steroids affect how insulin works in the body.  Steroids affect the body by decreasing insulin sensitivity while simultaneously increasing the production of glucose in the liver.  To combat unwanted blood sugar rises, glucose levels need to be monitored closely and diabetic medications possibly adjusted.

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