Steroids Help Severe Burn Victims Recover
One of the things that remain a mystery to doctors is that when a person suffers from severe burns, the body stops producing testosterone. This can go on for months after the person was burned. As a result, the burn victim, who is mostly inactive during the recovery process, starts to lose a lot of muscle because of the absence of testosterone. Eventually, the burn victim will become so weak that he will not be able to do even simple activities.
To counter this effect, researchers have recommended giving burn victims testosterone injections. These will help them to gain muscle mass and to recover faster. Lack of testosterone in burn victims can be harmful particularly in young boys whose bodies are still developing. Testosterone injections will help their bodies to keep developing.
The case of burn victim Humberto Hernandez, as reported in www.wchstv.com, is a good example of how steroids have helped in his recovery. Humberto told the story of his accident. According to him, he played with a bottle that contained gas, and when he threw it, it somehow exploded, causing the liquid gas inside it to spatter all over his body.
Humberto suffered from severe burns covering 80% of his body. He was only 16 years old. His mother, Guillermina Hernandez, said that the doctors told her Humberto will not survive.
Arny Ferrando, Ph.D., is a researcher from Shriners Burn Hospital, University of Texas Medical Branch. He has been looking at different ways to improve the quality of life of burn victims. He sought to help burn victims to let them become more self-sufficient, allowing to do more things by themselves. Ferrando took the case of sixteen-year-old Humberto and began his treatment.
In a span of two to three weeks, Humberto has already gained some weight. He has also gained muscles. His body was strengthened that he was even able to start to exercise.
Ferrando and other researchers in Shriners Burn Hospital in Texas have been doing studies regarding testosterone’s effect on burn victims. In their studies, they were able to administer testosterone injections to men who suffered from severe burns. According to Ferrando, they were able to bring back the levels of testosterone to normal through the injection treatments.
They took six men who suffered from 70% burns in their bodies and for two weeks injected them with steroids. The quantity of amino acids from the muscle was measured both before and after the two-week steroid treatment. Their results indicated that the quantity of amino acids from the muscles after the treatment was zero, which means that there was no occurrence of muscle loss.
The Shriners Burn Hospital researchers also made a comparison of the condition of burn victims who underwent steroid treatment and those who did not. They found out that those being injected with testosterone showed more muscle gain after three weeks of being discharged from the hospital. They also showed more improvement in general compared to those who did not get the treatment.
Researchers also learned that although both groups showed weight gain, the group on testosterone increased in weight because they gained more muscle mass. On the other hand, the other group increased in weight because they gained fat. The testosterone group also exhibited more strength.
According to Ferrando, burn victims do not face the risk of experiencing the negative side effects of steroids because what the treatment is actually doing is just bringing back the hormonal levels to normal and no more than that. Testosterone treatment for burn victims primarily aims to increase the growth of muscle mass so that they can return to doing simple activities.