Glucocorticoid vs Mineralocorticoid: Which Is Better?


A healthy hormone level is a reason for being a person who is healthier and happier in every aspect. Here, glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids are the two hormones that are responsible for maintaining metabolism and fluid in our body. Once upon a time, I was also going through some situations in my life that hampered my hormones efficiently, and then I was going through major changes in my body.

After observing the symptoms for a few months, I decided to consult my physician, who recommended how to treat it. Thus, after getting the right balance of these hormones in my body, I have come up here with in-depth knowledge. So, let’s explore differences, side effects, types, and other details about Glucocorticoids and Mineralocorticoids.

What Is Glucocorticoid? How do They work?

Uses Of Glucocorticoid

Glucocorticoid hormones, which are produced in the adrenal glands, are situated above the kidney and are responsible for regulating metabolism, inflammation, and the immune response.

Further, it can reduce certain aspects of immune function and inflammation within the body with the occurrence of hormone imbalance. Besides, it is useful in making medicines to treat various diseases like allergies, asthma, autoimmune diseases, and sepsis that occur from overactive immune systems. 

Uses Of Glucocorticoid

Glucocorticoid medicines are used to treat various diseases that happen due to the weakening of the immune system. Though it is produced as the hormone itself by the adrenal system, if it fluctuates, it creates many, many problems. So, it is given in the form of medicines to cure inflammation and control your cells. It treats various inflammatory situations like:

Types Of Glucocorticoid

A glucocorticoid refers to the type of steroid that is used in treating inflammatory disease. Some of the types of glucocorticoid medicines are given below:

Prednisone and dexamethasone: These are available in pills that are used to treat allergies, arthritis, asthma, vision problems, and many other conditions.

Cortisone: The medicine is used to treat inflammation that occurs in joints.

Triamcinolone: These medicines are available in creams that are used to treat various skin conditions that happen due to changes in hormone levels in the skin.

Budesonide: These medications are used in testing various autoimmune diseases that affect your digestive tract.

Side Effects Of Glucocorticoid

The effects of using glucocorticoid drugs depend on the usage and conditions you are suffering from. Also, it shows some side effects if not taken properly or goes with overuse, like:

  • You might go with excessive weight gain.
  • You can feel very hungry or can see water retention or swelling in the body.
  • There can be certain mood swings, blurred vision, and feeling nervous or restless.
  • You may find trouble while sleeping.
  • There can be muscle weakness and skin issues like acne, redness, or itching.
  • There can be stomach irritation.

What Is Mineralocorticoid? How did They work?

Types Of Mineralocorticoid

Mineralocorticoids are another type of corticoid medicines that are produced from the adrenal cortex. Like glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids are produced in the adrenal glands in the kidney. If it fluctuates, it can cause a deficiency of sodium and water and further many issues to the body and mind. So, Aldosterone medicines are given to treat various diseases like high blood pressure and high blood volume within the body.

Uses Of Mineralocorticoid

Mineralocorticoids are the hormones secreted from the adrenal cortex that influence the salt and water balance in the body. So, if it imbalances, then it is provided in the form of medicines that treat various issues by an action on the distal tubules of the kidney like-

  • It is used to treat adrenocortical insufficiency that happens due to low water content within the body.
  • Also, it helps in treating salt-losing adrenogenital syndrome.
  • It helps in increasing the renal retention of sodium.
  • Further, it treats and excretes potassium within the body.

Types Of Mineralocorticoid

Mineralocorticoids are the corticoid hormones that treat sodium and water insufficiency within the body. It is available in drugs in different types that treat the same like:

  • Glucocorticoid
  • Mineralocorticoid
  • Fludrocortisone
  • Norepinephrine
  • Orthostatic Hypotension
  • Cortisol
  • Aldosterone
  • Agonist

Side Effects Of Mineralocorticoid

Mineralocorticoid hormones are the essential hormones that maintain sodium efficiency and water retention within the body. Also, improper taking of mineralocorticoid drugs shows certain side effects which is harmful to the body and mind like-

  • Suffer from hypertension.
  • Muscle weakness and cardiac arrhythmias can happen.
  • Heart failure or hypokalemic alkalosis.
  • There is regulation of electrolyte excretion in the kidney.
  • There can be increased salt cravings.

Glucocorticoid Vs Mineralocorticoid: Which Is Better?

Glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids are the essential hormones that are secreted by the cervix of adrenal glands within the kidney. Though both hormones play an essential role in maintaining homeostasis in the body, the effects are shown differently with varied properties.

Also, the key difference between glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids is that one helps with healing wounds and minimizing the pain of an injury, and the other influences the salt and water balance in your body. 

Sum Up

Glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids are a group of steroid hormones that are related mainly to carbohydrate metabolism regulation. Additionally, these hormones are produced by the adrenal glands and play an important role in regulating and maintaining blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and proper immune functions. Glucocorticoids control sugar, and mineralocorticoids control salt intake.

So, if any deficiency happens, it can cause several problems in the body. However, cortisol and aldosterone are the drugs that are given to balance the deficiency. So, if there is any disorder within the body, then both drugs play an active role in maintaining the differences.


1. What is the difference between glucocorticoids and corticosteroids?

Corticosteroids refer to the class of steroid hormones that are released by adrenal glands, which further include glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. Also, a glucocorticoid is a type of corticosteroid, but not all corticosteroids are glucocorticoids and thus have different effects on the body.

2. Is aldosterone a glucocorticoid or mineralocorticoid?

No, Aldosterone refers to the physiological mineralocorticoid that regulates the balance of electrolytes and water retention within the body. Similarly, glucocorticoids affect the immune function and metabolism function.

3. Which steroid has both glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid activity?

Corticosteroids have both glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid activity, such as anti-inflammatory and sodium effects in the body, respectively.

4. What are the most significant glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids?

The most significant glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids are cortisol (hydrocortisone) and aldosterone, respectively.

5. What are examples of glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids?

Some best examples of glucocorticoids are Cortisol and Cortisone. Similarly, mineralocorticoid includes Aldosterone and Deoxycorticosterone.


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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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