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Can some of the problems I’m having still be caused from Prednisone? Thyroid? Hair?

Can some of the problems I’m having still be caused from Prednisone? Thyroid? Hair?

I got a prednisone warrior question, and this is about the thyroid and prednisone

You took prednisone over 20 years ago, and you’re still suffering. You’re wondering is that from Prednisone?

This isn’t medical advice. I’m not your doctor. Talk to your own personal doctor for your clear medical information. Because all I have is the information you shared with me. 

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Can some of the problems I’m having still be caused from Prednisone? Thyroid? Hair?

Prednisone Warrior Question:

L&I put me on a short term of prednisone when I was 45 yrs old. I was having normal periods up until the day I took the first pill. Nothing since. After 3 days on the pills, my hair started falling out, skin flaking off, felt like a drunk sailor on a ship in a hurricane!!! and I gained 45 lbs in 2 months which, at 67, I’m still packing most of it regardless of my diet and yes constipation has been a problem since the first dose 🙁

My hair is still breaking off and falling out and skin is horrible. My teeth all rotted out within a year. Dr. told me to never take it again. Allergic reaction? 🙁 Can prednisone cause permanent damage to my thyroid as they have found cysts on my thyroid? Can some of the problems I’m having still be caused from that?

Yes, prednisone can cause permanent damage to your bones, thyroid, and to all sorts of things. Prednisone is stealing these nutrients and important things from our bodies to keep us alive. 

It’s doing a miracle of keeping us alive, but it can cause serious damage. It’s pretty rare to have thyroid issues, but it is possible. What’s really hard about it is, there’s not a lot of research on prednisone side effects. There was no drug company that had to research on the side effects.

What we have is just random scientific articles throughout the decades. Prednisone is FDA approved in the 1950s. 

Related Studies about Prednisone and Thyroid Conditions

Here’s an article from the 1950s, and this is most of what we have. It’s really sad. It says;

Activation of the adrenal cortex by corticotropin and the administration of adrenal steroid hormones, that’s prednisone profoundly influences thyroid activity. The level of circulating thyroid hormone and the renal clearance of iodine by the kidney.

This study is talking about how prednisone influences the thyroid activity in men. 

Then I found one more article from the 1970s, and it says;

Another side effect of cortisone is suppression of thyroid hormone secretion. 

What’s crazy is they also use prednisone to treat thyroid conditions like hyper subacute thyroiditis or hyperthyroidism.

Prednisone as a Treament & Causing Same Symptoms as a Side Effects?

Prednisone is amazing in that it can be used to treat a condition and also cause the same symptoms as a side effect. It’s amazing. So the short answer here is, I have no idea. Nobody’s actually done that kind of research to know for sure if these could be from having taken prednisone. 

But the timing makes sense. Your normal periods and then three days later your hair’s falling out, you lost your period, miserable, and gained weight. That all adds up and it all makes sense to me. But can I back this up with more than that amount of scientific evidence? No, I can’t. I just haven’t done it and it’s relatively rare.

The yes and no is the answer. I honestly have no idea. But yes, all of your symptoms do sound like thyroid issues. And so be sure to continue to get your thyroid hormone levels tested. Sometimes they’re not checking the right ones. It’s really tricky. 

If you’re not getting the answers you need, find a different doctor. Because thyroid treatment is almost as much an art as it is a science.

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Dr. Megan Milne, PharmD, BCACP

Dr. Megan Milne, PharmD, BCACP, is an award-winning clinical pharmacist board certified in the types of conditions people take prednisone for. Dr. Megan had to take prednisone herself for an autoimmune condition so understands what it feels like to suffer prednisone side effects and made it her mission to counteract them as the Prednisone Pharmacist.

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