Happy Independence Day!
I’m grateful that on this day the United States declared independence.
Taking Prednisone is like being those thirteen colonies, shackled to the tyranny of a capricious leader. You don’t feel like you’re fully in control, fully independent of this lifesaving yet miserable drug.
What about freedom from prednisone?
Tapering off prednisone is when you slowly stop taking it over a period of weeks to months. Never stop taking it suddenly! Always follow a plan with your doctor’s help.
Since prednisone was blocking your own body’s adrenal hormones, like cortisol, it may take a while for your adrenal gland to recover. This is the main reason you need to taper slowly.
What to watch out for
When tapering, watch out for two things:
- Your disease/condition coming back. If you have asthma, watch for trouble breathing. If you have ITP like me, get your blood checked to make sure your platelet numbers are stable.
- Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency. If you feel like you’re getting the flu, it might not be an infection. It might be withdrawal syndrome. This means you are tapering too fast.
Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency
For some people, their adrenal glands never recover. Their body never quite kicks back in to gear, and the cortisol-making-factory never restarts. This means that some people have to continue taking replacement hormones the rest of their lives. This could be more prednisone, or it could be its sister drug, hydrocortisone. Watch out for symptoms such as severe fatigue, sweating, feverish, joint pain, among many others that could signal you have Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency.
How to recover once you are finally free!
Since prednisone causes osteoporosis, you need to exercise to build up strong bones. Things like walking, running, dancing, or other impact exercises help build up bone.
Don’t make the mistake I did and go out and bake a batch of cookies because you’re finally off prednisone! You need to continue to eat healthful foods so that you can lose the weight that prednisone made you gain.
Prednisone has been stealing 10 nutrients that you need. Now is the time to focus on eating healthfully to fill up your depleted tanks of nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, potassium, B vitamins, and others.
Get your Nutrients You Need Cheat Sheet!
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