When I was diagnosed with MCTD or Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, an Autoimmune disease consisting of a combination of symptoms of Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Scleraderma, my Rheumatologist prescribed prednisone, an antiinflammatory Steroid, to calm my immune system and reduce the inflammation in my body. It worked wonders. Within 3 hours of taking the prednisone I felt like a new man. Life went on and I was out jogging again in no time.
After a few months I went to see another Rheumatologist at Virginia Mason in Seattle, who recommended that I try to stop taking Prednisone, that long term usage could do damage to my internal organs. Over the next month I decreased my prednisone dosage, and soon was prednisone free. Unfortunatly this was short lived, as I started having symptom flare-ups. Sore throat, temperature fluctuations, joint swelling, severe sunburn, followed by severe fatigue and depression. I had to take prednisone again.
I was determined to get off the prednisone, it was hard because the Prednisone made me feel so much better. It has taken years, but 2008 is the first year I havemade it through the entire year without any prednisone. I still carry a bottle with me when I travel, just in case I have a severe flare up.
Up till last year (2007) I was still taking Prednisone for flare ups 2 -3 times a year. Flare ups usually brought on by lack of sleep and emotional stress. I have to be careful and remember to take good care of myself. I did have a few flare ups in 2008, I but I was able to get them under control without using Prednisone. Mainly by getting caught up on sleep, eating healthy, and drinking lots of water. If I go 2 -3 days with only 5 or 6 hours of sleep I am way more likely to have a flare up. Gotta get my beauty sleep!
Update – Since 2008 I have taken Prednisone 3 times, so and average of a couple weeks when I have a bad lupus or rheumatoid arthritis flare, once every 2 or 3 years.
To reduce inflammation I have to be consistent with my nutritional regimen and cut out sugar, meat, wheat / gluten and processed foods. Definitely makes a difference!
Here’s to living prednisone free and living happy and healthy Beyond Inflammation, autoimmune disease, connective tissue disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and MCTD!