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Addison's Disease Message Board


Addison's Disease Board Index


To Steven/ Veno0881
Apr 16, 2012
Hi Steven ..

I find it interesting that you've had Addison's your entire life. I'm wondering if you've felt any sort of a negative progression with this illness as time has gone on? Have your hydrocortisone needs increased over time? And you mentioned that you've had a lot of sleepless nights.. is this due to the Addison's? Or perhaps it's a combination of different things. I have a lot of sleep issues which are due to a number of different factors: medicines, female hormone fluctuations, an overactive mind, bouts of depresssion, etc.

As for prednisone, you said that your doctor never mentioned it.. well, most doctors won't. (i think a lot of them are scared of it as it's a long-acting steroid and they fear all of the side effects of what happens to a body with too much steroid in it.) This would be more of a concern for someone who was taking prednisone for other purposes (arthritis, infection,etc) What they're forgetting is that we don't produce any on our own and need replacement doses, so the chances of excess steroid in our systems is small. I did okay on hydrocortisone for the first few years, but started to feel awful, etc. over the past couple of years. I was crashing a lot, exhausting very easily, dull headaches, etc. Initially I began to just take a little prednisone for my evening dose as I was waking up a lot in the middle of the night with symptoms of low steroid, and prednisone would enable me to sleep longer through the night. So long story short, I was not doing well at all on hydrocort. during the day, I was very sick for a couple of months this past winter, in the ER 3 times, lost my job, etc. My doc determined that I'd become resistant to hydrocortisone and switched me entirely to prednisone. I feel much better on it as I'm not as "aware" of the illness. Before it was everyday, every few hours I would have icky symptoms of low cortisol and know that it was time to take my meds. For me, this also weighed heavy on my mind. I was beginning to feel like "I was my illness".

Now if you do well on hydrocortisone, then I certainly wouldn't consider switching to prednisone, as I do believe that hydrocortisone is a "healthier" choice. It is shorter-acting so it's easier to mimic the normal cortisol rhythm of the body. For me, it came down to quality of life... I want to feel as good as I can, and be able to function as well as possible while I'm on this planet, so I'm willing to take the possibly more serious long term side effects of being on prednisone.

Also, you mentioned in one of your posts that you also have a problem with having to go to the bathroom a lot during the night. Have you considered increasing your Florinef? Since this is the mineralcorticoid responsible for maintaining fluid balance in the body.. maybe you need a little more? I recently read an article stating that most Addisonians are undertreated with Florinef.

And as you do, I also take A LOT of different supplements... I've always been interested in vitamin therapies, nutrition, alternative & preventative practices, herbal remedies, etc. For me these should always be used/tried first, and drugs are secondary. Of course, I am very grateful for the drugs as I wouldn't be here writing this post to you if it weren't for the drugs.

Thank you for reading. Hope you are well.

Sincerely,
Mollie





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