I have been on 15 - 20mg of prednisone for the last 2 - 3 years. I am desperate to detox, cannot stand the weight gain and mood swings anymore. add this to having to take low-estrogen birth control... im just sick of living like this. my SLE has been stable for about a year. I am only 27 and want my SELF back :) Pleeeeease send me your advise and/or experience. thanks!
16 Jul 2011
I have only been on up to 20mg of prednisone for a couple of months. I read about it, researched it, and heard others stories; plus I took into account how it changed and made me feel. After only a couple of months I'm done with using them. Mood swings, irritability, spaciness, roid rage, paranoia, inability to focus, depression, stress & anxiety. The weight gain didn't bother me. (In fact I think I lost 10 to 15lbs, although I did get Moon Face). I'm a performer and I need to have total control over my body. Although I also was diagnosed with SLE (after 4 months of waiting to see a specialist), and I couldn't live that way either: white, blue, red fingers, numbness & tingling, immobility of major muscle groups in my arms, legs, hands, fingers, chronic acute pain in my muscles & joints, malaise, depression. I needed the steroids. Like magic I could write my name again, drive, walk, jump, dance, roll over in bed without wanting to cry (all I suffered from in my worst state of what is now believed to be a result from SLE) and felt euphoric (like I was on speed) off of 10mg. But when 10 turned into 15, and 15 into 20, and the euphoria turned to the above listed problems, I knew I had to find another solution.
From the information I gathered, one can detox from it. The consensus is to ask your doctor and go down from 20 to 15 at 5mg increments for one week (perhaps alternating between 20 Mon 15 Tues 20 Wed 15 Thurs etc.), 15 to 7.5 at 2.5 increments for one to two weeks (again alternating). 7.5 to 1 at 0.5 to 1mg increments for a couple of weeks. As you've been on for nearly 3 years, you might have to change increments over a few months (think 3 to 6).
This is referred to as the tapering effect. The 7.5 to 1 to 0 is the most crucial to take slowly because this is when your body is supposed to most likely adjust to recreating it's own corticosteroid which is approx 5 to 7.5 mg per day.
You should expect to go through withdrawal which includes but is not limited to fatigue, muscle ache, joint pain, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, fever, adrenaline crisis, or exogenous adrenal insufficiency. It's supposed to be less likely if you're tapering, but still expect to see it. You could as well show different symptoms unique to your own body.
This is more or less what I did, except I really pushed my envelope. I've been searching a way to be more overall healthy and natural, so I have been looking at alternative medicines.
And I found HCG a more radical diet using a hormone that is supposed to help you lose weight fast by burning your storage fat. My reasoning was that if toxins live in storage fat, then HCG could release the storage fat and help move out the toxins. Unfortunately, I'm a binge eater and HCG only works to burn storage fat on a 500 calorie restricted diet. I think that's enough said. But I read on a steroid site that HCG would help with the withdrawal symptoms if you'd be interested in trying when you're closer to the last stage of tapering. Shots and trusted sublingual liquids are your best bet in my opinion.
Also they had me on naprosyn, tylenol, aleeve, ibuprofen and an ulcer prevention along with the steroids for pain that I was able to get off of last month. I found a bunch of herbs to use in place of them: turmeric, milk thistle, burdock root, cat's paw, devil's claw, marshmallow, as well as the oils of flax seed, fish, and evening prime rose. I didn't use all of them but heard great things about them. DO your research before trying.
In any case, HCG did not work FOR ME because of my eating habits but it DOES work.
So I looked into a diet change. I went vegan mostly. Raw for a few months taking out all nightshade foods: eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers (even black, bell, and chili) which stimulate great enzymes for weightloss but increase inflammation. Almonds, seeds, lentils & chickpeas/garbanzo beans are also great for SLE from what I remember eating. Still I personally had trouble with binge eating. Raw didn't really work for me. But I have heard of it remitting and reversing a great many disorders and diseases. You would have to be totally raw for at least 3 months to see the best results.
Now to answer your original question about detoxing.
The best detox I have found is The Master Cleanse. It's purely organic lemonade made from fresh squeezed lemon juice, Grade B maple syrup, & cayenne pepper along with an herbal tea morning and night (or a salt water drink first thing in the morning instead of tea if you can handle it - like an enema in reverse). As with other things there is controversy surrounding it. Same with HCG, vegan, and raw diets. There's always controversy where health is involved.
In any case, the idea is every dis ease can be eased instantly or in the short term with modern medicines at a cost (vomiting nausea diarrhea depression or what ever tragic symptoms come with "the cure"), but likewise they can all be cured naturally in the long term.
The suggestion is on a water fast (nothing but water) one can toss out all their drugs, lay down and let the body get to work. You'll be hungry, tired, bed ridden, and in hideous pain.
With the Master Cleanse, you let the body get to work because you aren't digesting (schooling taught me that whatever's going on in the body certain things take priority. If it's fight or flight and you just ate or drank a ton of water hours before, adrenaline takes priority. If you just ate or drank a ton of liquid, urination is priority. If you just ate or you're sick, immunity takes back seat to digestion.) anything except liquid food, which is very easily assimilated into your system allowing you're body to work on your health. On a water fast you can do 25ish days but who can take that much time out of their busy schedule to just lay down in pain (you'll be virtually dependent on living assistance from another)? Lemonade Diet claims you can continue your schedule and should expect the energy to sustain yourself by just adding a little more time for rest and detox.
Read into it if you're interested. You are expected to complete at least 10 days and can "safely" go until 40 days. You must follow the directions. You can NOT cheat. It wastes your work to clean yourself and is potentially very dangerous (again warnings of DEATH, although truly I think it will just feel ridiculously painful) to break your fast with solid mixed foods (think steak, mac & cheese, garlic bread, & chocolate raspberry cake) suddenly. There are ways to ease into it but you must ease out of it with Orange Juice for 2 days and followed with a day of strictly only raw fruit and vegetables and soup before returning to animal products and cooked meals.
I'm in Day 8, lost 10 lbs, went down from 7mg to 0.5mg this week and felt great with the exception of feeling hungry for the first time yesterday (just drank another glass of lemonade), feeling awful nearly every time I eliminate (referred to as the natural process of eliminating nasty toxins living in your body for years), and today as I'm noticing tension/lock-up in my fingers and shoulder on my right side - mild, bearable pain compared to what I've endured. I was going to attempt to take no steroids today but after further research I may continue 0.5mg for a few days to make sure my body is producing some before I quit completely. My plan is to stay on the Lemonade Diet at least 10 days after I stop the steroids to flush them out of my system, but I expect it will be rather painful to endure. Found no research or studies here yet to guide me.
On that note, I also read somewhere that the body's natural adrenal (that produces our own corticosteroid needs to rest to be at it's prime between the hours of 11pm to 1am. Supposedly that is when this organ repairs itself for the new day. I used to be awake 9am-ish to 3am-ish but for 3 months I went to bed between 10pm and 11pm and I don't know if it worked but I certainly did not feel worse for wear.
As well, it seems with steroids the worst thing you can do is stop cold turkey. The worst symptom is death caused by shock because we all need a daily dose of corticosteroids. Don't do it. Taper off, then start a detox afterward that you think might work for you OR detox and taper together to make the withdrawal easier and the tapering a little quicker. I did experience some head case stuff tapering so quickly from 20mg to 0.5mg in this past month, but I was able to push through it. If it's too much or uncomfortable mentally, physically, or spiritually don't push yourself. Your body will let you know what it can handle.
I hope my essay long answer helped even a little bit.
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