I have a pretty complicated medical situation. But I guess we all do here unfortunately! I think I had adrenal fatigue as far back as age 15 (I'm 42 now). At age 28, after suffering for many years, I was diagnosed with lupus and fibromyalgia and put on low dose prednisone and anti-inflammatories. I only stayed on pred for a few months (5-10mg). Then at age 41, was diagnosed with Hashimoto's. Doctor said my thyroid function was fine, though. (But of course it was very much NOT fine. I was having tons of hypo symptoms!) Now after spending a fair amount of time reading up on AF, I am certain that I have pretty severe AF. I also have a subclinical gluten intolerance and have had a pretty bad candida problem for at least 15 years.
One of my issues recently was enormous fluid and salt loss (lab test showed high renin) which caused severe weight loss, so in addition to eating more salt (sea salt) and drinking more water, I was finally given Florinef, which did help alot. I am also trying to conceive, which might be pretty stupid right now, as I keep having miscarriage after miscarriage. So with my history of autoimmune disease, I was given Prednisone again (10mg) to help reduce the risk of miscarriage. Just started it on Sat, so not sure whether it will help my AF or not. Thyroid-wise, I take 50mcg Synthroid.
I have had times where I feel pretty good. Right after starting Synthroid, I felt alot better. But what I read and seems to be the case with me, is that feeling better is short-lived when you treat thyroid w/o treating adrenals. Problem being that the adrenals were already struggling at the slower metabolic rate you were at BEFORE starting Synthroid. Speeding up the metabolism only further weakens the adrenals. I am doing TERRIBLE now. I had an e-mail consult with Dr. Lam who told me that in addition to AF, I also have dysfunction of my Ovarian-Adrenal-Thyroid Axis. Makes perfect sense given my symptoms and history. I just have no idea how to begin to treat all this.
There are two main issues for me. One, I am concerned about taking the herbal treatments for AF, because I have several stomach ulcers and most products like licorice root or ashwagandha say NOT to take them if you have ulcers. Second, I really want to have a child. But I am 42 1/2 right now. So I'm thinking that the long-term approach of healing the adrenals naturally might not allow me the chance to have any children. Perhaps that is a wrong assumption. Please let me know if it is. I am also allergic to iodine, so that is not a possibility to take for my thyroid.
So what my inclination to do is, is to try to treat this with the medication route. (HC) I would continue that until I could have a child (naturally or thru IVF) and then afterwards start the natural treatment route. What do you guys think of that? Having a child is the most important thing in the world to me. Dr. Lam's site said the natural approach could work in a few weeks, but I'm not sure whether I'll be one of the people whose adrenals will heal that quickly. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
10mg prednisone is a pretty high dose - that is twice the dose needed to completely shut down the adrenals and therefore you would have to taper back from that dose. A 5 mg dose is a replacement dose on prednisone for adrenal AI. I assume the extra was for the lupus?
I take 175 thyroid, 15 cytomel and a replacement dose of HC - 15mg, as I have hashimoto's, no adrenals (they were diseased from Cushing's), and I have no ovaries no but had them for a while but had to have a total hyst due to many things but had adenomysis, endometrosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts, etc. I also had a couple of pituitary tumors and one grew back. They say I have fibro too. I don't have lupus but I am panhypopituitary. They wanted to give me extra steroids for my MG, but I declined since I got my AI from Cushing's and no way do I want that disease again.
In my opinion, you can safely take all your hormones - the body makes them all together in one body, why can't you take them all? Speak to a pharmacist. They can tell you the contra-indications.
You probably need to see a neuro-endo or a much better endo (most bite, as they treat only diabetes and even treat thyroid marginally well) and it takes time to find a good one.
Thanks! Yeah, the extra pred was to help reduce the risk of miscarriage since I have a history of autoimmune disease. 10mg was even a bit of a compromise. I think the doc had wanted 20mg! I seem to be feeling a little better today. I even slept better last night. One doc explained to me that with AF, frequently the disturbed sleep is caused by hypoglycemic symptoms between 1am & 3am, which is exactly when I was waking up every night.
What I was more worried about was the natural treatments for AF. I would have preferred to go that route, but I have ulcers and ashwagandha and licorice root both say do not take if you have an ulcer. I'm hoping to do the having babies thing soon, while staying on the steroids, and then when I'm finished tapering off and starting the natural treatment. That sounds pretty reasonable, right?
Totally need a new endo! He doesn't have a clue about AF. I guess that's understandable if they don't get taught about it in medical school. But if I were an endo, I would make it my mission to learn everything there is to know about it so I could better treat my patients! I don't think I've ever heard of a neuro-endo. I'll have to look up what that is. Thanks so much! :)
Hey Neuroendos hide out at larger medical centers like UCLA or Cedars Sinai. And yes the good ones do make it their life's mission to learn everything that they can.It's just that so many of them specialize in diabetes which is very very common.You might even look to seeing a fertility endocrinologist (Yes these exist too).
I question the prednisone. Most of us with Adrenal Insufficiency (That's the term we use is Western Med) take Hydrocortisone. It has a shorter half life and it is the same as what our bodies make. Prednisone can keep you up all night and make it hard to sleep. Not knowing how much of it is for the Lupus though I would not want to send you down a wrong path. I have some adrenal function and take 5-10 mg of Hydrocortisone a day. That is like 1-2mg of prednisone. Folks with no adrenals take 15-25 mg of Hydrocortisone a day (3-5 mg of pred)
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