Richard Ash, MD got off Prednisone, so can you
Posted by Richard Ash,MD on June 20, 2012
My tryst with Prednisone started back in the mid-1990s. I was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis – an extremely painful chronic disease – and, once my body became tolerant to the regular painkillers I was prescribed, my doctor put me on Prednisone.
Prednisone is an often-prescribed glucocorticoid steroid that is used to treat certain inflammatory diseases (like mine) and, at higher doses, some types of cancer. The problem, however, is that it has significant adverse side effects, which can include weight gain, depression, increased blood sugar for diabetics, unusual fatigue, chronic migraines… the list goes on. While being on the drug for 2 ½ years, I experienced many of these side effects and they were getting worse – while the arthritis itself didn’t get cured, and was still very painful.
A large number of Americans are on Prednisone without realizing its long-term negative side effects, or, knowing them, take it anyways because they don’t think they have another option than to live with chronic pain. I was convinced there had to be another option, though, and spent the next chunk of time experimenting on myself so I could get off the drug and get better.
Fast forward to today: I’m off the Prednisone, live pain-free and the arthritis is completely under control. I didn’t have to have surgery or do anything radical; just a few small lifestyle changes and supplements and I was a free man. My wish is that others realize that they do have a choice and can live without pain – and Prednisone.