Adrenal Insufficiency/Addison's Disease and Lupus
I kind of touched on this subject a while back in a post but I wanted to create one specific to it in hopes that someone else has some specific answers or experience with it. I have been on prednisone since Feb(I think)of 2010. I was put on it for pleurisy. T highest dose I've ever been on is 60mg, although I've also had 1 or 2 iv doses of 125mg Isumedrol. I had tried to taper 3 different times off the prednisone. The first time I ended up flaring with the pleurisy again so I went back up in dosage. The 2nd time I had a low cortisol level and was having bad adrenal dysfunction symptoms due to trying to taper which also ended up in a flare at the same time. I do recall having what I thought was a cold before all this happened. The third time I had another flare with pleurisy. Then I was put on MTX with everything else(see below at my laundry list of meds lol)After being on that for a few weeks at 7.5mg I started having anxiety attacks and it woke me up at night one time. When my labs came back my cortisol again was very low. So she raised me from 7.5mg which is the physiologic dose our bodies should make without supplement to 10mg which I'm on currently still. I guess what I'm to figure out now is what in the world is this exactly? Addison's, Adrenal Insufficiency, Adrenal Fatigue,etc? I know there are different manifestations which resemble and can mimic lupus. I also know in order of least to greatest level of severity would be Adrenal Fatigue, Insufficiency and then Addison's. My rheumy said she suspected it was lupus inflammation/flaring, adrenal insufficiency and something else closely related...sorry the brain fog has prevented me from knowing at the present moment! lol...ugh...
Anyway, my rheumy says the 10mg is enough to treat adrenal insufficiency until I can get in to see the Endocrinologist June 6th.
I guess I'm wondering what to expect when I go there? And I'm curious if this is really adrenal insufficiency which is caused by the prednisone since I haven't been on it as many years as a lot of you OR if it could be autoimmune adrenalitis because I had the adrenal symptoms even before meds....it would make sense even with the symptoms that seem to be nervous system related that haven't showed positive for neuropathy,etc. My neuro nor my rheumy have wanted to answer me about having CNS symptoms so I guess they don't believe that's what it is. My mri's have been normal etc so now I'm thinking perhaps they were right and this could be the adrenals and potential Addison's. Is there a way to tell the difference as to which is which?
I'm feeling pretty good the past few days...my MTX was bumped up from 7.5mg to 15mg 2 weeks ago and it seems the first few days are hard cuz i'm wiped out and then the last few days i'm pretty good as long as i stay inside all the time. I'm severely sensitive and allergic to sunscreen. 10 minutes tops and i have a rash even having shades open in the house. So, while i'm thankful that I am feeling well on the 10mg pred and the MTX, i'm kind of worried/wondering about the adrenal issue and if my adrenals have just shut down completely....lots of thoughts going through my brain right now...Hope you all are well.