Alan- Fatigue was the most debilitating symptom I experienced with Hashimoto’s. It actually started 8 years before I was finally diagnosed in 2009, after I got Mono (Epstein-Barr Virus) in college. I needed to sleep for 12 hours each night to be able to function, and by “function” I mean after hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock for two hours (ask my poor husband), I would drag myself out of bed and then had to drink 4-6 cups of caffeine everyday to keep myself awake. I often had Red Bull and Pepsi for breakfast, and was the epitome of “wired but tired”. I hope my articles help you get started 🙂
Just as taking prednisone can cause side effects, reducing the dose may cause problems as well. Prednisone is not addicting like a narcotic, but many patients experience withdrawal symptoms as the dose is reduced. These often include muscle soreness, joint pain, fatigue, and depression. Know that these effects are also temporary and worth bearing to allow a cutback in your dose. If you experience any unusual symptoms as your prednisone dose is reduced, contact your doctor. It may be necessary to temporarily increase your steroid dose until you are feeling better and then taper the dose more slowly.
One German study on low dose prednisone addresses the billion dollar question. “On balance, the safety profile of very low-dose prednisolone therapy established in the controlled trials is not inconsistent with its long-term use. The expected disease-modifying effect has to be weighed against the possibility of side effects, taking the individual patient’s situation into account. It remains to be seen whether dosages lower than 5 mg provide the same benefit with even fewer side effects and whether the same effect can be produced in patients with more advanced disease .”