My journey with steroids

*Disclaimer* This is not to be taken as medical advice, it is just my personal experience of these drugs. Please consult your own doctors before making any changes to your medication regime.

On the 20th June 2017 I left my rheumatologists office with a tub of pills which I was excited to take. Excited because I had been really sick for months and this was the first mention of 'treatment' I had yet to have. Excited because I had not yet read the full list of horrific side effects or experienced the effects of taking steroids. I didn't know that I would be stuck on these pills for the next 2.5 years.

I was put on Prednisone to treat Lupus (SLE) whilst waiting for the other drugs I was started on to kick in. Prednisone is a type of corticosteroid. It helps by reducing inflammation. It also damps down your immune system, which can help in autoimmune illnesses in my case Lupus, where my immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. (NHS, 2019)

Two photos one with my steroid moon face and one now that I am off steroids
Steroid Moon Face: During & After

Prednisone Side Effects

I was so desperate for some relief from my symptoms ; however even I was taken a back when I read the side effects. The most common include:

· weight gain

· increased appetite

· sleep problems

· restlessness, irritability, aggression or agitation and mood changes

· sweating a lot, acne and rashes

· swelling of the fingers, hands, feet, or lower leg

· blurred vision and dizziness

· decrease in the amount of urine

· fast, slow, pounding heartbeat

· headache

· numbness or tingling in the arms or legs

· pounding in the ears