Dangers of Prednisone, and How to Avoid Them
November 05, 2003
Dr. Joseph Mercola
with Rachael Droege
Millions of people are taking prednisone, the corticosteroid
drug that is widely prescribed for conditions such as asthma,
emphysema, allergies, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis,
herniated spinal discs, acute muscular pain syndromes, rheumatoid
arthritis, autoimmune diseases, and to reduce inflammation
from a variety of medical problems.
This immunosuppressive drug, though necessary in some cases,
is associated with serious long-term side effects such as
cataracts, bone loss, weakening of the immune system, and
many others. One of the most serious complications from prednisone
is the risk of osteoporosis, which occurs from the bone loss.
As I said earlier, prednisone is indeed occasionally needed
and can actually be life saving. It is, though--like most
all drugs--nearly always a poor choice to use for the long
term. Prednisone will cover up the disease, but it is the
underlying dysfunction--the cause of the disease--that must
be repaired. While the specifics on how to do this vary from
patient to patient, in a very general sense the same approach
would have prevented the disease in the first place.
As many newsletter readers know, the focus in the traditional
model of medicine is to wait until you get a disease and then
treat it with drugs like prednisone. But the need for this
and all drugs can be dramatically reduced over the course
of anyone's life if they adopt a healthy
diet and take a host of other preventive measures such
Eliminating all excess sugars and grains is a very important
step to optimizing your diet and preventing disease. Also
important is to be sure you are eating the correct amount
of macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) for your
Most people don’t realize that there is a specific amount
of macronutrients that they should be eating according to
their body's specific nutritional type.
If you are following a diet plan you are probably following
a one-size-fits-all approach. But in the same way people look
and act different on the outside, their insides, down to the
genetic level, are different and we all require different
amounts of nutrients to feel our best. Eating the proper amount
of macronutrients according to nutritional type is a crucial
step in optimizing the body's ability to fight the diseases
that are treated with prednisone.
Meanwhile, emotional traumas and barriers are a major, but
often ignored, factor in fostering and maintaining physical
disease. In my experience, bioenergetic techniques, such as
EFT, that address the emotional
traumas tend to be the most effective at restoring the body's
innate ability to restore itself back to health. While traditional
cognitive therapies are useful for insights, they are rarely
effective at normalizing one's physiology and reversing autoimmune
When the underlying causes of a disease are addressed, the
body is also more likely to repair and recover from the negative
influences of the prednisone itself. Generally, the earlier
you start implementing the approaches mentioned above, the
more effective your recovery will be.
I have used these natural-focused approaches to address underlying
causes of illness for over 10 years and have treated many
hundreds of patients on steroids like prednisone. It is the
rare person I have seen who has not been able to significantly
reduce their reliance on these dangerous medications through
You will likely be able to get off of the prednisone and
have the disease go into remission. However, individuals should
NOT take themselves off of prednisone without guidance from
a health care professional. Doing so could cause a severe
exacerbation of the underlying problem and/or cause the adrenal
glands to go into failure if done improperly.
The key is to find a trained health care professional who
understands and practices the techniques I mentioned. Usually
no single professional has all the tools, so you may need
to do some searching. A good first step would be to find an
outstanding nutritionist who focuses on food rather than supplements,
and reviewing Dr.
Patricia Carrington’s guidelines on how to find an
EFT practitioner near you.
In the meantime, there are some aspects you can begin on
your own, such as cleaning up your diet. Check out my nutrition
plan and you’ll be off to a great start.
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