Can Prednisone Hide the Disease?


Hi my name is Shannon “yukondiva” on twitter. ive written a few stories on ihaveuc. its been awhile but love the site an people who write in . im a old timmer to uc an crohns. 12 yrs with this hell.

My Story:

I’ve had uc for 12 yrs an crohns for 4.  In the last month I’ve been in the hospital 2xs 10 days total. Not fun when we are so sick. i had to have a pic line put in cause i was so dehydrated. an if you ever had one of those the pain you feel is a relief to get it in an over with. so anyways my question is , i’ve been on prednisone for months now an ive heard that it can mask the disease when your on this stuff, like when you test done it can show no symptoms. is this true? cause when i have massive pain an in the bathroom all day an nausea its not in my head this is happening, an why would you be admitted into the hospital if it was. can prednisone hide your disease? cause ive heard it can. i am currently takeing sulfazaine, prednisone, reglan, pain meds, when needed. sometimes i just get baffled by these drs.! anyone know can you please write in an let me know what you have heard.

I’m on prednisone an we all know how this med can be nasty with its side effects. But my question is can pednisone mask this disease? ive heard it can but is it true?   When i was admitted the drs said my blood work was ok besides low potassium an elevated white blood cell count, but not to bad. so my ? is can prednisone hide the disease? or how do people like me who has both uc an crohns know the difference between the 2 diseases when we are in a flare. like is it crohns? or the uc flareing? If anyone has heard of this can you give me some answers. sometimes i just wonder about takening prednisone due to so many of the side affects it gives us. can it work for the inflammation but in the meantime destroy us in other ways. ive heard on your body becoming prednisone dependant, is this true? cause my dr . has me on this med til august an im to tapper slowly off of it , cause he said when i would tapper off before i would maybe going off to fast cause my body would start to flare back up when i was like a week a way from being off of it? does this happen to anyone else? sometimes i feel like i maybe the only one this happens to at times . I just wanna have someone else say ya ive had that happen to me so i know im not alone. An figure myself out, you would think i would know by now after 12 yrs of this .

Where I’d Like to be in a year:

id of course love to be pain an symptom free. love to hear theses a cure, an laying on a beach somewhere warm. lol
prednisone, reglan, sulphazazine,pain meds as needed.
Written by Shannon aka “Yukon Diva”
submitted in the colitis venting area


8 thoughts on “Can Prednisone Hide the Disease?”

  1. Shannon,

    Hi, I been recently diagnosed and have been put on Prednisone. I have currently tapered from 60mg to 25mg going down 5mg weekly. In the beginning when on the higher dose it made me really hungry so I ate alot and ate what I could get my hands on…but the Prednisone allowed me to do that as it probably hid the bad food intakes affect – For me I could eat bad and had no symptoms. Now, as I have progressed on the taper program and wanting to eat better I still find the slightest bad food choice (whilst on the lower Prednisone) means I feel it. So my experience or even opinion, I found the Prednisone is aggresively bringing down the inflammation regardless of a care of what you eat, but once the meds are lowered your colon is more independant of it and under a more ‘natural environment’ and the symptoms are more likely to come back. I guess ultimately Prednisone is there to bring the colon back from inflammation only by stopping the release of some substances. I could be mistaken on its task, but I know for sure it has given me ache across my shoulders, slight moon face and made me hungry like a prisoner in

  2. Hi,
    I’m sorry you’re going through all of this. A couple of things – you can not have UC and CD – if you’ve been told by your doc you have both then I would seek another opinion. Where is your CD located? If it’s in the small intestine, you have CD in the small and large intestine. IF you have “both” in the large intestine then you have Crohn’s colitis – which is CD limited to the colon.
    Sulphasalazine is a first line treatment. It’s not appropriate if you’ve been treated with only this for 10 years especially if you have CD and especially even more if it’s in your small intestine. You need other and perhaps stronger meds. You can also try diets like the SCD or other alternative treatments but you need to consult with and IBD specialist perhaps at a large teaching hospital. Can you do that?
    To answer your question about pred, yes, it can “hide” your disease in the sense that it’s common for colonoscopies and bloodwork to appear better on pred than they would if you were not on it.
    Good luck to you!

  3. I most definitely don’t want to get into an argument with ‘sc’ but I’m sorry he is wrong. I was initially diagnosed with IBS, then Ulcerative Colitis, then later after further tests with Crohns as well. I initially queried this, surely it was not possible to have all three? but I was assured it was and my treatment is tailored towards treatment of the trio.

  4. Tony, Just to clarify, it’s certainly possible to have IBS and IBD (though some research has come out in the past few years which seems to point to untreated simmering IBD as being misconstrued as IBS in IBD patients). But yes, I’ve heard of a lot of IBD patients being told their symptoms were “IBS” and I don’t see why one can’t have both (one is an inflammatory issue, the other is functional both likely have a bacterial etiology though). However, you can not have both UC and CD. You can be (and many often are) misdiagnosed as having one only to later be rediagnosed as having the other (this usually changes from UC to CD but can be the other way around). It can be difficult to distinguish between these diseases. But you can not have both. Crohn’s in the colon is called “crohn’s colitis” – a specific type of (colonic) crohn’s disease. It doesn’t mean you have both diagnoses.

  5. Hey @yukondiva Shannon:)

    What up girl!

    I’ve been wondering how the heck you’ve been and was way bummed to see your twitterledeet about the hospital stuff a ways back:(

    I wanted to chime in my own thoughts on the prednisone since I have a tiny bit of experience pesonally, and, I get a very high amount of emails (mostly from parents) who are concerned when their children’s symptoms come back after tappering or stopping prednisone/prednisolone.

    So, do I think these pills can “Hide” the symptoms? No.
    Do I think these pills can “fix” the symptoms? Yes.
    Do I think these pills can decrease inflammation? Yes.
    Do I think these pills are usually a short term answer to a much more complicated problem? Yes.
    Have I used these pills to get out of stubborn flares before? Yes.
    Do I like these pills? Yes.
    Do I hate these pills? Yes.
    Does it make me cry when people tell me they’ve been on prednisone for over 5 years straight? Yes.
    Do I think prednisone causes major problems to blood vessels with extended use? Yes.
    Do I think prednisone can destroy us in other ways? YES indeed.
    Would I consider prednisone for a future flare up that I couldn’t control on my own? Yes.

    So those are some of my thoughts on the yes/no side of prednisone.

    But, in the end, I think that many people who I communicate with think that prednisone often helps with the symptoms, but unless there is a continuation of treatment (medications, diet, yoga, whatever that might be) the symptoms almost always come right back if/when prednisone is stopped(or often even durign the tapering schedule).

    I wish you the very best Shannon. take care girl,


  6. When I was first diagnosed with UC, I was also diagnosed with Chrohn’s because I had colitis for so long it had infected my upper colon, hence, Crohn’s. I just tapered off Pred and am also just coming out of a flare. When you take Pred it can mask certain problems in your body because for some people it makes you feel really good when you first go on it like energetic and you feel you can do anything, it masks arthritis for instance. My mom’s been on it for asthma for years and years so I’m going by what she’s told me. Personally, it didn’t make me feel good, it made me feel jittery. Luckily this last time I was on it didn’t like gain a pound a day! Yay! I hate the stuff. But you have to do what you have to do to get yourself into remission. Good luck, Shannon.

  7. Hey shannon,

    high doses of steriods (anything 20mg and over) will surpress the HPA axis if taken for longer than 5-7 days. HPA is the hypothalamus which secretes corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF) which stimulates the pituitary to secrete corticotriphine (ACTH). The ACTH stimulates adrenocortico cells which produce cortisol which is essential to well-being.

    Steroids just take care of the inflamation and nothing more. It is not treating anything but the symptoms of UC but causing other harmful effects on our bodies. So I say YES it it just masking the UC. Long use of steroids can cause hyperglycemia, hypertension, polycythemia, immunosuppression, edema, osteoporosis, myopathy, peptic ulcers, fat redistribution and psychological changes. (just to name a few)

    I am on sulfazine, bentyl, 25mg of prednisone (as of now, started at 40mg), xanax and buspar.

    when I was on 40mg of pred I had almost every single severe side effect to it. I got to tapper early, but with the high doses it caused other issues which lead to trying cymbalta and celexa which made things even worse.

    My personal opinion is that prednisone is the devil, but it has kept me out of flares 2-3 times a week and cut out the 15+ bathroom trips. So it is def a love/hate relationship with this drug. Did I want to take the steriod route? NO, but does it help? yes! I feel I am just robbing peter to pay paul. I have had many difficult times with these meds…. but you have to ask yourself the question…. are all the side effects worth what it helps?

    I can honestly say that i would probably answer this question differently everyday if I was asked it on a daily basis.
    everyone is different and responds different to the meds. I was just diagnosed in april 2012 so I am still trying to figure out what is right for me. As of now though I am chained to the prednisone because even with all the side effects it allows me to get out of bed and be a productive part of society.
    Hope some of this helps….. hang in there!

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