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  • asthma and adrenal fatigue

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    Old 10-23-2003, 10:50 AM   #1
    loolot's Avatar
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    loolot HB User
    Lightbulb asthma and adrenal fatigue

    Hello everyone. This is my first post here.
    I have some theories on asthma that I wanted to share and see what you all think
    First I will tell you my story:
    I am in my thirties and I have adult onset asthma. I did have one asthma attack when I was little but it was an atypical thing for me. I also began developing shortness of breath before fullblown asthma, but it didnt really develop until I was in my mid twenties.
    I have also always had problems with sinus inflammation and fatigue and depression.
    When I was 24 I had terrible sinus problems and fatigue. I was always sick.
    I went on Wellbutrin for depression. Welbutrin is an antidepressant that boost norepinephrine and dopamine in the system.
    When I took the Wellbutrin I immediately felt better. No sinus problems, no fatigue.
    A few years in the wellbutrin started to wear off, and I got depressed again. I also got fullblown asthma at that time. I went on steroid inhalers and the asthma got worse and worse, to the point where not even prednisone worked anymore. It was really bad at night and I eventually couldnt sleep until 7 or 8 am everynight, even on all the meds.
    A few months ago I decided to try another antidepressant, Effexor, whichboosts seratonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the system.
    My asthma was immediately cured. Totally. No meds, no sleep problems. It was a miracle.
    Due to terrible unrelated side effects I had to go off of effexor, and my asthma is creeping back.
    Here come the theories:
    I think the norepinephrine, which is a chemical which is released bu the adrenal glands, acted as an anti inflammatory, because my own adrenal function was a little slow and may not have put out enough.
    The problem is, these drugs stress your adrenals out and fatigue them even more, which is why I had full blown asthma when the first antidepressant wore off.
    On top of that, inhaled steroids exacerbate adrenal fatigue, as does prednisone, where at some point your own adrenals arent producing enough cortisol, the body's natural steroid/antiinflammatory.
    I think this theory may come into play in the statistics about low income children living in extremely stressful environments. Initially, the stress exhausts the adrenals, and the child gets asthma. Add the inhaled steroids and the adrenals get even more pooped, and cannot produce enought cortisol, and the problems get worse.
    I am now looking into seeing and endocronologist and have my adrenal and thyroid functions checked.
    I am also taking a vit/min supplement made for stress/adrenal support, as well as herbs such as licorice.
    I am hoping to strengthen my own adrenals in hopes that my asthma will be helped.
    I have done a google search using the words "adrenal, and asthma" and some interesting articles came up, esp. one about adrenal testing on people with nighttime asthma, the findings showing impaired adrenal function in those with the asthma.
    Anyway, I recommend anyone on inhaloed steroids to at least take some supplements to boost adrenal function.
    Those who can, may also consult and endocrinologist, adn get some tests and maybe treatment.
    Hopefully some new discoveries will happen and at least wwe can replace the steroids for treatment.

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    Old 10-23-2003, 11:47 AM   #2
    Join Date: Sep 2003
    Location: Denver Metro, CO, USA
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    hotchic85 HB User

    The inhaled and oral steroids aren't meant to suppress the adrenal gland, but meant to ADD to what it already produces. If you are on too much for your body (like being on Advair 500, when you only need 100...) then your gland stops producing it because you are provided with it. The key to preventing this is to step down therapy. If your body is functioning completely well and you are on Advair 500, then consider stepping down. Those of us on oral steroids know that they are NOT good for your body, and doctors know this too, that is why they keep trying to get us off them. I have had SEVERAL cortisol draws to make sure that my body is producing the cortisone, but the simple fact remains that if you supply your body with something it is producing, then it will stop producing it because you're supplying it. I think your theory is an interesting one, and will have to read more about these antidepressants...I don't take any of those medications, but I think it's kind of a cool reaction.

    Old 10-23-2003, 03:54 PM   #3
    Sneezygirl's Avatar
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    Location: Wilmington, NC USA
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    Sneezygirl HB User

    I work with a lot of low-income children who have asthma and it is not standard for them to receive inhaled steroids, so I doubt this is a factor in their asthma. Standard scrips for them are Singulair and Zyrtec with albuterol as a rescue inhaler. A small number have nebulizers with albuterol for emergencies and only a couple get inhaled steroids.

    I could go on and on about their asthma, causes, impediments to appropriate treatment, but that's not what this discussion is about.

    [This message has been edited by moderator2 (edited 10-24-2003).]

    Old 10-24-2003, 01:07 PM   #4
    loolot's Avatar
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    loolot HB User

    Thanks for your replies hotchick and sneezygirl!
    Good info!
    I agree about tapering off of steroids so that the adrenals can kick back in, HC. That is the key.

    I am shocked that the kids dont get steroids. Are they more expensive than singulair? I have now been reading up a lot on magnesium deficiency, which is apparently very prevalent in African American asthma patients in urban settings particularly, although I am not sure why-the study didnt say.
    I have started taking magnesium and its helping

    Old 10-25-2003, 12:19 AM   #5
    Join Date: Sep 2003
    Location: Denver Metro, CO, USA
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    hotchic85 HB User

    I have a friend who has severe asthma and she's says when she is having an acute attack, the ER gives her IV magnesium on her request and she says it helps...*shrug*

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