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Before I get into my question, some background (skip to the bottom if you want to get to the question):
Have had a mysterious illness for the past 4-5 years. Seemed to really kick off with an injury from working out - arms swelled so much that I couldn't bend them, doc gave me a short course of prednisone to help with the swelling, diagnosed as tendinitis and later after not healing suspected it to be from a neck injury. PT helped, but the problem never went away fully. Neck didn't show anything of great concern - just the normal wear and tear. After the injury and lots of rest, I could never return to working out with weights. Weights cause me way too much pain in the traps and neck. Even some cardio would cause the pain. I also felt hormonally off and GYN at the time refused to test me. I was eating a Paleo diet and seemed to be doing well on it.
The next year, I sought help from an alternative medicine nutritionist. I still had the pain and additionally was suffering from insomnia. She had me do the saliva cortisol test, unfortunately in that same timeframe, my cat had a sudden and traumatic heart problem and I went through 5 weeks of couldn't let her out of my sight, 3 times a week vet visits, lots of medication. It was exhausting in itself. Of course, my saliva tests showed adrenal fatigue. The nutritionist put me on an extremely low carb diet. That made my insomnia worse and I parted ways with her.
I rested my adrenals as much as I could and saw an Integrative doctor, who checked my thyriod. It was a little slow, so I started treatment for hypothyroid, thinking we'd found the problem. No matter how much thyroid medicine I took, I only felt worse, so thyroid was ruled not to be the cause.
I went to another alternative med doc and he tested me for Lyme. The results were inconclusive, so we tried antibiotic therapy, about a year's worth in total. Still no improvment.
All this time, through all these other diagnosis, I was getting worse. About a year ago, I caught a flu or a stomach bug or maybe both. Stared with diarrhea, then I was ok for a week, then muscle aches, fever of 102, exhaustion. I was working part time then and I had to take 2 weeks off work because of this illness. I wasn't recovering from the new exhaustion I was experiencing and so I took a leave of abscence and later quit. It took me months to feel like I wasn't dying.
I finally went to a conventional doc. He's put me with a number of specialists and we've checked out a number of theories - more Lyme testing and antibiotics, nerve testing, basic testing for autoimmune diseases (ANA, Sed Rate, CRP, RF), full endocrinology work-up, consult with a hematologist for Hemochromatosis, consult with cardiologist for POTS or other form of dysautonomia, consult with Gastrointestinal doc for upcoming endoscopy. On paper, I look extremely healthy! But I feel like crap.
My symptoms (probably too many to remember fully), some are constant and the others come and go:
Fatigue (currently on midodrine, which helps)
Orthostatic intolerance (midodrine helps again)
Forgetfulness, trouble thinking
Sore mouth, throat, increased dantal problems
Sore, itchy, dry eyes (Schrimer's test was not bad enough to consider Sjogrens), puffy eyes
Pain in traps, neck
GI problems (heartburn, slightly elevated lipase but not pancreatitis, diarrhea or constipation)
Tendons that seem to be fragile
Easy to bruise, bruises don't go away
Electrolyte wasting (esp magnesium and potassium)
Extremely light periods, more like spotting sometimes, PMS
I can do cardio exercise, provided I take lots of rest
Can only do a couple things a day, have to budget and pace my time
Completely intolerant to alcohol, 1 sip and I will feel hungover
Post nasal drip, coughing
Right arm tremor
Recently, the doc tried a short 6-day course of steroids to calm the inflammation in my body. I felt quite a bit better, but once off them, I feel like crap again. I'm starting to think I have CFS or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or both.
Finally to my question - do steroids help improve CFS symptoms?
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