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Please read this / Glucocorticoid (steroid-)-induced disease

Happy new year everyone - wish you all the best.

A friend of mine developed diabetes and tons of other symptoms because of chronic glucocorticoid therapy - he tappered off too fast (his doctor told him nothing about it basically) and got many symptoms right after that. He asked me for help but I have honestly not much knowledge about HPA-axis, cortisol, glucocorticoids, etc. Of course I was not aware of him taking the cream and he came to see me when it was already "too late" so to speak...

I would like to help him (and it may help other people here as well) but I don't know exactly where to start since it is quite a new subject for me - I don't know if my "classics" such as breathing, avoiding A, avoiding EMFs etc. will work here as I guess the problem here is a complete hormonal imbalance/mess and it should be restored by countering the effects.

The only thing I've found so far is a veterinary who cured dogs with steroid-induced Cushing Syndrome by giving them high-dose melatonin and lignans from flax - don't know if that can be applied to humans. The worst symptom for him is the diabetes that he must manage with insulin injections. He is quite ready to listen and test everything now.

Anyone has experience with this "hormonal"/steroids subject? Does anyone has an idea about what is really going on there? How would you treat it? What could potentially be of help? What could actually cure the whole thing and restore balance?

For information, he is still quite young and took no other medicine in the last 10 years so he's quite sure it is the glucocorticoids that are responsible for the whole mess (his health went down very fast after starting them but the doctor told him to not worry then when he tappered too fast he told him basically take this insulin and good luck, you know the story...).

Is there anything that can reverse glucocorticoid-induced damage? What would you do? I will search all information I can of course but if someone here has experience with that and a solution it would help me (or help him, in this case) a lot.

Thank you very much for any advice.

Best Regards,


Hi Dino
Sorry to hear of your friends problems.  I don't have any direct experience or advice. 
I am experimenting with Homeopathic Detox Therapy.  I've always stayed away from homeopathy in the past as I don't understand how it can work, however, I arrived at the point where I was willing to give it a try and be open to things I don't understand. 

Homeopathic Detox Therapy (HDT) was developed when a homeopathic Dr started wondering why he wasn't getting the lasting results that used to be achieved in the past.  He speculated that it was due to the pharmaceuticals, toxins and vaccines etc that modern man is exposed to that are relatively recent and that you have to counter the effects of these in order to get lasting healing from the more traditional remedies.  In line with this many remedies have been developed for pharmaceuticals, vaccines and other modern toxins.

I think there are several homeopathic drs who have a similar approach, but the one I looked into was developed by a dutch homeopath called Ton Jansen.  He has a book introducing his ideas called Fighting Fire with Fire.  It is written more with practitioners in mind but is very readable and gives a good description of the approach and thought process behind it.

He has what he calls a heirachy of layers.  He addresses toxins in a certain order based on what causes the most disturbance in the body.  Anyway, why I am going into this is because he addresses hormones first including steroids from drugs.  That is what made me think of this.  He has found that until you address / treat the steroids then remedies for other toxins such as vaccines, pharmaceuticals, etc don't tend to have lasting effect. 

It might not be something your friend wants to explore or he might be open to it.  It might be something he holds in reserve in case other methods fail.  Just thought I would bring it to the table so to speak.
There are various practitioners who use HDT.


@dino, A few thoughts come to mind, they are inspired by snippets from other health writers that have stuck in my craw.   

One is that steroids are the "sleazyest" of drugs and one of the basics of the arsenal of modern medicine and hard to avoid.  Steroids seem to work miracles, the patient feels great, but then there is hell to pay later.  Of course I do think there are times that steroids save tissues, but they probably should be used with much more caution.   Careful withdrawal seems very important, as your post shows.

The other is that if there is a chronic need for steroids (for instance, eczema) something else is going on that the adrenal can't keep up with.    Many practitioners talk about adrenal overhaul, but I never found they helped me much.

My loved ones have many issues-- that I suspect are VA-- and almost all of them respond to steroids.   I have come to wonder if supporting the adrenals IS about avoiding VA.  Perhaps because then the body isn't constantly trying to heal inflammation.  Because then it isn't working so hard, and can rest.

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@lil-chick @rachel

Thank you for your ideas. Right after the message I wrote some ten days earlier I met my friend and we walked and talked a bit about various things (breathing, "A" toxicity, EMFs, and many other things) . One theory among many that we talked about and he "felt just right" and wanted absolutely to try was that many people, because of artificial lights, artificial heatings, etc. are stuck in a "summer metabolism" and are "missing" or have a broken "winter metabolism" which is required for "system maintenance" and repair. The idea was basically that corticosteroids (among many many other things) induced a summer/catabolic metabolism in which people become stuck because they lack a true winter and that this should be "calmed down" and "repaired" with a winter/anabolic way of life (for some period like our ancestors did). So he is trying the following since approx a week:

  • 10mg of melatonin each night before bed, no lights after 6pm (he basically lights candles and has his windows shutters completely closed etc. (to maximize the melatonin and the sleep induction pattern) and he goes to sleep early, around 8pm
  • Cold therapy (not the full Wim Hof, just the cold part) (cold shower in the morning, cold bath in the evening/after work)
  • A diet of only milk & meat (approx 2 glasses of local, organic, raw milk &  lean organic meat both from a near farm)

Apparently it works wonders. I have not met him again since but he called me today very enthusiastic and told me that his symptoms are going away almost as fast as they came. He is not yet "completely normal" but has seen incredible improvement in a very short period of time and will continue this at least for a month to see how it goes on.

This remembers me of a small booklet I've read a few years ago named "Cold, Dark, Keto" where the author basically postulates the same, ie, that we lack a "true winter" with really dark nights (no artificial lights), real cold exposure (which we lack because of modern heating) and a diet devoid of tons of sugars. By mimicking a "true winter" which our bodies have evolved with through millenia, we would reboot our "repair metabolism" and heal. Apparently from what he told me, it seems to work well, and fast.

I'll keep you updated but if anyone suffers from similar conditions it could be worth to think about it and eventually try.

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Rachellil chickSussan

Thanks @Dino  I'll be interested to follow his progress.  I used to suffer terribly with the cold to the point of needing 2 hot water bottles even in the summer in order to get warm enough to sleep.  I seemed to have lost my ability to regulate my body temperature. 
I used cold water therapy to fix it.  
Maybe I shall take that up again.  I hate the thought of it but remember the reality was not too bad, and it can actually feel warming. 

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lil chick

@rachel been doing the cold therapy for about 2months now, the initial shock has definitely tapered down since the beginning, but ya the thought of ice cold showers stirs up mixed feelings.


It does seem to help with the ability to regulate temps.

Cold therapy would be the last thing I would do, it causes cortisol to surge. Melatonin and flaxseed estrogens don't sound like they would be helpful either. All of it sounds like a recipe for making a hypothyroid person even more hypothyroid. But if the patient is doing well, I guess that's what really matters. Raw milk is very energizing although it obviously has plenty of vitamin A. Has your friend taken a full thyroid blood panel?

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  1. @salt  I dont want to launch a debate about it here but I practice cold therapy (as many people in Switzerland do) for years and years and can only say good things about it - have yet to see bad results on anyone doing it correctly and gradually - tons of success about many conditions. Tibetans, Slavic people, and Finns practice it for thousands of years - if it was that bad they would have probably noticed it and stopped long ago.

If doing farm chores twice a day in snow and wind doesn't toughen me up, why would cold showers?  I'm just curious.  Yesterday my raynauds was acting up again... It's disconcerting.   I do see that my chickens acclimate... but they are in the cold constantly.

Half of my blood relations have moved to the tropics, LOL.   I'm barely acclimated to my heated house temp, LOL.

Hot water bottle, I love you

@lil-chick    Whole body exposure to (very) cold water for short periods of time in a calm posture is very different to going outside with heavy warm clothing and having just hands and nose exposed no matter how long. Taking a cold bath has tremendous positive effects on circulatory and nervous systems (and apparently on hormonal balance) if done well. You need to do it in a relaxed way with controlled breathing otherwise it can be harmful. Cold showers are also good but most people fear so much the cold that they "block" and breathe in a completely uncontrolled way which is not good. That's why you have to go gradually until you are at ease in the cold. I often go to the lake for a swim no matter the temperature but the coldest the water the better the feeling afterwards. Actually it is even wrong to call it cold "therapy" as I consider it more as a part of normal, natural side of being human and "alive". I dont know about anything else that gives the "joy rush" you experience after a very cold swim (making love would be the closest thing but still not the same). Anyway that's my experience everyone is different so maybe the effects as well.

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