Disease Proof

Dr. Fuhrman on Getting Off Prednisone

Here’s a jewel I found in the Member Center of DrFuhrman.com. This member wanted to get off Prednisone and Dr. Fuhrman helped show her the way. Take a look:
I have an appointment to see you in 3 1/2 weeks but I'm writing hoping I can start doing something now. I am looking for help in getting off my Prednisone. I am a 59 year-old woman who was in good health, but under tremendous stress due to family crises (caregiver). I came down with pericarditis on Aug. 13, 2006, had a pericardial effusion and tamponade on Aug. 24th and emergency surgery - a pericardial window - the same day to drain the fluid. I began Prednisone 40 mg on Aug. 25th with a taper schedule. The pericarditis has persisted. I have not been able to taper down on the Prednisone. I have had 4 flare-ups since Aug. 25th. In the 78 days I have been on Prednisone, the majority of the time I have been on 30 mg and the rest of the time between 30 mg - 40 mg or 15 mg - 25 mg, depending on where I was with the taper. I am currently on 25 mg Prednisone, Colchicine 0.6 mg 2 x day, Motrin 600 mg 3 x day, Metoprolol 25 mg 2 x day (I had one episode of afibrillation 2 days after the surgery, but no past or current heart problems), Protonix 40 mg 2 x day, Synthroid 25 mcg (Hashimoto's disease, hypothyroidism, ongoing for 8 years).

I have read 'Eat to Live' and am reading 'Fasting and Eating for Health.' I did not eat sugar, white flour, meat or simple carbohydrates and recently went off wheat.

I was wondering whether you could tell me if there was anything I could be doing right now towards helping me get off the Prednisone in the period while I wait for my appointment with you.

Dr. Fuhrman:
You should start my dietary protocol right away. Eat the light diet described below and nothing else until you see me and do not drink any water. Do not use any salt or any product containing any sodium. Don't try to decrease the prednisone faster than 2.5 mg per week and do not start tapering further until following this protocol for at least a week.

Breakfast: Kiwis, berries, green apple and a glass of fresh squeezed carrot, beet, parsley, kale juice.

Lunch: Green lettuce, tomatoes, shredded red cabbage, watercress, shredded carrots and raw beets, with a dressing made from sesame seeds, orange and lemon. Eat two tablespoons of raw sunflower seeds. And a bowl of soup made with vegetable juice, leek, collards, kale, bok choy and zucchini.

Dinner: A blended smoothie made with banana, avocado, lettuce spinach and kale. Steamed green vegetable such as brussel sprouts, broccoli, baby bok choy, artichokes or asparagus. You can have a small amount (less than one ounce) of raw almonds, Brazil nuts or raw pistachio nuts. You can have one fresh fruit, such as papaya, mango, melon, apple or pear and another glass of fresh vegetable juice with dinner if you like.

Thank you so much for your reply and for giving me your protocol for me to start. I started the protocol yesterday. Really happy to be on it.

I just wanted to ask you one question now. I have a hypothyroid and the cruciferous vegetables in their raw form are goiterogenic. Is it OK if I steam them before using them in the parts of the diet where they would normally be eaten raw?

Dr. Fuhrman:
Please forget about the idea that raw cruciferous vegetables are goiteragenic. That does not happen in real life with real people and I assure you that the amount of raw greens you can eat will not hurt your thyroid.

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Comments (12) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
erith - January 31, 2008 4:49 PM

can kale and leeks be added together in a vegetable smoothie

Gayle MacMillan - October 21, 2009 11:33 PM

I have been on Prednisone since August 20,2009 for a blood infection found afer I had cataract left eye surgery on the 19th of August. I was told I had Temporal Arteritis have been having regular blood tests done weekly since then. I have been taking 100mgs daily of Prednisone. Now have the round face and swollen neck and weight gain. I don't reconise myself in the mirror anymore. I so want to come off the Prednsione and have my life back. Since being on the Prednsione I have constant back pain and night sweats and suffer other side effects far too numerous to mention. Please help me get off this drug. My family doctor says I am to be on this for the rest of my life. Which is something I don't want to be, is there no other drug that I can be on that doesn't have this many side effects and changing of my body and life? Please help me get off this Prednsione I hate what I have become and look like. Please help me?

Kim - November 9, 2009 11:30 AM

I have been on prednisone since 2001 for lupus. I would like to get off this drug and slowly off all pharmicuetical drugs.I have other underlying illnesses and have noticed that there are natural vitamins and herbs that help in those areas. I would love to get off of prednisone without all the side effects and the symptoms.Can you help?

taanya - March 23, 2010 4:17 PM


I have lupus and I have been on prednisone for 11 years now at 10 mg/day and am weaning off according to doctor's schedule. Right now I am at 7.5 mg/day (one day) and 10 mg (the next day).
I do not have any pains/sores/aches but am facing a lot of anxiety/nervousness and I keep clenching my jaws. I also sometimes feel nauseated and dizzy. I also feel like crying most of the times.

Is this normal?

Yvonne Scholfield - June 9, 2010 2:59 PM

If anyone out there knows how to successfully to get off of prednisone please tell me. I have been on this bad drug since 2005. Right now I'm on 17.5mg of it. I was down to 10 mgs but then had trouble breathing so I had to bring the mgs up. Right now the only mgs I feel okay on is the 17.5 when ever I try to go down to 15mgs or anything below I have the trouble breathing. When I was up to 20mgs I have very bad headaches that make me feel like I'm going insane. I really need a good doctor that is going to help me monitor this medicine because sometimes I feel like they put me on this strong medicine and left me to fen for myself not knowing what mgs to be on or anything. Please help me....

Ivy Blacquiere - June 23, 2010 9:31 PM

I was diagnosed with temporal arteritis june 08 and put
on 60mg of prednisone I was tapering off 5mg a week
and when I was down to 10mg I started having headaches
so back to 25mg and slowly tapered 5mg every 2 weeks until
I was off the drug. After 1 week the headaches returned
with high esr levels so back to 25mg again. I was on this
yoyo drug taking for a year but not getting off the drug.
Now with the tapering 1mg a month I am now down to 3mg
and it is just 2 years. Hopefully as I slowly taper 1mg
a month I will be able to be off this evil yet great drug
this Sept. I have had all the side effects one could get,
but they have all disappeared now with the 1mg tapering.

There is still hope to be prednisone FREE.

B Liu - September 8, 2010 6:27 PM

It seems the Medical Society has no idea how to guide their patient how to taper off this drugs. If they don't know how to use the druge, they should not be using this drug from the very begining.

Luckyly, I found a Chinese Medicine Dr. in the neigbourhood, who manages to keep me out of the breathing pains and fainting feeling soon followed by my addiction to the devil Prednisone.

barbara - April 15, 2011 1:08 PM

my 28 yr old daughter has been steroid dependent for asthma for 14 years. the lowest in years was 20mg daily. We switched to a new pulmonologost, Dr. Stuart Hochron. in five weeks he has her down to 8 mg. Not without side effects though. she is fatigued, nauseous, in pain but she had that before. he said she is the sickest patient he's seen but not lung wise, medicine wise. you shouldnt decrease on your own. He is speaking with an endocrinologist at Mayo Clinic because he said the adrenal glands have been asleep for so many years from the steroids that is like trying to wake the dead. the body could react and you could wind up with Addison's Disease. He monitors her weekly. At the 8mg now she'll be on this dose for three weeks and then he'll taper again.

Ramona - May 16, 2011 3:22 PM

I have been on Prednisone for 2 years 5 mg a day and would like to get off of it but how? I have rheumatoid artherits and can not take leflunomide, methotrexate, salisa ? I don not want to take Paquenil or those biologic drugs. Is there anything else? I tried herbs, they work but i have to take them 3 -4 times a day.

I am only taking Prednisone now and when I reduce it all the pains of artherits come back and I have to start taking it again. Help!

Tracey - May 17, 2011 7:33 PM

I have been on prednisone since 2006 for bad Asthma, have tried every since to get off the drug, I seem to be stuck on 15mgs and even on that amount some days I hurt and cant move, have tried to reduce the drug too but every time I do my joints hurt so bad I just want to cry and yes like some of you I just cant breath.Just recently I got a bad flu that was going around and ended up coughing up rusty coloured mucus and my chest felt so bad even to breath hurt, coughing was the worse pain, two courses of strong forte antiobotics and high dose steroids again for a week. I have tried to compensate with seritide puffer, however I seem to take in so much hardly feels like I am reducing anything. I am 48 and feel like a 60 year old. Truly over it and doctors dont seem to help. Just want a doctor to tell me how to get off this demon drug and get my life back. I also am now on bone therapy drugs once a week... seems after reading these posts so many are affected.

Donna - May 25, 2011 10:49 PM

My son and I have been following your diet in EAT TO LIVE for quite some time. My son lost a huge amount of weight on this diet and has also been exercising a great deal by running, strength training and cardio exercises.

I was dismayed to find out that my son's doctor told him that tests indicated that he had hypothyroidism. He just went back to be retested and his doctor said the hypothyroidism is much worse, so he prescribed the typical synthetic T4 medication. I did some research on this and found that those who take these meds are forced to take them for life and often have many thyroid symptoms with the medications. Many patients and doctors recommended the natural hormone replacement like Armour with T3 and T4. Causes cited frequently were inadequate iodine levels, eating too many goiter type vegetables, lots of stress, etc.

My son did eliminate table salt and he has been mainly eating the goiter type vegetables on your list in huge amounts RAW though you recommend a focus on leafy green salads and cooking those goiter vegetables like brussel sprouts, etc. Within the past year, he obtained a security job, which requires all night and varying shifts, which I read can be harmful to health and increase stress while decreasing healthy sleep patterns.

I am sick at the thought of my son being forced to be on thyroid meds for life after he has been so successul on your diet in losing lots of weight, lowering cholesterol, etc. I have searched online and especially under "Dr. Fuhrman on hypothyroidism" in a desperate attempt to find the possible causes and NATURAL remedies including those you recommend for this problem to no avail. I did consult the section on autoimmune diseases since I learned that one type of thyroid disease is caused by this, and suggested to my son to follow that gluten free, dairy free diet. I as well as others in my family have suffered lactose and gluten intolerance.

I know you say that the goiter vegetables don't affect thyroid, but do you think the huge amounts my son has eaten raw may have suppressed his iodine levels (he stopped using table salt per your book and we did not realize thyroid problems could result from lack of iodine).

I would greatly appreciate it if you could provide any natural remedies that could help my son to get back to normal thyroid function so that he will not be forced to take thyroid meds for the rest of his life. Given what I have read, these meds cause as many problems as they claim to solve.

I was disappointed that this topic was not covered in your book, EAT TO LIVE, or on your web site since I have been so thrilled to read about the many diseases that can be avoided or reversed by the healthy diet you recommend.

Donna C.

Bill Stepansky - August 17, 2011 11:09 AM

Has Donna's May 25, 2011 post seeking help for hypothyroidism been answered by Dr. Fuhrman?

Dr. Fuhrman's Executive Offices
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