For anyone that has been on long-term or high dose corticosteroids there is the risk/chance of a relatively unknown condition called "adrenal insufficiency."
Symptoms: Unrelenting fatigue; "brain fog" and difficulties with cognition; musculoskeletal pain/aches; varied digestive unease; changes in skin/hair color; inability to adapt to stress; low blood pressure; heat/cold intolerance.
Cortisol, made by the adrenal glands, is suppressed in the presence of exogenous corticosteroids. Cortisol is used by virtually ever cell in the body.
Adrenal insufficiency is not to be taken lightly. I have both primary and secondary adrenal insufficiency.
A blood draw and baseline cortisol level + baseline ACTH level will provide first clues. A basic test that can be quite informative.
I have secondary adrenal insufficiency also. After all the years on/off pred my adrenal gland was suppressed to the point of not being able to function properly on its own when the oral pred (= synthetic cortisol) was stopped.
NCOT, part of the reason I asked about
electrolytes was re: the adrenal gland and how it's functioning now (or not). The other part of my resoning was because without a colon or terminal ileum, the whole delicate balance of fluids, including electrolytes, is upset. Regaining that balance can be challenging but is achievable.
Electrolytes are more than just potassium, chloride, calcium, sodium, magnesium and phosphates. Folic acid, B12 (and other vitamins/minerals) all play an important part in the balance.
It's important that your dr. realize that all the electrolytes levels need to be tested (not just the common ones) as well as those vitamins and minerals that affect electrolyte balance (there are many).
My biggest challenge today is maintaining electrolytes.