Steroid danger that no one tells you about. Please read!

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 8/5/2008 12:10 PM (GMT -6)   
If any of you have been reading some of my posts you will by kind of aware that my husband has been in and out of the hospital and dealing with a mess for the last 2 months trying to figure why he keeps getting so sick. I have been originally posting as concerned wife WA

So here's what happened. They have had him on 40 mg of prednisone for 3 months along with everything else he kept ending up back in the hospital. We finally came to Virginia Mason in Seattle and thank god that we did.

He was presenting with normal colitis symptoms, nausea, upper abdominal pain, gas etc.

Well turns out he has the worst case of crohns any of them had seen in a long time and the surgeon said he does more crohns colitis surgeries than anyone on the west coast. And, turns out he had the biggest mess internally of anyone conscious.

His bowel was so inflamed it attached itself to the gallbladder and actually bore a hole through the gallbladder and was dumping some stool into the gallbladder. The gallbladder got infected and blew up basically. The one dr said it looked like a grenade went off in his abdomen. The colon also attached itself to the pancreas, duodenum and they had to scrape it off the other organs. There was stool all through the whole area.

He should have been in full septic shock and peritonitis and pain that you couldn't even touch his abdomen but he wasn't,

The dr's told us the steroids can mask other symptoms until it is too late. SO PLEASE GO TO THE HOSPITAL IF YOU ARE AT ALL FEELING DIFFERENT OR SICK AND NOT SURE if you are on steroids.

He came very close to not making it and it was really scary. Now he is still in critical care and will be for a while.

Can't write anymore now need to get some rest.


Eva Lou
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3442
   Posted 8/5/2008 12:19 PM (GMT -6)   
My gosh- sorry to hear about your poor husband! Although now he's in good hands, & since they have a clear picture of what's going on, he should be better soon. They do publish that info on steroids masking other issues in the drug information, & in all the literature on steroids. It happened to me, & I wound up in ICU for 5 days with strep pneumonia, bacteremia, all sorts of gross infections. They also ask you to be very aware of symptoms when you are on Remicade & steroids, as remicade can make you very, very ill with respiratory things. Keep us posted on your poor husband!

diagnosed with UC '02
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade-10mgs/kg- since 4/07
Imuran- 150mgs/day
Fiber supplement

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1028
   Posted 8/5/2008 12:26 PM (GMT -6)   
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
diagnosed with left-sided UC in 1997. (45cm)
Currently on 10mg Prednisone
12 caps of colazal    9 caps Colazal
2 rowasa enemas nightly
35, female

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 8/5/2008 12:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Glad to hear your husband is in good hands. It's very hard to differentiate Crohn's from UC and fortunately for you the proper diagnosis has been made. I wanted to encourage you to be more agressive with his care but sometimes those messages of persistance don't go over well. I hope he starts to improve immediately once the offending organ is gone.

dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 8/5/2008 5:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I hope your husband has a good and safe recovery, and can start to return to a normal life. It sounds as if you found a good hospital to cafe for him. Good luck,



diagnosed 1998

now off prednisone and colazal

drink 1 Haldi daily

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 1366
   Posted 8/5/2008 6:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh my, Cassy that is terrible! I can't imagine how worried and emotionally/physically exhausted you both must be. I'm glad they were able to catch this "in time" but it's terrible that it came so close and with all the hospital visits he's had already they didn't notice anything. At least now you really know what's going on and can start the recovery process. They remove the entire bowel and give him a permanent/temporary ileostomy?

Good luck and sending healing vibes your way

Female, 23, Ulcerative colitis (pancolitis) diagnosed at age 15; GERD; gastritis; osteopenia in femur head & lumbar spine from long term prednisone use. 

Current Meds:
Lexapro 10mg
Trying out Lialda, 2 pills/day


Another UC wife
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2111
   Posted 8/6/2008 8:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Cassy - I said a prayer for your hubby and you. Keep us posted and we hope every day brings him closer and closer to recovery and getting back to life.

61 yr old male~Colitis 1st diagnosed Jan '05-cleared up within a few wks. Flared again in May '06 (now UC) & hospitalized 5/07-currently heading towards a remission. Osteopena of spine from prednisone DX 8/07  Oct 07 feeling quite normal most days.  150mg Imuran  Zero mg prednisone   12 Asacol, Lidocaine Hydrochloride Jelly 2%,multi vitamin, iron 1X day, DanActive, chewable calcium, fiber capsule 1x day, Prilosec 20mg, enalapril 10mg, glipizide 5 mg, zocor 40 mg, baby aspirin, (Fentanyl pain patch 50mg 72 hrs  Morphine Sulf 15 mg twice daily)Cortifoam enema every other PM, Canasa suppositiry AM, folic acid 1mg, Fosamax 1x month

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1766
   Posted 8/6/2008 10:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh my goodness! I'm glad it was caught in time. I hope your husband has a speedy recovery and can be back on the road to living normally.
Female, Age 19, Dx w/ UC August 2007
9 Asacol, Rowasa1000 mg Canasa, Proctofoam, Rifaximin 2/day
Digestive Advantage (Crohn's & Colitis)1 Florastor, 50 mg 6MP,1 Primadophilus reuteri, Remicade (3rd infusion 07/08), 2.4 g Lialda, 1 Forvia, 6 Colazal/day
*surgery tentatively scheduled for September

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 8/6/2008 10:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Cassy!

Glad to see more education is being poored into your husbands problems. Sorry to hear about the turn out, but very happy it was caught. To bad you had to completly go to another hospital.

I to am praying for your husband and most! I can only guess what you have been going through or what has been through your mind. Now that I have a name to say I feel like the prayers will be stronger!

Good luck!!!
29 year old male
12th year suffering UC

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 8/6/2008 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow, your poor husband and everything he has gone thru.....oh my goodness! And you too! My mother, who had Crohns, went undiagnosed for a very long time. And unfortunately, she developed an ulcer so deep in her intestines that it ruptured sending her into septic shock which in turn caused her heart to stop and she passed away. I know how serious these things can get so yes, he is very lucky to have had that caught in time. Please give him our well wishes and remember to take time for yourself too.
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Year-round allergies-Singulair, Allegra~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Spinal Stenosis(?)~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections~bulging and herniated discs C5/C6 & C6/C7~2nd epidural injection 8/14, Neurontin and Skelaxin
To help Healingwell - click here: DONATE


New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/7/2008 3:20 AM (GMT -6)   
OH I"m so sorry  for what your  husband has been goingthrough.  Thank goodness they caught it.  That could of very easily been a different outcome.     Prednisone can mask alot of symptoms.   It will make a blood count seem lower than it is.  will mask a fever. so basically,  you could have a RAGING infection , but the tests doctors depend on will not show it.  plz inquire this of doctors if you are sick, remind them that you are on prednisone, and ask if they think it can mask certain symptons.   They may play it off as no big deal to you,  but you better believe they are re-thinking there medical decison making,  and most likely will be doing different tests.  I think they may forget about prednisone effects at times. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 83
   Posted 8/8/2008 1:19 AM (GMT -6)   
I have read this at least 20 times. Still can't beleve it. But as a close friend of mine has said. Hope. Hope is something that you give him. Keep strong for him.

~giving ya hope so you can give him hope. =)
18 years old, College Student ~WAHOO GO CATS=)
Diagnosed in 2004
Currently on:
Imuran 3pills/day
And many other over the counter meds.

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 8/8/2008 11:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you to all for your well wishes. I'm sorry so long answering back. Laptop was dead. Things are progressing. He got up this morning with massive amounts of drugs. They have him on an epidural and max dose of narcotics. Lots of pain has struggled with that. HERE's another little FYI, hydromorphone and morphine cause severe gas pain if you are having gas. It doesn't relieve it, makes it excruciating. If you start feeling a pain from the narcotics it is not your imagination and it gets worse. But all in all it is the road back I hope. Thanks again for all your support.
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