Distended Lower Abdomen and Prednisone Treatment
Starting in November 2009, my lower abdomen became distended and I gained 5 pounds as a result. Since I have lupus, my doctor ran the lupus panel of blood tests and everything appeared normal - no inflammation. The doctor wasn't convinced by the results ... more »
Starting in November 2009, my lower abdomen became distended and I gained 5 pounds as a result. Since I have lupus, my doctor ran the lupus panel of blood tests and everything appeared normal - no inflammation. The doctor wasn't convinced by the results and prescribed 20 mg prednisone for 5 days. After the 5 day period, I had lost the 5 pounds mainly due to increased urine and fecal output (was somewhat constipated) and my abdomen was flat once again! She then lowered the prednisone to 10 mg and gradually weaned me off of it over the next two weeks. Once I began the 10 mg dosage, my abdomen became distended once again but she would not prescribe 20 mg to see if the distension would disappear. I then came across an article that described how more than 50% of people with lupus or other autoimmune illnesses are susceptible to hydrochloric acid deficiency and thus can not digest their food properly. The symptoms were exactly what I experience: bloating/water retention, gas, constipation, distension, dry skin, rectal itching, etc. with the G.I. tract problems worsening after you consume any type of food. Thus, I did a self-test to determine acid production in my stomach and it indicated that I basically have very little to no acid. I started taking supplemental betaine hydrochloride (625 mg capsules) and dietary enzymes with each meal and have not seen any improvement. I am up to 6 betaine hydrochloride capsules per meal with no burning in my stomach indicating that they aren't working to produce more acid. To make a long story short, does anybody know why the 20 mg prednisone helped with my G.I. tract problems but the lower dosage and supplemental betaine HCl + ensymes do not??