Matthew Busse has pursued professional health and science writing since 2007, writing for national publications including "Science Magazine," "New Scientist" and "The Scientist." Busse holds a doctorate in molecular biology from the University of California-San Diego. View Full Profile Several other hormones regulated by the adrenal glands are also suppressed by prednisone, including cortisone, dehydroepiandrosterone, androsterone, aldosterone and tetrahydrocorticosterone, reports Alternative Medicine Review. The suppression of these hormones has several different effects. For example, dehydroepiandrosterone, abbreviated DHEA, is involved in regulating hormones involved in reproduction, brain function and the immune response. Suppression of DHEA may reduce the levels of sex hormones, weaken the bones, reduce the immune response and affect moods and mental functioning. People taking prednisone may sometimes also be prescribed DHEA to counteract these effects. Adrenal fatigue is characterized by relentless, debilitating fatigue. The adrenal glands are your body’s primary “shock absorbers.” These two little thumb-sized glands sitting on top of your kidneys produce hormones including norepinephrine, cortisol and DHEA that allow you to respond to the conditions of your daily life in healthy and flexible ways. I will discuss adrenal fatigue symptoms and adrenal fatigue treatments below, but first, you should know about the hormones that are involved in adrenal insufficiency. Norepinephrine (also called ) is commonly thought of as the fight-or-flight hormone. It’s produced when something is (or you think it is) threatening. This hormone makes your heart pound, your blood rush to your heart and large muscle groups, your pupils widen, your brain sharpen, and your tolerance for pain increase—basically, it prepares you for battle. Modern-day battles are most likely things like pushing your body to keep going when it’s fatigued, dealing with a stressful job, and reacting with quick reflexes to avoid a traffic accident.
The adrenal gland is divided into the adrenal medulla, which produces catecholamines such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, and the adrenal cortex, which produces cortical steroids such as cortisol, aldosterone, and androgens, all of which are needed to maintain homeostasis in the body. The adrenal cortex is further subdivided into 3 regions: the zona glomerulosa, which is responsible for producing mineralocorticoids (eg, aldosterone); the zona fasciculata, which secretes glucocorticoids (eg, cortisol); and the zona reticularis, which releases androgens (eg, testosterone). The levels of these cortical steroids are regulated through the hypothalamuspituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (Figure). In response to inadequate levels of cortical steroids in the body, the hypothalamus will secrete corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which exerts a positive feedback on the anterior pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH then stimulates the release of cortical steroids from the adrenal gland. The cortical steroids have the ability to inhibit the release of both CRH and ACTH from the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, respectively, through a negative feedback loop. Cortisol is the principal glucocorticoid produced by the zona fasciculata. As a severe prednisone dependent asthmatic, I am all too familiar with the roller coaster that comes with prednisone tapering. Let’s start at the beginning prednisone is a steroid anti-inflammatory drug that has many uses in many diseases. It is prescribed in asthma to treat underlining inflammation which is an underlying driver of asthma. I am one of those asthmatics that has a significant inflammation component, steroids are a large component of my treatment. I was definitely not excited to become prednisone dependent but I have tried everything and I was out of options that controlled my inflammation the way that prednisone does. I have gone through many bursts for exacerbation or even periods of being on higher doses for some time. It is important to note that every asthmatic is different and may have different experiences with prednisone use tapering.
The adrenal glands are really two endocrine glands in one. but several weeks of prednisone at a dose of 10 mg will diminish the cortisol level and the ability to. Prednisone is a synthetic corticosteroid that reduces inflammation and suppresses the immune system. Prednisone is prescribed for a wide range of conditions, especially autoimmune diseases.