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Cortisol and Asthma


I respond well to Prednisolone. Does this suggest that - when I have an Asthma Attack - I am ‘deficient’ in Cortisol (and that Prednisolone increases my Cortisol)? Or, does it mean the opposite, and that my Asthma is partly due to ‘too much’ Cortisol?

In order to reduce my Prednisolone need, should I try to increase, or reduce, my ‘natural’ Cortisol Level?

Seem to recal reading that some Asthmatics have reduced Cortisol Receptors due to regularly raised Cortisol Levels over a long period. Can those lost Cortisol Receptors be regained in some way, or are they gone forever?


Have concluded that Pred Responsive Asthmatics need more Cortisol-like steroids for two possible reasons:

a) Their natural levels are, for some reason, too low


b) Their natural levels are normal (maybe even raised) BUT their inflammation levels mean they need ‘additional’ Cortisol-like steroids

To a certain extent, it does not matter whether (a) or (b) applies (because, either way, they still need ‘more’ Cortisol-like steroids).

Just discovered - on - part of the answer to my above question.

Not yet familiar enough with to give it a strong recommendation, but the article I just read was very good indeed. If interested in Asthma / Stress / Cortisol relationship, you might want to check it out here:

7 Replies

Prednisolone is a steroid anti inflammatory and will reduce inflammation... there are a number of issues with long term steroid uses however a lot of asthmatics are given them over a short term as a boost to fight back the inflammation and give your lungs a chance to get back to normal

in reply to Chip_y2kuk

Thanks. You might find one or two points in my reply to Simon of interest.

Interesting! I have also just been thinking of cortisol - and I will look at your other link. My situation that triggered my thinking is more mundane. Just now I am on my third lot of prednisolone in two years, so I am far from a regular user. However, I have never had that ‘miraculous’ effect. It works, but gently and gradually, and not necessarily immediately. It also messes with my sleep. This time, after a ‘small’ cold I started getting symptoms, but unlike my normal ‘wait and see’ response I took timely steps to nip it in the bud, so it was nothing like as anxiety making as previsouoy, and of course, anxiety and stress would also increase cortisol, as does inflammation, I think. So I wonder if this time my sleep isn’t as devastated as it hasn’t been as stressful, and the inflammation didn’t have time to go so far.

I will read your other link, as it has really made me interested. I also need to learn more.

in reply to Wheezycat

Thanks Wheezycat. You might find one or two points in my reply to Simon of interest.


Most asthmatics will have normal cortisol levels and normal Glucocorticoid receptors.

Most asthmatics have an abnormal lung (cells in the lungs) response to infection (also allergies which your body mistakes for infection) , which causes excess mucus and tightening of the bronchial tubes.

Prednisolone (corticosteroid) dampen down the the response to infection across the whole body and this includes the lungs, reducing the amount of mucus and tightening of the bronchial tubes.

Thanks. Aware of, and agree with, points you make, plus appreciate that Pred actually reduces Eosinophils which in turn improves my Asthma Type (Eosinophyllic Asthma). Got to wondering if non asthmatics were better able to keep their Eosinophils in check, partly, because their Cortisol Levels and Receptors function better. (And if I should be doing anything about my own Levels & Receptors that might improve matters a little). Will be trying out 2.5mg Pred every second day as an experiment, then moving to same dose - but daily - if no mprovenent, followed by 5mg every 2nd Day, then 5mg Daily if still no improvement. Will do about 6 Weeks per dosage size to evaluate each stage. Recently decided to decline Biologics pending results of self experiments with low dose Pred. (Aware of Pred Risks, but little confidence in Biologics at this time, though good developments seem to be on horizon).

Thankyou Matman : the article answered a question and fitted a piece of the puzzle together for me in my understanding of my asthma at the minute ....... , I can deal with most things once I understand , brilliant thank you

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