A 43-year-old female presents to the clinic with a chief complaint of fever chills nausea and vomiting and weakness

A 43-year-old female presents to the clinic with a chief complaint of fever, chills, nausea and vomiting and weakness. She has been unable to keep any food, liquids or medications down. The symptoms began 3 days ago and have not responded to ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or Nyquil when she tried to take them. The temperature has reached as high as 102˚F.

 Allergies: none known to drugs or food or environmental

Medications-20 mg prednisone po qd, omeprazole 10 po qam

PMH-significant for 20-year history of steroid dependent rheumatoid arthritis (RA). GERD. No other significant illnesses or surgeries.

Social-denies alcohol, illicit drugs, vaping, tobacco use

Physical exam 

Thin, ill appearing woman who is sitting in exam room chair as she said she was too weak to climb on the exam table. VS Temp 101.2˚F, BP 98/64, pulse 110, Resp 16, PaO2 96% on room air.

ROS negative other than GI symptoms.

Based on the patient’s clinical presentation, the APRN diagnoses the patient as having secondary hypocortisolism due to the lack of prednisone the patient was taking for her RA secondary to vomiting.

Question:

Explain why the patient exhibited these symptoms?