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TOPIC: Can you loose weight while on Prednisone?

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January 16, 2012 10:05 AM
I need to loose at least 10 lbs. I am starting today. I am on prednisone for an autoimmune disease. I know you usually gain weight on this medication. How hard is it to acually loose weight on this. Am I fighting a loosing battle?
January 17, 2012 12:49 PM
Note: Please don't give up or be discouraged by my words below. Because you have a different disease than what I took the prednisone for, your body may react completely differently. Your body could need it so much that you have no adverse affects! God made us all wonderfully different! The following is just my personal account and opinion. smile

I have been off and on prednisone for many years in my life. (I used to suffer from ulcerative colitis before my large colon had to be removed via emergency surgery.) Anyway, I was never able to maintain my current weight or lose weight while on those steroids - except when I was in the hospital for that emergency surgery & I nearly lost my life. And, although I lost 40 lbs in that month of hospital stay with extremely high does of steroids, I still got the "moon face." I happily welcomed that moon face in the mirror because it meant I was still alive and able to be a Mommy to my baby!

I think that if you are on a low dose of steroids, it is indeed possible not to gain an excessive amount of weight. One of the main troubles I have is that they will irritate your stomach and many people mistake it for hunger and/or try to alleviate it with food - it's quite a tricky drug! However, it's not just the extra calories consumed that will cause weight gain; its the steroid itself, too.

Have you talked with your doctor who prescribed it about your desire to lose weight? I always protested when my doctor put me on it by saying "but I don't want to gain weight!" Nearly every time my doctor would say that this was the best course of treatment for me to get better....and I wanted to get better more than be thin. I would ask your doctor if anything else would work as well, and if not, then at least you can be sure you are doing the best thing for your body - getting/ staying well - even if it means a couple pounds don't melt off right now. I hope someone does post with a trick to losing while on prednisone! I need it, too!
January 17, 2012 6:16 PM
Definitely can. I just got off my second go round with prednisone on 4 days ago. Both times I immediately jumped up initially (though that is probably more from insatiable appetite after not having food for a week) and started losing weight again after 2 weeks or so. Though it was definitely slower than without prednisone.
January 17, 2012 6:34 PM
YES you can... but its going to be HARDer than normal.

Prednisone makes you release more insulin, which can make people SUPER hungry. That's the only reason they gain weight.
I have been on it, and I am a nurse who has seen many people who have had to be on it for a long time.

I took mine once per day, so I took it at night before bed to get through the worst cravings. I exercised like a crazy person and it took a lot of will power to maintain my weight. I also took it for autoimmune issues.

Medicines affect everyone differently, and it depends on the dose. Hopefully you won't have too many problems with it.

If you are on it a long time ( like i was) you might get little cheeks, but this is temporary, and is NOT from a weight gain necessarily. Called moon face. It will go away when you are done
Edited by annegenevieves On January 17, 2012 6:36 PM
January 19, 2012 2:12 PM
Thank you all for your replys. I am having the hardest time getting motivated and keeping my cravings under control. Ill be on the prednisone for at least 2 months. Plus on on Lyrica which ALSO makes you hungry. So i have a lot going for me. :) I really need to just eat certain foods and be really strict. Other wise I will end up like a balloon.

Thanks everyone!

January 19, 2012 2:16 PM
Have you seen "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead"? It's a doco about a guy that has your disease and how he ended up stopping taking Predinsone by juicing fruit and veges. He lost a lot of weight out of it too.

Disclaimer: He does say that you should be monitored by your doctor while trying this. DO NOT stop taking your meds unless your doctor says it's ok.
January 19, 2012 2:17 PM
you can, but as has been said it makes you hungry. My chest specialist says the weight gain is due to eating the wrong things when craving food. I've been told to have lots of celery sticks and carrot sticks to nibble on when hungry due to steroids. Last time i was on them i managed to keep loosing!
January 19, 2012 2:29 PM
I also am on prednisone. But I am on it for polymyalgia. It is the only thing You can take for it. But every one keep saying you can loose on it. That is why I am here. I also hold alot of water and take lasix for it. But dont give up. Since I have been on this site Just eating right and watching my food drinking lots of water. I have lost 10 lbs alone in water. So I am sure once I finish with the water i will start loosing real weight. Hang in there you will too.

You can make me a friend if you want
January 19, 2012 2:36 PM
I too am on prednisone. I am currently @ 20 mg daily. Depending on dosage, the length of time you are on the medications, and your side affects (hunger, happy, angry, swollen hands and feet, increased/decreased energy) I would speak to your pharamcist about loosing weight and how you cant curtail some of the side affects. For me the first round, during Christmas time, all I did was eat eat eat and gained 4 lbs in 2 weeks. This round I have been on fitness pal and watching what I am eating and exercising and have not had the weight gain.
January 19, 2012 3:35 PM
I was on this for a long time a few years ago because of my ashtma problems, and I did gain weight from it. I now take it a few times a year for only a week or so. Most of the weight that I gained was water weight, but I also wasn't watching what I was consuming and I couldn't excersice a whole lot because of my medical situation.
I trully hope you give wieght loss a try and that you find a wonderful support system on here to help you out:)
September 24, 2012 7:22 AM
I am 25, and have taken Prednisolone every single day since I was 21 (when I suddenly developed a rare blood disease which left me with chronic renal failure, needing dialysis then eventually a kidney transplant). I now take 10mg a day. It used to be more than triple that.
I gained 40kgs in 6 months. I did not over eat, and I'm also a strict vegetarian. Prednisolone is the WORST of all my medications. I have tried exercising vigorously, hiring personal trainers, crash dieting, shake diets, strict crazy diets. They don't do a thing.
The only thing that I have found works is calorie counting. You have to be diligent. It will take a lot longer than normal to lose the weight, but steroid diabetes is real and you have to try and lose that weight to help yourself.
Trust me, I know it's easy to give up trying and blame it on the Prednisolone, but you'll only put on more weight. It's a terrible side effect of the drug, but I'm tryingu best to do something about it.

Good luck to everyone else who's struggling with weight loss, I truly believe you can all do it if to change your attitude about "dieting" and just focus on a healthy lifestyle.
April 14, 2013 9:36 AM
Hi I am also on Prednisolone as I am slowly losing my sight! I am on 80mg and also on an immunosuppressant. I have been on it for nearly 3 years and struggle big time to control my weight! I eat healthily and exercise regularly but still seem to balloon! My doctor has given me weight loss tablets which do not have nice side effects but help a little.

Good luck with the weight loss and any body comes up with new ideas please let me know, apart from starving myself I'm at a loss x
June 3, 2013 9:50 AM
Nice to see others are struggling too :) I was diagnosed with SLE Lupus 11 years ago and lost about 20lb before I was diagnosed due to not being able to eat. Put me on prednisone as a 17 years old, the doc said be carful, but of course I wasn't. I gained the 20lb back and another 20. I slowly lost weight but I've always been bigger even as a kid. I started running seriously about 7 years ago when I was trying to join the police force. I lost about 10lb and got really fit in training and I've kept it up. This past winter, after spending last summer running running running, 5k,10's, half marathons, I had the worst flare I've ever had. The joint pain was worse than at my initial diagnosis. Back on the prednisone now. I worked SOOOOO HARD to avoid the weight gain, I do an hour of cardio and about 15 min weights 4 days a week and half an hour cardio other days, with a day off here and there. I know how to work out, I've been doing it long enough. I track calories, I watch the sodium, I get the sleep I need but it's soooo frustrating! I definitely have the moon face and it drives me nuts. I have a picture from a race last summer with me and a bunch of girlfriends and I can see the difference in my face and body and it's pretty depressing. :( I've put on 8-10lb but it's frustrating because I worked so hard last summer to lose that 10lbs! One of my main flare symptoms is lack of appetite so when I did get a flare in the last few years, I gotta admit, I ran with the no appetite thing, but when other symptoms kick in I know to see the doc lol
I'm at 25mg/d now for 2 weeks, tapering from 60 and it's been about 3 months now. I cannot wait to get down to 5 where the doc said I'll be for a few years at least.
We're all in it together for sure. Prednisone sucks but it does work like magic on what it has to do.
June 3, 2013 10:09 AM
What disease are you taking it for? A few years ago I spent a year and a half on prednisone. I ballooned up, mostly because I was eating whatever and not working out. This used to be fine but not on prednisone. I gained a lot. If you eat right and work out you can counter act those effects. You WILL retain water weight a lot more, so do not freak out about that. Also - space meals out and have them more frequently. This can help the hunger you get from it. The biggest other side effect I had was sleep loss. I became completely sleep free...getting 2-5 hours a night, meds like meletonin can help a lot with that as does diet.
June 3, 2013 10:10 AM
I'm just replying to read this thread, for info for a family member.
June 22, 2013 11:29 AM
I am on prednisone for sarcoid. I've been on prednisone for 5 months now ( 40 mg for 2.5 months, 30 mg for 1 month, 20 mg for 1 month and currently on 10 mg ) and it shows. In the beginning the weight came on super fast. Since I've started tapering, it's still coming but, it's slower. Even though its still slowing coming on, I've noticed that if I increase my water intake, I feel better. I have started working out an extra day during the week so, I hope that helps. Now that I've found this forum, I hope that we can keep each other motivated on our journeys :) good luck everyone.
July 21, 2013 6:58 AM
I am on loads of medications daily for an autoimmune liver disease, which progressed to Cirrhosis, non alcohol related.
My consultant put me on Prednisolone which reduces my liver enzymes but the weight increase and bloating was soul destroying. Added to that was iron tablets and the constipation that brings...

I'm trying to lose weight by following a diet but I've lost nothing at all.

I welcome any suggestions!
July 29, 2013 4:32 AM
I've been on and off prednisone for almost 20 years for RA. I am currently on 15 mg and this is the first time I've gained significant weight. Maybe because I'm older now and my metabolism is slower. Anyways, I want to say that prednisone makes you gain weight not only because it makes you hungrier and you eat more, but because it alters your metabolism and redistributes fat. It's an upstream battle. I've gained 10 pounds in less than two months and I haven't been eating any different. I've always been thin and could eat whatever I want, but I guess not anymore. It seems the harder I try to lose weight, the more I gain. I will just have to wait until I get off the prednisone and borrow a bunch of pants two sizes bigger.
July 29, 2013 5:25 AM
This has been part of my struggle...I have systemic lupus erythematosus (autoimmune) and fibromyalgia (also autoimmune) and have been on varying doses of Prednisone for almost two years. I admit my eating hasn't been the best either; I'm learning to choose better when the cravings hit.
September 16, 2013 6:07 AM
Hi. I have been diagnosed with SLE for 2 years now and initially I lost like 15kg in one month before I was diagnosed which was awesome cause I looked perfect. Then the Dr started prescribing me Prednisone and within 2 months all the weight was back on again. I do not like the wight gain but choose to live rather so I tolerate it. I just wish it will go easier. It is not an escuse to use but it also doesn't make weight loss easier. I am on 10mg a day. Is it best drinking at night or in the morning?
September 21, 2013 4:29 PM

I was originally diagnosed with SLE, and that has morphed and changed over the last few decades--Now, the rhuematolgists are concluding that it is psoriatic arthritis and also mixed connective disease, fibro etc. I am also on prednisone )20 mg) and just started methotrexate--it is driving me crazy with the side effects. I always seem to gain weight when I am on it, and this time, I want to at least stay the same. It is hard to deal with the cravings etc

I would love to add you as a friend for mutual support and motivation so that this time we will win versus prednisone and our autoimmune diseases :)

Enjoy your daysmile Terri

hope you are having a fun day ! Terri smile
September 21, 2013 4:38 PM
Hi. I have SLE. I have regular prednisolone. I am a nurse. I am losing weight steadily. Need to be pretty strict. Drink lots of water if hungry. Eat lots of veggies. Fruit etc. good luck
September 22, 2013 4:06 PM
Hi there im 22 years old i have chronic asthma and have an oxygen tank and nebuliser at home i have been trying ever so hard dieting for 3 weeks at 1500 cal and not lost a lb so have now gone down to 1000cal a day.....heres the catch i have very severe astham and have nearly died numerous times and therfore take 80mg of prednisolone a day just to keep it at bay i am under a specialist regularly but its very disheartening that i cant excercise much but have been doing my diet religiously any ideas on what i can do as im going mad!
September 30, 2013 9:40 PM
I have been on prednisone since my 30's. It started with Esinophilic (sp) pneumonia. Doctors have put me on pred off and on all that time. 37 years later I am a hot mess of auto immune diseases. Crohns, PSC Liver disease, COPD, and a diagnosis in Jan 2013 of myasthenia gravis. I am on a taper of 60 mg down to 20 mg. All the while triating on to Azathiopine to hopefully replace the pred in 4-5 months. In the mean time, while off the pred I had worked hard to lose weight and went down to 210 (6'1"). I ballooned to 236 as off this AM. Swollen feet and moon face.I can't exercise ... tough for an old former Marine. While losing weight I was able to maintain 1500 calories ... The CRAVING got to me 2000-2500 daily now. Tomorrow I go back to 1800 calories and then 1500 the following week ... all though willpower. Oh, and I am a Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 6 year survivor as well. We old Marines are hard to kill ...
October 1, 2013 1:59 AM
I have been on 20mg twice a day since June..... :( ..... I gained roughly 40 lbs in 2 months..... :( The "MOON FACE" is the " pits"..... I'm sorry, I don't want to sound "VAIN", because I'm not, or ever have been..... or at least I thought..... hmmm..... Well anyhow, nevertheless..... Pending SARCOIDOSIS diagnosis, that's what I've been taking it for..... lol, i knew it was going to BALOON me, I went from 195 to 232 in less than 2 months..... It's hard on my knees and joints, it's extremely hard to wqlk sometimes and get around ..... I tried to worm my way out of it by exclaiming to the Dr. that I was allergic to it!!!!! Go figure rightt? Like how many times have they heard that one????? :D Nevertheless, I'm still on it and the REMARKS and COMMENTS you RECIEVE are enough to make you go and take your own life if you did'nt have a strong mind..... I'm FAT and I know it..... I look in the MIRROR EVERYDAY. I miss "MY OLD SELF" EVERYDAY..... I'm going to try an old diet of mine that worked wonders for me..... Meats, fruits and vegetables..... and plenty of water. Mon - Fri, weekends (whatever you like). No food after 7pm, except meats , fruits or vegetables ( preferrably) as a snack. You can have cheese and any kind of condiments, meat snacks, jerky, pork rinds, hot sausage, pickled eggs, pickled pig feet, mixrd nuts, trail mix, pickles all as low carb snacks. It works, i lost 65lbs in less than a year, the first 45lbs in like 4-5 months. It takes will power but it can be done. Salads as much as possible, nothing white except cauliflower Mon- Fri..... Eat whatever you like on saturday try not to OVERDUE Sunday folks..... ENJOY, AND GOD BLESS!!!!!
Edited by shaybaby1978 On October 1, 2013 2:07 AM


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