Prednisolone weight gain: Hi all... - Asthma UK communi...

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Prednisolone weight gain

Frazzle profile image

Hi all,

Hope everyone is safe and well!

I have been on pred daily since January, 5mg daily, upped to 40mg every four weeks or so. I’ve had three lots of antibiotics this year as well, each a month long course.

I have noticed that I’m finding it really hard with the weight gain, it’s slowed a lot now and I’m trying to loose some of the lbs I put on but I don’t even know where to start! Every time I loose some I end up on a high dose again and it all comes back!

I eat healthy, three meals and one snack a day, however late at night is when the munchies really set in haha

Just wondered if anyone had managed to successfully loose their pred weight gain whilst still being on it (on pred for the foreseeable so stopping isn’t an option at all) and how? :)

10 Replies


About 20 years ago my GP wanted to prescribe me 12 mg per day. I said "second opinion please". I was lucky - I was referred to a lung specialist who found alternatives (Foradyl now discontinued?). Changed my GP after that. I actually saw the letter from the specialist to the GP (very polite, very definite!).

Now I am on Symbicort and Alvesco - bodyweight exercise and I eat 95 % Fruit & Veg, nuts and seeds and beans, plus a small amount of good quality fish or meat. Drop flour, rice, potatoes, bread as far as possible - but first if possible try to find a doctor who could give you a solution without the prednison!

Frazzle profile image
Frazzle in reply to 101paul

I’m under a specialist and have had two second opinions and a regional opinion, only option is steroids or weekly a&e trips for asthma attacks.

As for diet, I love my fruit and veg so defo eat a lot, it’s the carbs I struggle with, I don’t eat loads but struggle to feel full without them and end up eating more!

I empathize all too well! I was on prednisone so often that I developed adrenal insufficiency so now I have to take 20 mg of hydrocortisone every day which has made me gain anywhere from 5-15 pounds (it fluctuates!) there’s a few reasons steroids like pred and HC make us gain weight:

1) they are appetite stimulants so we may feel hungry even when we’re full (though some people say they lose their appetites on pred)

2) they make us retain water since steroids throw off our sodium and electrolyte balance. A few months ago I was eating super healthy and low carb and exercising 4-5 times a week and could not bring down my weight no matter how hard I tried. Giving up alcohol was the only thing that helped but I know that’s not an option for everyone.

Do you track your diet in an app? I use chronometer and that’s been really helpful for keeping me on track.

Good luck! Know that a lot of us on here struggle with the same thing and you’re not alone. Keep us posted :)

Frazzle profile image
Frazzle in reply to hilary39

Thankyou for your reply!!

I always find it frustrating that the medication that’s saves my life comes with a whole load of side effects!

I have started too loose my appetite throughout the day, I only really feel hungry around 9pm so I guess that’s a start!

I track my diet, and have a sufficiently big crappie deficit that i should be seeing progress. Exercise is a tricky one, some days my asthma is so bad that walking up the stairs is about all I can manage, other days I can manage a dog walk.

Thankyou, I will let you know how I get on :)

predgirl profile image
predgirl in reply to Frazzle


I am on Pred at 10mg a day. Was on 40mg a day for years. Tried every diet went did load of exercise, counted calories still weight came and the diabetes. Then I saw a dietian and got a plan made for me . Main things are no gluten, no carbs after 6pm ( but can have if I really have pre munchies) . Eat slower burning carbs . Eg. Oats,

I lost weight slowly. However since pre reduce so has the weight.

Good luck in lossing the weight.

Aim for little goals and you will get there.

Frazzle profile image
Frazzle in reply to Frazzle

That’s supposed to say calorie not crappie haha!

I lost around 6 stone while on prednisolone. Partly as a reaction to the Doctor who said I couldn't lose weight. Half the battle is the cravings and hunger. What worked for me was keeping food sugar content below 5g/100g and having no more than 3 portions of carbs per day + eating some health fats, to reduce cravings and hunger. Also, following an Intermittent Fasting (IF) regime from breakfast to dinner, so your dinner is your last food until breakfast to combat late night nibbles. 😎As a result, my daily pred has tapered down over time from 15mg/day to 2mg/day.

Frazzle profile image
Frazzle in reply to SofaJockey

This is so good to hear!! I defo think I’ll try the sugar idea, as that’s my weak point! As for carbs, I don’t tend to notice any cravings for them so cutting them back is probably a good idea, I crave fruit more than anything haha!

I don’t think I’ll be able to taper my pred down but if I can avoid gaining anymore weight and loose the bit I have I’ll defo feel better about being on them :)

I have found it impossible, sorry. Having said that I was on and off pred from 1967 to 1990 then have been on it 24/7 since 1991. Maintenance dose is 20mg which I increase when needed. Am also diabetic so have to watch what I eat. I wish you every success

I did slimming world whilst on pred, and lost 3 stone, but it definitely is a big battle! And takes lots of will power and determination! Bleed you! They can be such helpful meds for som things,yet can cause so many unwanted side effects!!!

I can’t be on pred long term now as it messes with my mood really seriously! I can manage a short course but long term it’s actually written in my notes now that it’s not an option.

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