Inhaled steroids and weight gain - Asthma UK communi...

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Inhaled steroids and weight gain

PaulRosedene profile image

I am wondering if I can blame inhaled steroids for my weight gain. I always gain weight when I am on Pred and eat like a horse. But I am wondering if I can blame symbicort for weight gain over the decades. I seem to be hungry all the time. Or do I just eat too much and exercise too little ?

16 Replies

Well... personally I think it's unlikely to be a major effect of them as otherwise most people on brown inhalers upwards would be huge. Some people may disagree of course but then some people feel their inhalers are responsible for every symptom they encounter 😅

Hmmm, I hadn't thought of that. I'd always assumed I was just undertall for my weight. 🙂🤔

I've been on inhaled steroids for over 45 years but when I was put on Symbicort my weight definitely creeped up. I'm now trying intermittent fasting to lose the excess weight and it's working, plus my asthma has improved as a result. Thankfully, my asthma nurse put me on Fostair.

PaulRosedene profile image
PaulRosedene in reply to Poobah

Hey Poobah, thank you for your comments. I am very interested to see that your asthma improved after losing weight. I have been wondering if this might happen. I am trying not to count my chickens, or to eat the eggs !! My asthma has been getting steadily worse over the last five years. I'm not sure if this is normal, or what may be causing it.

Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to PaulRosedene

I've definitely seen a correlation to weight gain and asthma control, or lack of. And things improve when I lose weight. Trouble is, I usually put it back on again. My asthma nurse has really encouraged me and has arranged a health coach to support my current efforts. I can only share my experience and hope it helps.

I guess the only way to see if it works for you is to try for a month and if you see an improvement in your symptoms then you have your answer. I was surprised that I saw results in such a short time, which in itself is encouraging. My Ventolin use is right down to about once a week, ten weeks in.

PaulRosedene profile image
PaulRosedene in reply to Poobah

Thank you for the encouragement. I am starting a food diary to set up a diet with the aim of long term permanent weight loss. This is a weighty matter !

Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to PaulRosedene

I wish you all the best, it's certainly worth the effort.

I definitely will be more hungry on oral steroids than when on my inhalers alone.

Through tracking my intake, keeping better choices in my home, and making better choices overall, I have kept off 50 lbs for the last two years. Yes, I did not gain weight during the pandemic 🙄👍

I still eat takeout, pizza, ice cream, and fried chicken but we keep fresh and oven roasted veggies, measure starches and I track it all to keep myself as healthy as possible.

I'm a severe persistent asthmatic with reactive Airway Disease and cough. Taking care of my nutrition is as important as my meds.

Start small. Add more fruit and vegetables. Take smaller portions of carbohydrates. 😁

Thank you for your comments. I am used to cutting out food types due to intolerance. But until very recently I haven't tried eating less. I am also a persistent asthmatic. I'm not sure if mine is severe, but its brittle. Did you find that losing weight helped your asthma ?

Yes. It is part of the whole plan.

I also slowly started walking more. I can now walk anywhere I want. 7-8000 steps daily. 10000 on a busy work shift. Stairs and inclines are still an issue.

Your asthma is certainly worse than mine. When my asthma was bad earlier this year I was getting wheezy walking up the stairs or up a short hill, But last month I managed to walk up two mountains in Scotland. The other day I walked 16 miles on the flat. I am not used to asthma stopping me from doing things.

What else is part of your plan ?

I'm on symbicort, arnuity inhalers, zyflo and montelukast tablets, and fexofenadine for allergies. And the Xolair once a month.

Since starting Xolair I have not had to be on as much oral prednisone. Just a few 12 day courses. Only once a year the last couple of years so this last time doc did 5 days of prednisone and it worked!

I work full time so I am not on disability. I do what I want and even ride a trike

My trike

Cool. I like the trike. I assume you cycle or tricycle with a ghetto blaster.

No. I love to trike with the sounds of nature. It does have electric assist to help with longer rides. It is my retirement plan.

I also started Xolair a few months before starting the weight loss plan. I had been on steroids for a few months straight and had gained 20 lbs, after being 30 lbs overweight to start with. I got rid of the first 15 lbs or so while still tapering off the steroids. And I had an ankle problem limiting walking at the time, too so I could only walk 2000 steps per day.

Losing weight is not easy but worth it. I set myself up for success.

I haven't experienced any of the symptoms you describe.

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