British Lung Foundation
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Steroids, Prednisolone etc. for newbies: in response to recent posts on Vits, foods and prednisolone this May interest you:

One of the side-effects of taking steroid tablets in the long term (for three months or more) is an increased risk of developing osteoporosis (thinning of your bones). This is known as steroid-induced osteoporosis. Using a high-dose steroid inhaler in the long term may also be a risk. Various things can be done to reduce your risk of developing steroid-induced osteoporosis. These include lifestyle measures such as stopping smoking, reducing your alcohol intake and increasing your exercise levels. You should also make sure that you have adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D and sometimes supplement tablets may be needed. Medicines to prevent steroid-induced osteoporosis may also be prescribed for some people. Note: never stop or reduce your steroid treatment unless your doctor tells you to do so.

Copied from Patient UK

Only recently did I discover that I have osteopenia , the pre osteoporosis condition. Apparently I'd had it for 10 years or more, wish I'd known, I would have taken more calcium or Vit D3. Better late than never .

Something else not too many people know is that women who have a short menstruating span are very prone to osteoporosis due to the lack of oestrogen over time. That must go for women with very irregular periods too.

Just sayin. I'm not a doctor, sharing my thoughts.

23 Replies

Great piece .. Have you always had lung trouble

Am just doing piece on connective tissue diease that incompasis all you have talked about

Think thats wjat my doc was talking about ... when he said i had always had it

Anyway its inflamation and am i can surprised nope but can see how why that works

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As small child had awful barking cough but just got a clip round the ear . It cleared up around 7 years old but I could never understand all through school sports and adulthood why as a very active fit person I couldn't finish a race or climb a hill or half drown when swimming. I realise now it was asthma.

Start wheezing in 40's and diagnosed with asthma.

It didn't interfere with life too much apart from when catching a cold it went to my chest. & took ages to clear, never even went to doc silly me.

Every Xmas break from work for last few years I would be really ill with bronchitis, still didn't go to doc.

It was only Feb 2009 that I was went with terrible pain that turned out to be pleurisy, doc said to go back if no better after a week. Was so ill, crawled back to find I had double pneumonia.

Then had 4 more pneumonias over 18 months. Finally doc requested a ct scan 19.12.12 which I finally had 6 months later. GPS thought I had bronchiectasis or aspergillosis from sputum tests but it turns out I just had poorly controlled asthma . Bummer, wish I knew then what I know now.

I used to be a bit of a nutter, motorbike, riding, skiing, parachuting, broke so many bones but no one thought to test for bone density until 2003 after dropped bike on foot/leg. I did ask at the time if test was ok & they said yes. Broke both feet last summer so I asked for another test. Only thought to ask about it last month and doc said not too much change in the osteopenia. Eh, what's thar say I.

Any road up, with your help & this site about PR and Vits I managed to stay infection free for 7 months only succumbing this week to the dreaded lurgy. This time though my immune system is on top form so will bash it on the head.

I so don't want to get worse, I couldn't bear it and will probably practice euthanasia if I do. That's why I admire you so much for hanging on in there. Perhaps it's your fury that gives you the fight. Xxx Pen

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Bless you, no not haunting at all. Somehow after running away at 16 I had a great time and lovely life. Bad stuff all past & I've had a rich and intersting life full of goodness - so far! I've feel blessed

You've got a good memory re the swimming lessons :) ! he was a very nasty man my stepdad. One sister cannot let it go and still harks back which does her no good, such a shame.

Should I ask about alendronic next time I go? I bought some Osteo Plus from Healthspan that I've been taking for 4 years although been forgetting recently. Intention is to take it at night as I take the D3 in the morning.

Apparently density in legs is similar but hips/pelvis have lost 5% since 2003.

How are you doing with your colony of bugs? xxxx

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ooo, great that you're feeling a bit better. Do you tend to rest up when you're poorly or keep going?

I do hope this gentamicin works for you and that you dont have to wear yourself out over Xmas.

hehe, you're not wicked, I wished it from age 3 but he did have a sticky end. i wasn't going to mention that :) .. not long after I left home he began to get ill, think he was riddled with cancer quite quickly & probably not a very pleasant way togo at 49. Mum was 39 so that might just have been her reward for not protecting the 5 of us. I could write a book but like I said it's in the past. Forgivness is best way.

The Osteo Plus is discontinued now & I dont fancy it's replacement so will get Adcal & ask gp for Alendronic xxx

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Thanks for that peeg. Pete has had osteoporosis for years due to steroids but nobody told him that could happen. He is not doing too badly though and hopefully we can get his back sorted out in the New Year although it may involve surgery. Take care. xxxx

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I know they could at least warn you to drink more milk or something.

All the best to you and Pete xxx


Brilliant piece, I'm doing the milk and vitamin D I'm off to get pilchards and nuts tomorrow.

Kim xxxxx

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Part of a quote from "Potassium, the hidden bone guardian" by

Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhDby Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhDUS. "Unquestionably, potassium is one of the most important key bone nutrients, and consuming the recommended amount of 4,700 mg potassium a day should be a top priority for everyone"

So it's more than just calcium and Vitamin D you need to increase in your diet. This is why fresh fruit is so important. This is from a website based in the US. Can't remember its name now. I copied the relevant information for my own use, a few months ago.


I have in the past year been put on Symbicort 200 one puff morning one night, Is this enough steriods to cause bone thinning do you know?

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ah that's exactly where I got my info from - perhaps it was originally from you :)


Oh thanks Flibberti & Hypercat, and peeg for the article, very interesting


Hi I have been on steroids for over two years now I am takeing 5mg l now but I started on 40 mg reducing every few weeks I am now type 2 diabetic I have arthritis everywhere I have copd I have only seen nurse once when diagnosis and given pumps left to get on with it most of time I am ok but sometimes feel I need someone to talk to who knows what I should do or not do to help myself


Take NAC


Hi Jacksmum,

after Poemsgalore mentioning potassium above, I did a search for high potassium foods and found this really good site about nutrition :

Foods That Are High In Potassium - -

I hope that linkcame up, if not copy and paste it to your search bar. (There's far more than the potassium info)

Many of us here research for the best ways to help ourselves so that we can make informed decisions and choices.

For instance about 30 years ago a lady told me how a naturopath had told her to cut out acidic foods for her newly diagnosed arthritis. I never forgot her amazement when she told me that within hours of being tempted to eat her beloved home grown tomatos that she was in agony .

At the time I was a young mum and it was only when dunking hay in bins of freezing water at 5am that my fingers really really hurt. ....... I'm convinced that cutting out acidic food has kept my arthritis at bay.

What I'm saying is we really have to learn as much as possible ourselves. Whilst we're no substitute for a medically qualified opinion our GPs are too busy, we get a rare 5 minutes with them so they only give basic nutritional advice. Rarely an actual conversation on preventives, only cures.

I've often read that some members know more than GPs & nurses about their conditions which I now totally believe.

Now, personally speaking, I really need to prevent osteoporosis which is why I'm checking potassium, on the above site I discovered dried apricots and avocados are high in it so I shall make sure I add these.

I hope you will find some answers by reading up here and having a little delve picking out what's good for you. You can always check with your GP/nurse on your findings.

If I were you, I'd make more appointments at your practice for advice and star demaning (in a very nice way :)) a bit of help. You deserve it! xxx


N-A-C , short for N-Acetylcysteine. I think people get it in Holland & Barrett. I thought it worked like Mucodyne in loosening the mucus but really not sure at all. Pop it in the search bar & see all the old posts about it. I recall many swear by it - whatever it is! xx


Im taking Super Strength D3 daily over winter which is 1000iu then I will still take a normal daily dose the rest of the year. VitD is from sunshine (haha) only goes through exposed skin and as I don't go around naked there's no way i'll get enough from sunlight alone.

I don't I like to tell people what to take but I take every day.

Think you've picked the best 3. :)


my thoughts to,these are d3 sunvited3,10jug(400i,u,)thanks to you,and the other member.i will take 2 daily /so that's 800i.u,my choice,and yes weres the sunxxx


I deffo feel better since taking the B12 & D3, more alert, optimistic & alive. I don't know which to thank so I'll just carry on. And like I said, I'd not had an infection for 7 months - until now! Hopefully my stronger immune system will see it off with the help of the antiBs. xx

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well done for getting the vits. The respitary nurse at my PR (from a teaching hospital) told me that it wasn't enough to take D3 in winter only and that we should take it year round every day which I will do.

It's my opinion that we dont get what we need form a balanced diet if we're unwell & not functioning properly so I prefer to take extra. I most definitely feel better and have just had my longest time without infection for nearly 5 years. xxx

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As you have osteoporosis Peeg, do your prescribed meds not include D3, I am prescribed a large dose once a month (along with a yearly intravenous infusion of zolendronic acid - which reminds me, I should have taken it on the 17th, off to medicine cupboard post haste.............! xx


Thanks Libby. So sorry you have osteoporosis.

I've had osteopenia for 10 years without knowing, found out last month. Annoying, so I want to stave off osteoprosis if humanly posible.

No meds prescribed for it but I will ask for the weekly Alendronic Acid next time I go. Yuk, dont fancy it but needs must.

I have 250grms yogurt & 1/4 milk every day to help plus try to walk for 30 minutes minimum every day.

I think my husband had that intravenous Zol.... every few months for his bone cancer. It helped a lot. It was tough having to have it in the chemo department though.

Nurse at the last bone density check told me not to take all my calcium foods & supplement at once but to stagger it through the day because your body can only process so much at once.Have you heard that?

I was told to take D3 for lungs year round by respiratory nurse at PR.


Hi Peeg, yes I was diagnosed about 6 years ago quite by accident! A work colleague had slipped on wet leaves and broke a bone in her back, she was subsequently diagnosed with osteoporosis. My mum had it very badly and as I seem to have inherited all her illnesses I thought I bet I've got it! Went for a scan and yes, already mod/severe! However, although I've lost a couple of inches in height (wondered why my arms seemed to be getting longer!) I don't really suffer from it as such. Hunched over the laptop hurts if I do it too long, and I do! but that's about it. So the treatment seems to have staved it off to a certain extent. I've always had a calcium rich diet as I love dairy foods. I often wonder if having my only child late (I was 35) helped the osteo along, being pregnant takes so much from your body. My mum was the same, 32 and 36 when she had us. I think I'll have to go back on the weekly alendronic and adcal again, as travelling to the hospital, although only 7 or 8 miles, and sitting waiting with a lot of unhealthy people is getting too much for me now. Last year I became ill with a chest infection the day after I was there and it's put me off going again. Hope yours doesn't progress to osteoporosis, you are obviously doing everything you can. Not heard of spacing calcium rich foods out through the day but I suppose that happens naturally I don't have calcium supps as my levels are good apparently. x


It's very good you've managed to get your levels up Libby. It's amazing what you can do.

It can have a lot to do with hormone levels, you may be right about having children late. I had mine young but good job because menopause began at 40.

It doesn't follow that if you start late you finish late, the opposite in fact. My daughters were also 18 when they started so I hope they're mature enough to listen to me when I explain

Do you try to sit with back straight when you're on lap top? I think weRe all going to evolve in to round backed people. You see it everywhere, sad. xx


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