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Steroids and weight


I started on 50mg prednisolone in June, and I'm now down to 30mg, and will be down to 15mg by end September. I'm also on azothiaprine and citalopram.

I lost a lot of weight when I had anxiety last winter, and was desperate to put it back on. I've Always been tall and naturally slim and have a very g'day metabolism. Since the steroids I've put weight on, (rather quickly lol) and I'm now happy with the weight I am. However the steroids make me eat like a horse. I eat healthy, salads packed with nuts, grilled chicken salmon etc for lunch every day, and a good nutritious meal with veg for tea. But then I seem to be hungry again within the hour! Just wondered if anyone had any ideas to help curb the hunger or recipes even! Any help much appreciated

4 Replies

Hello BexeT

So sorry to hear about what you are dealing with. Weight gain is such a part of our self esteem, it can really bring us down. I too have been dealing with the same issue this past year with my steroid dose as high as 60mg down to 5mg for a lupus/RA/vasculitis episode.

What I was told by my doctors was basically not to beat myself up about it, that there is nothing you can do about the weight gain due to steroids. Some are more effected than others but basically is changes a balance in the brain making you crave carbs, and no amount of eating them will satisfy it for long, you will just crave more.

Yep, that has been me, and since I have been off the steroids this past month the weight is melting off SLOWLY. I too have always maintained a normal weight and am bound an determined to get back to it as I can't think it is good for the body and joints to keep this weight and then end up on steroids again and just pack on more.

So hang in there and good luck with it , you are not alone!



BexeT, it is hard trying to get well on Pred. You are feeling better so you over do everything - food included. My first time on Prednisone (50) a few years back, I wasn't really watching my weight at first - but usually eat healthy anyway - I was to wrapped up in the new diagnosis. After a couple of weeks I did urine test strip and was shocked to find how much glucose was in urine. Tested blood sugar and was too high. When I called doc in panic he said, "Prednisone will do that, you have to learn to manage it". So my diet of only good carbs - veggies, some fruits - started that day. With that kind of incentive I lost almost ten pounds in first month. I did have moon face but rest of body was OK. Now whenever have to take prednisone I am on low carb diet. I don't want Diabetes too. It worked really well, I wish I had that discipline all the time.


Hi Bexe

Weight gain can certainly be a problem with steroids but you will be fine as long as you eat healthily as you are doing. As your steroid dose reduces the weight will reduce too. X


That is one thing I have never liked, eating a good size meal and then in just over a hour feel hungry again as if I hadn't eaten a hour ago. I deal with it in 3 ways, 1) drink, when I get hungry just after eating I will have about 3/4 of a pint of water, juice, even fizzy drink. That usually kerbs the hunger pangs for a while. or 2) ignore the hunger pangs, which is hard. Not sure if you are like me but my hunger pangs don't necessarily hurt, they are extremely annoying and irritating but pain is not a word I would use to describe it. After a couple of hours the hunger pangs go away. 3) eat when your hungry, I will limit myself to a maximum of 5 meals a day. I don't mean 5 main meals. Breakfast would be on the par with a toasted sausage bagel, lunch = sandwich with crisps, when I get home I would eat another sandwich (poss with crisps) then my main meal, and if I get hungry again I will find a snack (something small like a sandwich, or fruit).

I also tend to walk a lot at least 5 miles a day, that would be to and from my train station and home. I tend to walk quite fast. It may be a reason why I am not particular heavy as I don't eat that particularly healthy or do much exercise. I must burn off calories quickly.

One last thing you could try if all else fails is to eat food called fufu, it is a West African dish and once you have eaten that you will not need to eat for the rest of the day. You may not be able to move either as it is very heavy lol.


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