WEIGHT GAIN ON STEROIDS: I’m so so down. actually put... - NRAS


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Ompie profile image

I’m so so down. actually put on 11 pounds in 5 weeks after starting prednisone (steroids). Because I have been feeling so u well anyway, my daily HIIT, Circuit, Kettlebell , WOD class or run is just not happening, therefore more eating, more appetite, more weight gain, and more miserable. Please please someone tell me what to do. I’ve gone from a size 10 to nearly a size 14 now.

32 Replies

Have you started a diet to see if helps A good free app to use for the daily diary is

My fitness pal

You should lose a stone or more hopefully


My fitness pal

Use the diary

And set goal and weight

And it will tell you how many calories a day to use

And you can go under calories a wee bit as well

Ompie profile image
Ompie in reply to Ajay575

I’m actually starting a very low calorie Low Histamine Diet tomorrow.

Ajay575 profile image
Ajay575 in reply to Ompie

Thats good hope it works Try no go under the minimum

Think its 1000 for woman and 1200 for men

Ive got 6lb to go to eat my favourite food 😊

Hello Ompie. Yes many of us put on weight on steroids particularly if it’s a fairly high dose. But if your doctor has prescribed them then you need them at the moment and I’m sure they will be making you feel better. It happened to me and it has taken a long time to get the weight off again especially as I can’t do much exercise at all.

Try having a drink of water or a herbal tea when you get an attack of the munchies - anything to distract yourself and avoid comfort eating! Be strict with portion sizes and fill up on vegetables or fruit.

It’s hard we know, but some people do manage to keep their weight increase to a minimum. I didn’t and now I’m finally off the Prednisolone I’m losing weight on a low carb diet even with little exercise.

Good luck 🤞🏻

Ompie profile image
Ompie in reply to Lolabridge

Thank you for your encouragement 😘

I feel for you darling. I put on four stone on in four months. Hugs.xxxx

I’m feeling the same right now! Finding it so hard to see myself in pictures because I look so different, I’ve also put on nearly a stone on Prednisolone in the last 6 weeks. I’m trying to watch my diet but it’s hard as I get cravings in the evenings and exercise is tough because of the pain and fatigue. One thing helping me feel better is cold water immersion. I hope things change for you soon, sending love xx

Ompie profile image
Ompie in reply to LuckyMB78

Thank you for understanding. I hope you manage to loose yours

Sorry to hear that Ompie

Best talk to your docs who might help by reducing the dose or prescribe pain med.

Vicious cycle once we start comfort eating and feeling miserable.. what usually helps you fight against a downward spiral? If it’s depression, why? Perhaps nobody close understands the RD battle? Loss of lifestyle pre RD? That depressed me for a very long time but life improved eventually and meantime I adjusted. But there’s loss and grief. I was going through divorce at the time of trying to find suitable RD meds. Trial and error but got there for now. It was a long struggle to cope and enforce self discipline.

Exercise is vital in helping the body to regain health and balance, even just walking a bit at intervals daily. I bought a stationary exercise bike to use when bad weather prevails. Gets endorphins going, causing the ‘feel good’ factor.

You probably know yourself better than anyone.. hope sympathy and support here helps just by reassuring you that we all go through similar battles. 💐

Ompie profile image
Ompie in reply to charisma

Thank you so much for your advice and being kind 😀

Just have to say a big thank you for such sound advice. Your ra story and life situation sound exactly like mine and you ha e given me strength to face my divorce.Sin e being diagnosed I have lost my job, health, freedom of movement and soon to lose my marriage, family life and home.

There are some very lucky people who have supportive partners when struggling with ra etc.

Your commen ts have strengthened me. Thank you.

I don't know if steroids make you thirsty but sometimes you can feel hungry when you need water. It might help to curb your appetitie if you drink more water. It is very difficult when you can't do a lot and eating is the only comfort you have. I really feel for you. Others will help on here, I am sure. Good luck.

Ompie profile image
Ompie in reply to Sheila_G

I’m always thirsty!

Not surprised you are finding it tough. Try increasing your water intake until you are drinking 8 glasses a day and get your good carbs from veggies rather than from grains.Imagine your dinner plate as a clock and always fill it with 1/2 veggies, especially green leafy veg, you want to eat loads of veggies, 1/4 protein and 1/4 carbs. Skip junk food and anything processed. Cut out diet drinks or anything fizzy, stick with water or decaf tea.

Don’t eat low fat foods - they contain sugar to make up for the lack of fat but you need good fats to make you feel full.

If you must eat chocolate stick to one square of 85/90% dark chocolate, you will most likely only manage one square, even I who loves chocolate an satisfied with one square and a hot drink.

Even if you can’t do all the exercise you used to do, try and get out walking for at least half an hour every day.

Good luck. Is your course of prednisone reducing week by week? If not it might be worth asking your doctor about that. I started on a really high dose and reduced straight away.

Thanks so much for all your advice. My prednisone is being reduced gradually. I started off on 6 tablets a day for 5 days. Now on 5 tablets a day for 5 days. Then it will be 4, then 3 etc.

I have definitely been there. It does help you pack on the pounds. The side effects are not nice at all. I am sorry for anyone taking this. I decided I was not taking anymore steroids if I could help it. My last one was over a year ago. Last March I was feeling so fat and even my fat clothes were not fitting.So I told myself that after my 2nd dose of the Covid Vaccine, I seriously needed to lose the weight. My husband was even calling me fat. So I went my own diet and it was a low carb. No high carb foods what so ever. No bread, no cakes, no sugar, nothing processed. However I would still give myself a treat every couple of weeks and get some fried chicken with nothing no sides. Yesterday I had all the burnt ends I could eat with very little BBQ sauce because it has sugar and I had 2 onion rings. And doing all that I have managed to lose 30 lbs and am still on this diet. Also I have not been exercising. Or I definitely would have lost more. I feel fine. This morning I had terrible neck pain when I woke up, so I put a heat pad on it and then some CBD rubbed on and I was go to go. You can do it, but it is harder on Steroids. You need to get that mind frame and keep it. I am beginning my 7th month in 3 weeks. Went from a 2xx to an extra large. Good luck..

Well done BSherzig. Bet you’re pleased with yourself. You deserve to be ☀️


Ompie profile image
Ompie in reply to BSherzig

It’s fantastic to hear you are loosing. Despite not exercising. I wish you success and thank you for your advice.

BSherzig profile image
BSherzig in reply to Ompie

Thanks, however it is not always easy and you have good days and bad ones. I am definitely not there yet but thank goodness I have saved most of my “Skinnier “ clothes. And still I need to lose more.

It is difficult to hold your weight steady, you have my sympathies.I put on 5 and a half stone, but have taken it all off again. Daily prednisolone and MXT were my nemesis. I still take daily prednisolone.

Not by dieting, but by eating healthy, no diet foods, no alcohol and next to no sugar.

Just freshly prepared food and portion control.

Best wishes to you.

Ompie profile image
Ompie in reply to Mmrr

I definitely have been drinking more alcohol than ever before and it is very bad for auto immune disease.

Hello Ompie, I'm right there with you! I'm 4.5 weeks into a 6 week course and my face is already changing shape. How long have you got left on the roids?

To me, my head now looks like a bowling ball but everyone around me assures me they don't see it


In all honesty I've not been trying very hard to eat well, I've been feeling so rubbish that I'm just trying to not give myself a hard time. I've had lots of roids for asthma in the past and in my experience they really do make you retain water. Things will normalise when you finish your course.

Try and keep your chin up - I know it's hard but the roids are a necessary evil and you need them at the moment to get back to being well again.

Hope you feel lots better soon

Ompie profile image
Ompie in reply to snotts

You are exactly like me! I haven’t really tried to diet, I just allow myself to eat more and more! Now it’s got to,the state that I am nearly a size 14 instead of my usual 10 and I feel very heavy and sluggish going for my runs. I look ROUND and moon shaped. My friends are kind, but I KNOW what I look like. And I feel miserable as well. I start my very low calorie, Low Histamine Diet tomorrow and to be honest it can’t come quick enough. I’ve also booked a personal trainer to help me recover.

I’ve been on steroids since 2012, on prednisolone I had steadily been losing weight and got to 4mg. I was feeling very unwell with nausea, lightheaded and low BP along with the weight loss. This was over 16 months, Drs trying to work out why. I had a massive stroke when I was 52, and found to have severe adrenal insufficiency and the stroke was caused by an adrenal crisis. They switched me to hydrocortisone and I quickly regained 35lbs over 8 months and my inflammatory arthritis was worse. So they agreed to switch me back to prednisolone and the weight stabilised immediately. Unfortunately I still struggle to lose the 35lbs, and when I mention it to family they just say health comes first, but it is disheartening. I’ve gone from a size 14 to a size 20, and I’m only 5ft 1. My daughter gets married in 2 weeks and I so hoped to have lost most of it. However shielding, lockdown and a new diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis, caused by my inflammatory arthritis put paid to that. I wish you every success in trying to lose your weight. Once you reduce your dose it will hopefully ec one easier 🤗

Anyone on steroids for a little while begins to recognise other steroid users, the chipmunk cheeks, under neck and hump plus the tummy...but like cancer sufferers who go bald, it’s not who you are. It’s what you are fighting and overcoming. Body proud women who are rude or derisive don’t affect me anymore. I’ve become more tolerant and also I’m in survival mode. It’s important to live and love yourself through this stress period. My friend was Slimmers World cover girl losing 4st which she put on whilst nursing her mother and aunt. Her advice was cut carbs, alcohol, milk and eat up mountains of veggies and salad meat and fish plus berries. Cereal is the enemy too sadly. I had always been slim but now people smile and talk to me everywhere so perhaps I look Jolly! Be well, take care of yourself and manage day to day.

Ompie profile image
Ompie in reply to Lollybygolly

Thank you for your very kind response. 😘

Ompie profile image
Ompie in reply to Maureengibson

Thank you for your reply. I feel for you. You have had and are continuing to have such a lot of problems. They seem painful as well. Isn’t it horrible that our weight gain makes us feel horrible and worse than anything else! It dictates our mood and how we feel within as well. I know for a fact that my 11-12 pounds now has had a HUGE IMPACT on the way I run or exercise. I’m so sluggish so it just goes to show, what weight gain on the body can do. And how important it is to lose that weight. I exercise every single day - very hard core exercise, and at the moment, I can hardly put one foot in front of another.

Maureengibson profile image
Maureengibson in reply to Ompie

You are so right about the weight gain impacting our ability to exercise. I can’t do high impact due to fusion in my SI joints, ribs and C spine. I have no chest expansion so between that and the pulmonary fibrosis I get breathless really easily. I broke a rib recently just doing a yoga stretch to the floor and walking hands to my right foot, when I had a snapping sensation and severe pain in left ribs. Bending over also makes me feel like I’m suffocating, so I stick to doing 2-3 mile walks most days. I have an electric bike which is great for when I reach inclines, and I go swimming once a weak, although I’m a weak swimmer I enjoy it.

I was actually put on steroids for polymyalgia and GCA for which steroids are the only treatment, but has come at a cost with acquiring adrenal insufficiency. Oh the joys, we just have to keep doing what we can 🤗

I'd love to be able to run even just 3 jogs. Keep it up

😔 you definitely have my sympathy, as I’m sure we all know how it feels. I was 9.3 stone, had a steroid jab for a horrible flare 6 weeks ago and lo and behold I’m now 10 stone 🤦‍♀️All I can say was my nose was never out of the fridge.

I’m trying to get back on track now, but it’s a slow old process.

Depressing as weight gain is, steroids are saviours to us really, I happily take them again and again rather than be in excruciating pain.


Ompie profile image
Ompie in reply to Chockyuk

You’re right. I have a love hate relationship with steroids. They also make me a bit of a monster and including the weight gain, this is my hate.

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