Hi, everyone out there. Do any of you feel like I do on prednisolone. I was on 20, then 15 now 12.5. I seem to want to eat all the time, this usually is worse after 6pm. the thing is I even eat when im not really hungry, last night I got up twice and ate some cake. its like I cant control my urge to eat.. any ideas how to stop this. I know I should have self control, but the urge is stronger than the control, and of course my weight is going up x

18 Replies

  • Yes - excessive hunger is one of the over 80 listed side effects of pred! I have been lucky - I had a similar problem before I went on pred - every afternoon about 4.30 I was desperate for SOMETHING to eat, preferably carb and sweet which was not me, I really don't go a bundle on that sort of food normally. Within days of taking the first tablets it stopped which was just as well as I'd put on weight with PMR because of being inactive. You can also put on weight with pred even without eating more so it's a double whammy and that happened to me later.

    The only ideas I can offer are to consciously NOT buy or bake the things you crave - if there isn't cake in the cupboard you can't eat it! It is a behavioural control you need to aim for - when you crave something, get up and go for a walk or just make a cup of tea or get a glass of water. Not a walk to the nearest shop though! It was relatively easy for me - I needed gluten-free carbs so if I didn't buy them they weren't there. My husband never eats cakes or biscuits either and we rarely had visitors who would expect that sort of thing.

    Another possibility may be to try a low carbohydrate diet. Pred changes the way our body metabolises carbohydrate and one of the risks with pred is that you can become diabetic. It isn't know exactly how this happens but it is possible that the sugar/insulin balance gets messed up and so our blood sugar level isn't right and that leads to craving food. It is common enough that eating a chocolate bar results in a rush of sugar and then the blood sugar level plunges very quickly so we are desperate for something else soon afterwards. This doesn't happen if you eat a meal with only a small amount of carbohydrate and providing there is a decent amount of protein and fat we are satisfied with less and don't have the low blood sugar result afterwards.

    Keep a box of low calorie ready-to-eat snacks in the frig - cucumber, carrot sticks, that sort of thing. They are crunchy so satisfy the "my mouth wants something to do" feeling.

    One way may be to join a slimming club where you have to track what you eat so you become more conscious of it. They may also have tips for dealing with these cravings because it must be a problem they often meet.

    It is something that you would be better to get sorted out now though - if you later discover you are one of the unlucky ones who develops diabetes you will have an even harder job. Good luck - because I know it is hard.

  • Hi pmrpro, enjoyed reading your post. your right what's not in the cupboard cannot be eaten. I know its wrong buying these foods, so yes I am going to get a lot tougher with myself, also my dad, granddad had insulin dependant diabetes from aged 50 onwards., and my sister in pregnancy. she also got osteoporosis aged 54 which I have heard is a side effect of prednisolone. as for the walk to the shop, its about 2 miles there and back, so most of the time I wouldn't have the energy.(thank goodness) I was doing the slimming world diet but still put the weight on. I was looking at the dukan diet, but it says ask your doctor first, so will do that, I have also thought about weightwatchers x

  • I posted a link from the NHS about the Dukan diet - did you see it? It isn't without risks and can be quite expensive. You might find this link interesting though:

    where a doctor writes about dealing with diabetes by keeping your carb intake low - but not as low as the Dukan diet - so you lose weight but also have a well balanced diet.

    That is basically the diet I eat. I was told 2 years ago I should cut this, cut that - I had been quite ill at the time and the dietician was telling me I couldn't have the things that are normal in the UK even on a weight loss diet (I live in Italy) which really upset me at the time. So I compromised and cut some things and changed others. There was quite a push for me not to eat meat more than once a week - my GP who is a former rheumatologist believes it is bad for arthritis - and that seemed a mountain to climb. I love meat - but I never ate more than about 4oz a day anyway, just most days as is normal in the UK isn't it? Now I don't mind eating fish 3 times a week and am also happy having days with no meat or fish. I adore cheese - it was such an easy "go-to" but that has been cut drastically too. I eat loads of salad or veg. I've been steadily losing about 2lbs a month whilst still on pred and am wearing clothes from 8 years ago, the early days of PMR! If I want a cake or an icecream - I have it, but only as a treat, once every few weeks.

    I also investigated the 5:2 fast diet - also a diet where you can eat most things in moderation and combined some of the ideas there. Having a "fast" day is quite easy to manage I found because you can plan things to take your mind off food! It also gives you ideas about how to have a really good plateful of food without it having loads of calories. When you know you CAN have a treat now and again it makes everything much easier to bear.

    If you go to a slimming club they need to know you are on pred and some are better than others are getting their advice right. I did Rosemary Conley years ago (pre-pred) and lost weight but got stuck because the expectation for my weight loss was too much. It had got me into the way of exercising though and that continued even with PMR until I moved here.

    I suppose it's too much to hope the rest of the family could do with losing a bit of weight is it? When you all eat the same it is easier - my husband eats so little I wonder how he keeps going but last night we both had spag bol and the platefuls were the same size. That wouldn't have been the case 2 years ago. But I was full afterwards - and pudding was one single square of dark Lindt chili chocolate :-)

  • Thanks pmrpro I will read up on the link you have given me, and yes I remember now your post on the dukan diet, and your right it does sound expensive, will give that one a miss. ah well onwards and upwards, (but not my weight hopefully) x

  • Before I was diagnosed with PMR I totally lost my appetite. After starting pred I can eat a full meal and feel as if I could eat it again. I am always hungry. My rheumatologist says that he sees people really balloon up because of this pred side effect.

  • hi piglette, did you manage to control your hunger and weight. if so any ideas would be appreciated x

  • I have not been able to control the hunger as such, but I have found if I have a mug of green tea, it takes my concentration off food. I have only started trying this idea this week, so I am still working on it. In fact it is quite restful sipping green tea I have found. I am assuming green tea has not got too many calories!!!

  • green tea is meant to be healthy and ive heard can aid weight loss, so worth a try. also no calories unless it has sugar added to it. x

  • Keep a Cucumber (wrapped in foil in the fridge) when hungry cut one inch of it and eat it. The Amazing Cucumber.

  • does this reduce the craving to eat?, I will certainly give it a try x

  • Wow didn't know a cucumber had so many uses, what a great read, also the web site was also good to read x

  • I had to laugh, reading the posts about diet. Like the rest of you I found I had an uncontrollable appetite after starting on pred. At the beginning I didn't mind, because I had lost a stone while I was so ill - before diagnosis of GCA - and hated the look of the skinny person in the mirror. However I was too complacent and put on two stones! Now I am trying to lose weight slowly. I did try the 5:2 diet but it didn't work for me. On the five non diet days I was so STARVING that I went completely bonkers and ate everything within sight! Good luck to all fellow dieters!


  • hi warthog, hope your managing to reduce your weight slowly but surely, are you following any special diet or just eating healthier. I seem to get more hungry in the evening and during the night. x

  • Hi dillydally1, I have been on my diet for all of two days (!) so can't give you a progress report yet. I am just calorie counting, which is so easy, as nearly everything you buy has the calorie count written on it and I have a calorie counting book that finds the other things. This has always worked for me in the past. I like to do it slowly at just one pound a week. However, THIS time I feel as if I have been cruelly starved, so it's going to be harder!

  • good luck x

  • dillydaily

    Short answer is Yes it worked for me. Try it and tell us if it works for you.

  • If I want a snack between meals I go and brush my teeth. Somehow the clean teeth feeling stops me wanting to eat.

  • thanks x

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