Eat more 🍌 stop eggs and cheese!

Well I am down to 9mgs of prednisolone starting today so fingers crossed! In this never ending growing number of symptoms my potsssium levels have gone down and my cholesterol levels up to a level that I am worried about! So my attempts at eating cheese and eggs now need to be stopped and I am now eating two bananas a day!

Would be great to hear any recommendations for a balanced diet or to hear if anyone has seen a dietician? I also now know that the pins and needles I had been experiencing in my muscles was probably the slightly low potassium.

The diet will be waiting a week as just started a weeks holiday in Corfu. I am so proud to say my first week off since returning to full time work in April!

I love reading everyone's posts so that's for the continued support. πŸ˜€

86 Replies

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  • You don't need to stop eating eggs - it has been found that the type of cholesterol that is in egg yolk actually contributes to managing blood cholesterol levels. And in general - it is next to impossible to change blood cholesterol by diet (unless your lipid levels were massively high) since most of the cholesterol in the body is produced by the liver and that is what is being affected when on pred. In fact, lowering carbohydrate is more effective at lowering cholesterol levels.

    Here is a link to a Cleveland Clinic (a top US academic medical centre) article:

    Even HeartUK say

    Your low potassium is due to the pred too - it increases the amount your body loses through the kidneys.

  • Thanks so much as always really helpful eggs are back on:)

  • I really got out of the habit after there was so much insistence that they were bad for you even though I never believed the hype anyway (physiology said it had to be rubbish) but I do like eggs - especially fried with a bit of bacon :-)

  • Eat cheese too. A piece about the size of a matchbox daily will not go amiss. Also Mushrooms, full fat Greek style yoghurt, butter. πŸ‘

  • I can tell when my potassium and magnesium level have dropped. I get cramps everywhere and in odd little muscles you just wouldnt expect, as well as the big cramps that leave pain in the muscle for the next few days! Also my cholesterol levels spiked and was put on statins which really messed up my kidneys for a time. Now awaiting a consult at the lipid clinic to see what happens next

  • Thanks that is really helpful to know I really want to avoid statins and getting your reply reinforces that! I may have too I know but don't want any more tablets!!

  • There is a lot of reading to do about that!

    When the figures from the pharmaceutical companies trials were re-analysed by independent scientists it was found that you got different results when you considered men and women separately (nothing new there then!). While statins benefit men whether they have had a "cardiovascular event" or not, for women the story is different: a woman who has not yet had an "event" will not benefit from being put on statins, a woman who has will have a reduced risk of having a second. So - they don't work preventatively for women!

    After I had a horrible reaction to a statin and stopped it off my own back the cardiologist was perfectly happy - "probably makes no difference to you...". And at least one lists PMR as an "adverse event" in the data sheet.

  • I agree whole heartedly whith what PMRpro has said (and others) but would like to add just one comment :-

    Eating 2 bananas a day will make you put weight on, try eating 1small avocado a day, full of good fats and many vits and minerals. :-)

    Pete :-)

  • I would have thought gram for gram an avocado was higher in calories. On the other hand I would have said both are good for a healthy diet. We should be looking for long term healthy eating and almost forget the calories, but ensure that we have the right nutrients and limit the amount so we do not overindulge.

  • Thanks piglette, I agree with you, but 2 bananas a day, unless they are very small, is an awful lot of carbs while on steroids.

  • Yes - I agree with PeTee. Two modern bananas (they are enormous these days!) probably have a good 50g utilisable carb - which is more than is recommended in a low carb diet for weight loss. Before you eat anything else...

  • There has been a good book written called ' The big fat surprise' not quite the same as we have been talking about, but it divulges that we have been told to eat the wrong fats for about 50 years. Just a slight diversion. But itjust goes to show how we can be mislead be incorrect information

    :-( :-)

  • Hi PeTee, wasn't it Ancel Keys who put forward the idea of bad fats in the 1950s, now called the biggest health scam in history. Of course the food industry leapt onto the idea, producing look alike butters, vegetable oils in bottles etc. And made a fortune. Not to be left out this was followed by Big Pharma and things such as statins. I did read that Keys was backed by the sugar industry in a book I read called Sugar, Fat and Salt. The real joke was that Ancel Keys was not a medical man, but an economist.

  • That's it. Hole in one :- fatigue has cought up with me. its a fascinating subject, but I'll just have to go to bed. But I have more to add soon.

    Keep smiling

    Pete :-)

  • Thanks I had previously done the harcombe diet and eaten a lot of egg cheese and red meats and my cholesterol came down, so will be interesting to read the book you recommended thanks

  • There is another book. The 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet, by Dr Michael Mosley.

    Pred can and does create the massive problem of steroid induced Diabetes. Weight gain, increased appetite etc.

    The diet is for people with Diabetes steroid induced or not, although there is a useful side-effect of the diet Diabetes or not - weight loss!

    I had gained 2 stone and was size 18/20 up from size 14. And was on diabetic meds, although resisting the threat of insulin!

    I have done the diet, and lost the 2 stone, come off all diabetic meds, BP normal, and am in Diabetic remission.

    Now I follow the Mediterranean diet to maintain this weight.

    You are right, it is low fat diets and too many carbs which have caused the diabetic/ obesity problem worldwide! But try telling your doctor! Most just won't believe it even though it is sitting right in front of them.

    All the Best. 🌺

  • Now that's what I call up to date will the latest avice!

    Well reserched PMRand RA :-)

    I have found that some diabetic nurses are still telling us to eat massive amonts of carbs and reduce fat like butter. No wonder diabetes is on the rise. :-(

  • And have you noticed how many of these so called experts are overweight themselves?

  • Yep, and while we are on the subject of misinformation and as PMRpro mentioned somewhere here, there is a lot of reading to do. So just to highlight two more good reads which are both written by Dr Malcolm Kendrick. The first is called 'The Great Cholesterol Con' and the other is, 'Doctoring Data'. It will really highlight how tricks could be played by Big Pharma to make the most money and keep us on drugs that sometimes are not really essential.

    My usual disclaimer.

    These comments are not intended as medical advice and have no proof of how Big Pharma operate. The statements are taken from the books.

    Keep well :-)

  • The Locum doc I saw last week was utterly horrified when I mentioned the cholesterol con! He said I shouldn't listen to such rubbish!

    Okay so my cholesterol is "terribly high!" 6.1. Now It wasn't long ago when that was good! Then they moved the goalposts twice ! It is now 2.4! To accommodate Statins?

    Steroids increase cholesterol by approx 2 points.

    But what do I know?

  • Oh dear mine is 7 and my gp is only planning a routine follow up! I don't smoke but am

    Officially fat! I was going to see how things are at my next 6 weekly bloods before I panic!

  • Don't panic. There is a way out. Not easy but it is there! πŸ‘

  • So what do I know as well :-(

    So here is another statement. Don't worry about total cholesterol value too much unless it is extremely high, its more important to get the ratio correct i.e. HDL LDL and and and other factors. The body cannot exist in a healthy state without cholesterol. As PMRpro said (I think) 'The liver makes most of the cholesterol'

  • I have NEVER understood the logic of telling diabetics to eat MORE carb and then giving them medication to reduce their BS levels!

    i wouldn't mind so much if the body wasn't perfectly able to function without any carb once it adapts which takes a few days, never mind less carbs. I've lost count of the number of times I've shouted at the article telling me the body MUST have carbs to function! No it doesn't!!!

    Ancel Keys did much of his epidemiological study in Mediterranean countries during Lent - a point at which no self-respecting Roman Catholic would be eating meat anyway. And omitted results from northern France and Germany - which had equally low cardiac death rates. But THEY ate lots of fatty meats and dairy products...

  • The pamphlets dished out by our health centre advising patients on how to control type 2 diabetes are published by the drug companies. The advise describing the food pyramid that one should eat is in my opinion guaranteed to make you diabetic if you're not already. If patients continue with that advice there is a strong possibility that they will eventually need metformin etc. What a great money spinner for the drug suppliers. Wow :-)

  • Well quite - and Ancel Keys was the darling of the food manufacturers. Low fat meant taking fat out of foods- and replacing it with something that made it taste "good". Enter and take a bow High Fructose Corn Syrup. Cheap HFCS did the job - not only making things "low fat" but also allowing baked goods with use-by dates of months ahead. Fantastic economics. And it was the food manufacturers lobby that made sure no research that contradicted that was funded.

  • The trouble is that "not many people know that or want to" :-(

    It's Fathers Day today, so my kids are taking me out for lunch. Lets hope its something really bad for me. Well life is too short to eat sensibly all the time :-)

  • I was on Metformin! It makes the side effects of Pred seem like a stroll in the park!

  • Yep :-)

  • πŸ˜±πŸ‘Ή

  • Thanks I have the Micheal

    Mosley book bought as holiday reading. I am currently on 2 day of my all inclusive so planned to read it as a way of preparing for my detox when I get home. I also plan to build the bike that has been in the box for three weeks and take the picnic backpack I bought for walking out of the box. I have the theory and the kit! I just need to use them! Will let you know how I get on. Thanks for the replies everyone

  • But don't overdo things physically - start with a VERY small amount. Snazzy has posted a very good discussion about exercise and PMR etc on another thread.

  • I am in the same position as you were a while ago, the weight gain from the steroids is dreadful, I have always been quite slim, now I feel like a baby elephant I hate looking in the mirror.....I am ordering Dr. Mosley book from Amazon NOW.

    thanks for your post it has really given me a boost. By the way is there a particular Receipt Book you follow foe the 'Med' diet.?

    Many thanks JayBoy.

  • You can use any recipe book - but it is carbs you need to limit so you avoid carby recipes and adapt others.

    But the internet is a wonderful cookery book!

  • Not really jayboy. It's just leafy salad, raw spinach, tomatoes, olives, Celery, cheeses, eggs, beetroot, hams, etc.

    Not all at once, no particular order and if you don't like it, don't eat it. πŸ‘

    I also have a slice of buttered black german rye bread to maontain the weight.

    You could also do the 5:2 diet.

  • Hi! I'm new to this forum but I've had PMR for almost 3 years. I work with a group of physicians in Colorado, who (mostly) agree that the Mediterranean Diet, to date, has the most medical evidence supporting its health benefits for the general population. I produced a "fun" video with some of these physicians on the Mediterranean diet which you can find here

    From my personal experience with PMR, I seem to do better with a modified Mediterranean Diet...lowering my carb consumption, even the whole grains, and upping the proteins. My struggle is finding the time to make sure I get all the vegetables and leafy greens recommended.

    I noticed that there are many more videos out there now on the Mediterranean diet, so I'm off to watch them. Best to you!

  • I suggest you start a new thread with this - go to the top of the page and you'll see a green box with "write a post". On this forum only the people who actively followed the original post and the person you reply to will see your reply and even that is a bit hit and miss I find!

    Like you, I find once I have eaten my veg, there isn't a lot of room for more so its as well I eschew carbs! But then, I do only eat 2 meals a day :-)

    PS - love it!

  • Hi PeTee, you can always have one small banana! I love banana and smoked mackerel. Probably high in calories, but lots of good nutrients for helping PMR.

  • Sounds good to me :-)

  • Calories are ok. It's carbs that do the damage!

    Except bananas which have a massive amount of sugar in them. Better to leave them out of any diabetic or reducing diet. We can live without them. My theory is that if it doesn't grow here, then we shouldn't eat it. πŸ˜ƒ

  • WebMD has a list of foods high in potassium - bananas about halfway down.

  • Dried apricots are high in potassium. I hate apricots ever since I was five years old and ate a whole bag of them!

  • I know everyone has a hate on for carbs, but potatoes and sweet potatoes (both with skins on) are among the highest sources of potassium. You can also get it from foods as diverse as halibut and beans and lentils.

  • Is that an absolute figure? Spuds were said to be the largest source of vit C in the UK - because of the amount eaten!


    Winter squash, cubed, 1 cup, cooked: 896 mg

    Sweet potato, medium, baked with skin: 694 mg

    Potato, medium, baked with skin: 610 mg

    White beans, canned, drained, half cup: 595 mg

    Yogurt, fat-free, 1 cup: 579 mg

    Halibut, 3 ounces, cooked: 490 mg

    100% orange juice, 8 ounces: 496 mg

    Broccoli, 1 cup, cooked: 457 mg

    Cantaloupe, cubed, 1 cup: 431 mg

    Banana, 1 medium: 422 mg

    Pork tenderloin, 3 ounces, cooked: 382 mg

    Lentils, half cup, cooked: 366 mg

    Milk, 1% low fat, 8 ounces: 366 mg

    Salmon, farmed Atlantic, 3 ounces, cooked: 326 mg

    Pistachios, shelled, 1 ounce, dry roasted: 295 mg

    Raisins, quarter cup: 250 mg

    Chicken breast, 3 ounces, cooked: 218 mg

    Tuna, light, canned, drained, 3 ounces: 201 mg

  • Now we on the right track :-)

  • Sounds good but no mention of gin and tonic! Thanks really helpful :)

  • Whisky and wine are fine gin and tonic not so good as sugars in the tonic, well that's what I'm sure I read. Been on a low carb diet just over 5 months and lost 31lb and have been drinking wine and whisky. Not one banana but plenty of eggs and avocado, cholesterol level is better than prior to diet change. Big benefit is not feeling bloated and mood certainly betterπŸ˜ƒ

  • Then you use diet tonic - although it is like hen's teeth to find here in central Europe! I don't LIKE "full-fat" tonic so it annoys me as I like a (no-carb) G&T.

  • Diet drinks and sweeteners in general are a poor choice. They are fattening, proof is at the supermarket till where the fat lady is pushing a trolley laden with diet drinks.

    Believe it or not.

    If it is man made, shun it!

  • Thanks great advice I love red wine too so will swap but not whiskey:)

    Well done you 31lbs is brilliant

  • Have red wine. But everything in moderation. In other words, a unit per night not a bottle! πŸ˜ƒ

  • Hi Heron, you have left off my hated dried apricots/dried fruit!

  • The list is from WebMD, not me!

  • It is on WebMD!

  • Not the list I saw, copied and pasted, and provided link for. Where is your link?

  • Hi Heron,

    It is on WebMD under High Potassium Foods -Topic Overview.

  • Okay, much longer list than the one I found.

  • I'm actually shocked about all these negative posts about bananas?! One banana per day, shouldn't be a problem what so ever especially if you move your body.

    I dramatically changed my diet a few months ago when I was first diagnosed and gained weight ...I've lost weight and I am currently at my college weight ..109lbs and I'm 5'1/12". I eat one banana per day in the morning.

  • Dear Bonnig, I think people are worried about the calories. I do agree Bananas are great, good for bowel regularity because of fibre. Help the heart rhythm with potassium and have vitamin A for eye health.

  • Hi PMRPro, aren't red peppers and guavas supposed to be top for vitamin C? I don't like those either. I am obviously supposed to live on chocolate and champagne.

  • I'm with you - eat red peppers occasionally as grilled veg. Had one in the frig and wanted to use it in a salad last night, started to slice it, popped a piece in my mouth and chucked the rest. It was a perfectly shaped Dutch one, tasted of nothing and texture wasn't enough. We get Italian ones a lot - all twisted and knarled and they taste wonderful!

    But chocolate and bubbles for ever - doesn't have to be champers for me though...

  • And yet heat kills vit C. I dare anyone to eat raw spuds to get vit C! 😏

    Spuds are particularly bad carb-wise and are banished from the plate in the 8 week diet.

    We eat celeriac chips and roast "spuds". Nice.

    Cauliflower rice, vegetable pasta. Yummy ! 😊

  • That though was the point - despite vit C being reduced by cooking, the volume of spuds eaten at the time was such that it was a valuable source of vit C!

  • Amazing that so many are consumed.

    Since my no spud diet- and I used to scoff them any which way I could, especially chippy chips! πŸ™„- I don't like them any more. Not creamed, not jacket nuffink! In fact they don't even come into my food vocabulary now. 😁

    Bread too. I thought that a lack of buttered toast would ail me considerably. Instead it made me write like Jane Austen! πŸ˜΅πŸ™„

  • Know what you mean - except I do pinch the odd one or two off OH's plate and 2 small bits of roast with the chicken every 2 or 3 weeks. He believes spuds come as chips and roasties. And that they count as veg. Even then, he only manages 1-a-day ...

    When's the book coming out then?

  • Book out when I stop getting the vapours in this ridiculously overheated weather!

    Woe is me!

  • Hi PMRPro, you are really right about potatoes, they reckon eating spuds twice a day lowers blood pressure, also it is a good source of selenium, as well as vit C, not to mention fibre.

  • He has VERY low BP at present - must tell him to stop eating chips... ;-)

  • It's not teally a hate on for carbs so much as the realisation that we have been lied to for 50 or so years to scoff carbs etc! Well, we can't hate and beat up the medics who plied these untruths, so we target the carbs.

    It's only Potatoes, bread, pasta, cereals, grains, rice and sugar that are banished. 😊🌺

  • Is that all? !

  • Yup.! You can add in full fat everything, mushrooms galore, lentils, split peas, quinoa, virgin olive oil, olives, pretty much everything except those mentioned above. πŸ˜²πŸ˜†

  • You've been reading the same info as me, I would think :-)

  • But I weigh hardly over 100 lb. I need my calories!

  • Dear PMRandRA, you should consider having potatoes as PMRPro pointed out they have a lot of nutrients. They contain protein, the skins contains fibre, they have vitamin B6 which helps synthesise serotonin which regulates mood, sleep and appetite, vitamin C which helps inhibit inflammation, thiamin, niacin which lowers cholestoral. The skins are a rich source of iron, riboflavin and calcium. In addition they contain potassium and magnesium.

    Potatoes are a super, super food!!

    It is simple carbs that should be ignored, some complex carbs are really good for our health.

  • I do fine on my 2 portions a month...

  • I must admit I only have about four potatoes a month. I do love mashed potatoes, but do not have them as I feel a lot of the nutrients are in the potato skin. Actually that is not quite true, if I see something with mashed potato on a menu I might be swayed! I am not really a chips fan like your husband, although I won't say no. I have never actually cooked chips in my life, I have only had them if someone else did the work for me.

  • Haha! I have no idea WHY he is so fixated on chips - he used to eat potato in other forms! But since he had cancer and chemotherapy a lot of things were wiped from the "I'll eat..." list. But he survived - who am I to complain if his favourite veg is chips? They are very easy - we have a small low wattage fryer (designed for caravaners) and McKain originals take 5 minutes.

  • I lived in Belgium for several years, the home of the frites with mayonnaise. They had them with everything. I must admit they make pretty good chips.

  • They do - even in grotty little vans on the roadside! That is the standard I am expected to produce - not UK sogs...

  • Hi JulieR

    Before I had even heard of PMR I discontinued statins in November because I thought they were the cause of my terrible unexplained stiffness. Now I have had to return to taking them after a recent blood test revealed a cholesterol reading at 10.7! Back down to 8 after three weeks on 20mg statins!!

    After diagnosis of PMR in January I asked my GP for a referral to a dietician because frankly I was confused about what I should or should not eat and drink. The referral was refused because my weight and BMI are good, so I wrote to the Department myself explaining the risk factors of steroids in addition to the complications of high cholesterol (a genetic family condition) and have now been invited to an appointment this Thursday, so I will let you know what they have to say.

    I have found a book called 'the Food Medic' by Dr Hazel Wallace, which I came across by chance in my library, very informative, although she does use protein powder a lot in order to sustain a vigourous exercise and work regime.

    Since diagnosis of PMR my weight has remained pretty stable but I have to be very disciplined about what I eat. I was never keen on avocado and Brazil nuts, I love milk chocolate, and I now cannot tolerate caffeine OR alcohol! PMR has caused me some horrible sacrifices!

    I'm hoping the dietician can give me some meal plans and ideas to take the stress out of eating correctly to best manage the condition. I will let you know.

    Its PMR and GCA Awareness week so I shall be spreading the word, and championing the virtues of this fabulous support network.

  • Thanks I look forward to hearing how you get on. Good luck with the dietician

  • Thank you Zebedee. ❀️❀️🌺

  • V8 vegetable juice low salt...high in potassium...

    I was in hospital er a month ago for what i feared was gca/ stroke, but turned out potassium low.

    Took rx supplements Felt better. Now I know what to look out for..

    wishing all well


  • Crumbs how scary but glad it was something that could be rectified. Thanks for the advice re the juice

  • Dear Gina, although V8 contains nutrients from all sorts of vegetables, it should not take the place of eating vegetables. Nutrients are lost and most of the fiber is removed during processing of vegetable juices like V8. They also have added components that are of questionable nutritional value. You may be better off eating unliquidised vegetables. On the other hand if you like it, it makes quite a good Bloody Mary.

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