Log in
7,690 members β€’ 12,863 posts

Steroid Induced Diabetes

I received a letter this morning from the GP, offering a Health and Lifestyle Appointment because a recent blood test indicated that I was in danger of developing Type 2 Diabetes. This condition does not run in our family I am not obese, I can only conclude that this is steroid induced. I have been sleeping a lot lately and experiencing a very dry mouth, also irresistible sweet cravings.

Can anyone advise me on this? Has anyone had this happen.

I expect I will simply be put on a diet from which everything yummy is excluded.

Depressing on a wet Thursday bye bye choc ices.

27 Replies
oldest β€’ newest


I am going with steroid induced. Same thing here for Mom!! Only recently since the taper has begun, has her blood sugar level come down now to the normal range. She was talked to about a diet at the beginning, and not given any medication for it. Like you, it does not run in the family and she is not obese. My Mom wanted nothing to do with the diet, but as I do the cooking of the meals I tried to take the diet into consideration for those meals. What she ate otherwise was not something I could control, so I let it be.. Until you actually start to taper the steroid your sugar level may remain high.

Wishing you the best at your appointment!!




Almost certainly the pred and it is why I keep banging on about low carb! It reduces the risk in the first place. Did they check the Hba1c or was it a random blood glucose they did?

1 like

Hi SheffieldJane,

Yep, it's another of Pred's little presents. However there is a difference in 'being in danger of developing Type2" and actually getting it.

My sugars were a bit on the high side, but GP didn't panic (as some do) and said - just think about what you eat, and we'll monitor it!

I did cut down on the usual suspects, but still having the odd treat here and there, and low and behold as I lowered the Pred, and didn't over-indulge it went back to normal.

As GP said - there is very little difference in the blood count of being okay, pre-diabetic and diabetic - so a tweak here and there will often resolve the problem.

I think because we do have a problem with Type 2 diabetes in the U.K., and other places, it is something that GP surgeries are pushed to identify nowadays. So maybe they're a bit more zealous than they used to be! Not that that's a bad thing, don't get me wrong, but I'm sure there are lots of people who's reading are a lot higher than yours.

So, a rethink of foods maybe, but as the dietician used to say to my hubby who had Type2 diagnosed after heart attack, - if you have a healthy varied diet, then that's good for diabetics and non-diabetics alike!

So don't despair, you can still have the occasional yummy cake! πŸŽ‚


Thank you for your helpful common sense everyone. It came out of the blue. My most recent blood tests were at the Northern General Hospital as part of my GP's campaign to get me on Alderonic?Acid to protect against osteoporosis. I do wish they would tell you what they are doing. Nothing was flagged up by my very clued up Rheumatologist and I get comprehensive bloods done there. When I phoned for an appointment they said it was with the nurse, so it can't be that bad. I've gone cold turkey on the cake, banned the biscuit and chucked the chocolate and I'm route marching with my step counter. I guess the appointment will be a waste of time but they will get to tick a preventative medicine box. At least I will have the satisfaction of saying that I am in my second year of no wine or indeed any alcohol and I've never felt worse.


Alendronic SJ

They may investigate anything they like - but DO tell me what you are doing and DON'T patronise me! David has just done 6 months no alcohol - because his GP had a fit at his gammaGPT liver test. It had halved so he was looking to get the occasional glass of wine - and it went up again. We know his GP won't believe he has been TT (he has) but we also now know he has almost continuous atrial fibrillation and has just started a new anticoagulant. So it occurred to us to do a bit of research - and lo and behold, atrial fibrillation raises gammaGPT, so does his new drug and so do the BP meds he's been taking for a few years. So really - it isn't a reliable measure.

Good luck for your fun appointment - at least you will have preempted her advice. Though I'll lay odds you will be told you MUST eat x amount of carbs and take something to deal with the blood sugar. Have you seen the stuff from my favourite cardiologist this week - Aseem Malhotra and the Pioppi diet?


Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly sure alcohol lowers blood sugar levels!

I got a similar letter and rang the surgery to decline the appointment, saying that I was on steroids and Dr P was looking after me, thank you very much!

As Dorset Lady says "....being in danger of developing Type 2 Diabetes and actually getting it" are two different things. However, I have very little 'added sugars' in my diet, but I do get my carbs from small portions of starchy foods and from fruit.

PS I used to work at NGH.


Yes and no...

WebMD says:

"While moderate amounts of alcohol may cause blood sugar to rise, excess alcohol can actually decrease your blood sugar level -- sometimes causing it to drop into dangerous levels, especially for people with type 1 diabetes.

Beer and sweet wine contain carbohydrates and may raise blood sugar.

Alcohol stimulates your appetite, which can cause you to overeat and may affect your blood sugar control.

Alcoholic drinks often have a lot of calories, making it more difficult to lose excess weight.

Alcohol may also affect your judgement or willpower, causing you to make poor food choices."


Oh my goodness - NO wine?? That comment made me gasp out loud. You must have a will of steel!


I agree with all of the above my husband was told he had type 2 diabetes some years ago but cut out sugary drinks and stopped adding sugar to tea and coffee he now has a fasting blood sugar done once a year which has always been normal. He eats a normal diet and chocolate ices!

1 like

Hi SJ, It does sound steroid induced doesn't it...but it's only 'danger of developing'..not actual diabetes. Why don't you have a look at the Michael Mosley blood sugar diet? Use it as a guideline maybe?? There are some great recipes in there..reducing carbs as PMRpro always says. :) Good luck.

1 like

I think point about whether fasting blood test or blood meter measurement important. Hba1c like a video of last 3 months of glucose levels..meter measures are like a photograph if that day/time. However I have always found that my meter averages across 90days same as hba1c. But on meter across day it can vary dramatically since been on pred. Now controlled by insulin. Fasting test first thing is bet 5 and 6 but 2-3 hours after pred can be 15plus. Pre pred I had very varied diet including odd choc ice with no problems so don't throw them !😊


Thank you so much for your thoughtful advice. I will be digesting it and following it.

I think I associated my pleasant little wine habit with the violent onset of PMR and I have simply lost the taste for it. I heartily approve of tipplers and tend to mistrust people who don't drink. I enjoy wine vicariously through my husband who hasn't let me interrupt his simple pleasures. 🍷


A few of us found our taste for wine changed - gone was the liking for/tolerance of heavy reds and very dry white, needed something with a bit more body, not sweet except with dessert. That has lasted. But I suspect it is like people saying they don't like whisky - you just haven't found the right one yet ;-)


Get thee behind me PMRpro πŸ˜‰


I'l pack the forked tail away ;-)


Follow this link to the Summer Newsletter 2016 'You are Not Alone' produced by PMR&GCAuk North East Support, Charity Reg No 1138409.

I have copied the first two paragraphs of a 4 page article.


Demystifying DIABETES: In relation to Polymyalgia Rheumatica & Giant Cell Arteritis

My name is Karen Craggs. I was kindly invited by the North East support group for PMR&GCA, in my capacity as Lead Dietitian for Newcastle Diabetes Service, totalk about the link with PMR, GCA and how they link to Diabetes. But most importantly, how to support the self-management of blood glucose levels through diet and lifestyle, and the myriad of medications that can accompany this unwelcome diagnosis.

My main role as a Diabetes Specialist Dietitian for Newcastle Diabetes Service, is to support people to manage their condition on a daily basis through education about the vital link between food, blood glucose, insulin production, activity levels and any medications. This can be overwhelming for most; we help to make sense of all of the treatment information, and assist the person in identifying ways to incorporate this management into their daily lives, so that they are looking after their health............

read more by following the link above.

We asked for a Guest Speaker and it was well worth it for our members. It was so clear an explanation that we asked her to write the article.

Many of our members have kept and reproduced that article for family members who were told they had Diabetes.

Please let us know if you find the article helpful.


Thanks for taking the trouble to post this clearly written, informative article. I had salmon and steamed broccoli for dinner. 😏 ho hum! ( Sambucca)


Probably what I'll have tonight (unless the calamaris look good) - but I roast it in the oven with olive oil and herbs - roasted veggies are yum!!!


A very interesting report and the 8 Week blood sugar came from this.

one point :

"What a fascinating and complicated subject diabetes is – I can’t wait to hear the outcomes of the study as they emerge and to continue to be part of improving the health of the people of the North East of England."

I hope it is OK that I hail from the South East of England ! I would not like to be excluded in my quest for better health due to my Post Code!


1 like

Hi Sheffieldjane. I was enrolled via my GP on a pre diabetic session as my blood test level showed 42. I attended a weekly session for 10 weeks followed now by once a month. As I am still on the steroids I have not been able to loose any weight but the recent blood test came back at 41 which has just taken me out of the pre diabetic group. I would suggest giving the sessions a go and if you feel you don't get anything from them then you can stop going, which is what some of our group did.


I am glad you did well Freddie. I imagine that I'd respond well to that kind of well re- training too. It's all a bit lowering though isn't it. My thin as a reed son wants to join me on my steamed veg and fish or chicken diet. He's always been a bit of a clean food nut.


I dealt with my steroid induced diabetes by firstly reading the book 'The eight week blood sugar diet' by Dr Michael Mosley. After which I put myself on his diet, no extra cost.

Yummiest food ever and I lost the 2 stone put on from steroids. I am now in remission and yesterday my doctor said well done and removed the diabetic drugs from my list of drugs. It is easy, it is free apart from the book and the grub!

If you would care to join the " Friends of the 8 week blood sugar and 5:2 diets" on facebook, you will see a bunch of lovely people who have had similar success as I have and you can ask questions until you are happy.



Thank you so much PMRandRA. I have sent for the book by Dr Michael Moseley and the recipe book too. I will pursue the FB groups too if I can figure out how. Is it just a search?

I will be seeing the nurse well armed so I can put my fingers in my ears and say la la la. I hate being told, grave fault. Anti smoking campaigns make me want to take it up.


Thanks for this post Jane. I think we are from the same mould re making the best of a bad situation through humour.

However unlike you I am already overweight, enjoying four sugars in a Costa coffee doesn't help! Plus I do smoke. NOT GOOD!

I do however love veg and not fussed about carbs so this may suit. Am hoping that my recent addiction, (not been like this since pregnancy!) since onset of PMR, to Asda caramel ice cream is not adversely affected though. πŸ˜₯


There are several groups Jane but I have found the nicest is "Friends of the 8 week and 5:2 diets". πŸ‘

On search yes. πŸ‘


Thanks will do!


I can relate to the caramel ice cream. Haagen Das chocolate covered ice lollies with caramel chunks ice cream filling. Alas, I've been found out, it's over. Yes it is like a pregnancy craving - it feels so right.

The book that PMRand RA recommended is as yet unread. It sits accusingly on my side table but I have skim read the recipes and they are appealing and not too harsh.

I am carrying a couple of stone more than I was but the walking and cutting back on carbs and sweets is making me feel more in control. I am dreading the photos in a family wedding that I cannot duck. " Oh you look well Jane"! For that read fat. πŸ–


You may also like...