Exercise and fatigue

I have joined a health club and managed to swim 200 metres at a time. Could do more, but my arthritic shoulder complains. I have also started using the static bikes and have had a walk on the treadmill. I have put on 15kg since I got PMR last year and desperately need to get rid of the excess - apart from anything else, my wardrobe is full of garments that I can't wear at the moment! Now on 4.5mg of pred and responding well to the reduction. I am still getting very tired and find myself glued to my chair every evening. I'm taking OEP but is there any other supplement that would boost my energy?

9 Replies

  • Fatigue is one of those things in many inflammatory diseases. There is good reason to think that a carefully graduated incremental exercise regime will help to "reswitch" your body or your subconscious brain to reduce the fatigue. But going mad and suddenly doing a lot of exercise will not do the same. It will just leave you knackered!


  • Hello Anno,

    We are all very different in our responses to both pred and PMR, but I'm sure that any extra stress can cause a great deal of trauma to our bodies and therefore, please avoid sudden increases in physical work. Consider your adrenals - really struggling to get it on and you might be really slamming them. I was not doing well on my reductions for the past 2 months - messing about between 6.5mg and 8mg. In pain and having burn out a lot! Then my lovely partner gave me his viral infection. Oh Boy, did that put me under. Pain, pain and weakness that left me feeling desperate. After about 3 weeks I began to recover from the virus and, because the pain was still bad, extending down from my shoulders to my elbows and from my hips to my knees, I upped the dose from 8mg to 10mg. The result of this was, after 5 days, my pain and burn out are almost gone. I actually feel that I may be able to beat this illness. It is quite obvious to me that most of the pain etc was due to PMR, not to the pred reduction side effects.

    I too have a wardrobe full of clothes I can no longer wear, but I keep a strict eye on my diet. I eat only one full meal per day and make do with low calorie snacks to keep me going. No sugar or added salt which would bloat me up.

    I have forgoten about "exercise" . I feel I do enough of that with housework and gardening etc.

    I still weigh only well over what I did before I was ill and working. I sometimes do gentle stretching exercises, but that's all.

    We all want to get off steroids if we are honest, but this drug knocks back inflammation like no other, therefore don't fight it. As Sharon has said, this illness goes when it wants. We have very little control over that fact. Don't fight the steroids by giving them more work than they can cope with. Chill, chill and more chill. Gentle exercise and cut the calories where you can, but accept the fact - if you are more laid back, then you are much more likely to put this nasty baby back to sleep.

    To be honest Anno, I think that all the vitamins and suppliment I take are of no use what so ever unless I get the steroid doses right. Suppliments do help, but they will not cure me on their own.

    If you are in pain and getting burn out every day then take heed. You need to rein in and relax. The static bike is probably OK as are gentle stretching exercises, but I would forget the rest.

    Try to remember that exercise does not make us lose much weight. It tones us up. Reducing our calorie intake is the best way to slim down.

    Today, after 5 days on 10mg I have felt no pain and no burn out. I have been much more active because I have felt so much better.


  • Hi John, I think you are doing really well, one thing i just cant do is swim, As for the weight gain it seems to be par for the course i have found i can ride a bike without any problems but each of us are different. I am down to 2.5mg after 18months of PMR and just starting to loose weight oh boy it is such a long road to recovery. I do hope you continue with your exercise and work on the weight.

  • Thanks for the comprehensive reply, Pats. I find swimming the least arduous exercise, probably because I was always a 'water baby' from an early age. A gentle ride on the static bike is also OK. I don't seem to get out of breath easily doing those two.

  • Hi steveives, Who's John? I haven't downloaded a photo but if I did you would see an elderly lady! Thanks anyway for your reply!


  • Ah, thanks John_and_Susan, Now I see that Steve got us mixed up. I will take your advice on board.


  • All this talk of exercise is making me feel inadequate and envious! I collapse with exhaustion after just a couple of minutes light manual work and as for my legs, my thigh muscles have packed their bags and moved to the other side of the planet now, I can't even run two steps! Any ideas what I can do about this?

  • Hi Anno,

    Well if you're a true water baby then the swimming's fine. I enjoy a good walk when I feel well and always feel better for it the next day. I also have a static bike which is festooned with part of my wardrobe most of the time. As I live in a three storey house and have a pet house rabbit who sheds like mad, I spend at least half an hour a day hovering. I'm still over weight, but not by much, but I do have a very strict diet. I can still get into my size 12 jeans, but can't get rid of the midriff bulge or the 40 inch boobs.

    Congratulations on getting down so well on the steroids. I will be giving that another bash soon. I do so long for the days when I was well!!! That's the one thing we all have in common, I know.


  • Hi GreyOwl,

    Not being able to do much physically must be so frustrating for you. If you could be refered to a physiotherapist then I'm sure they could suggest floor exercises which would help strengthen all of your muscles without having to cope with body weight. I have a set written out on a sheet of cardboard and they can all be done whilst laying down, even on the bed. I did them a lot when I was first ill.


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