Hi Femi! and WELCOME!!!!!!! So glad to have you.
Great question and worded beautifully!
Well...welcome to the club! Of the official "I HATE PRED" club. Believe me, you'll get a lot of support on this one!
The systemic effect of the corticosteroids over time (even if one ate NOTHING) is unfortunately...edema (water retention/swelling).
It is however something that eventually goes away when one stops the med...but even that takes time. (Some peeps who get the moonface and a swollen back...that takes a long while sometimes to disapear altogether)
Yes...avoiding salt (packaged foods, table salt, canned foods) as much as possible is an excellent way to help this problem. Pay attention to the food labels as well.
Diuretics might be an attractive solution to be tempted by...but unless your doc says the OKAY...don't use em'. In the end...they'll do more damage than good.
But natural diuretics are great! Asparagus, greenteas, coffee, Oregano seasoning, all help shed excess water weight.
A high protein, low sugar/carb diet is another idea to incorporate. Don't go pure Atkins though! But by reducing the majority of high carb "empty calorie" foods & sticking to a lot of protein (nix the coldcuts) via lean chicken/turkey/soy and greens...that helps a lot.
Also...fluids push fluids...so if you restrict your water/fluid intake...you might end up actually holding on to MORE fluids! So do drink plenty of calorie free fluids. It will aid in flushing excess water out.
Now that you're tapered down to a low dose...things will slowly start to go back to normal. If you are able to do physical activity and "burn" off an additional 100 to 200 calories per day in addition to "tweeking" a little here and there with food intake (the increased hunger may lessen now so that's good) you'll be on your way in no time. (And this shoud be a whole "way of life" and not a "diet"...I think starting the whole "dieting" thing is a set up for disaster...so instead, a life change is better, for your joint health & protection...it's something that is not "started" nor ever "finished")
Remember...it took a year to go on...it might take close to a year to come off. But the slower the better! The slower the weight comes off...the higher the chances are of KEEPING IT OFF!
All of these meds change us in so many ways...I know, at 25 I feel most of the time like a "saggy old lady" LOL...muscles?????? what are they????? LOL. Steroids left me with muscle atrophy, STREATCH MARKS! (ugh!) and really awful skin. The edema in my legs and arms are awful...I feel like a marshmallow! And even though my weight is very low...it stinks still! So yeah...I get ya...I hate my body too at the moment.
You are young so that's an advantage...your body will tend to bounce back quicker! Also...at your next docs appt. ask about thyroid testings. From prolong steroid use...there is a chance that some of your hormones & metabolism may be a little off whack.
Best wishes! Don't get discouraged!
Write back soon & again...welcome to HW
Arthritis Forum Moderator
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation & right brain venous anomoly. Partial Complex Seizures (under control!). MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Rheumatic heart & lung. Previous Lymes Disease for 10 years.
Meds: Remicade infusions 300mg Q3weeks; Intra-articular knee injections; Arthrotec; 6MP; Mesalamine 4Grams; Prednisone; Entocort; Meclizine; Augmentin; Reglan; LidoDerm; Diazepam; Restaril; Dilaudid.