Prednisone Weight

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 7/3/2007 10:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone! I haven't been around much lately. I had my colonoscopy last week. He didn't have to do any biopsies and it wasn't anything major! That was such a relief! I started my third summer class yesterday, so I am incredibly busy. I work from 8-12 in the mornings and I'm in class most of every afternoon and all evening two nights a week. Maybe staying busy will make me feel like my old self?!
My question... has anyone tried to lose weight they gained from Prednisone? I have gained about 70 pounds  devil  -  this is horrible, I know! The side effects of the medicine along with inactivity for 2 years because of my pain and fatigue have caused some weight problems for me! I started a low calorie diet on June 11 and I signed up for Weight Watchers last week. I also started walking 3 miles a day. This last week I have also started to jog about 1/2 mile of my walk. I have lost 12 pounds so far, so I feel like I'm on the right track. Does anyone have any advice or personal experiences they could share with me? I was extremely active in high school, so it hasn't been as hard to get back into the swing of things as I had expected. One year ago I couldn't even stand up from sitting in a chair. Exercising, even just for the last 3 weeks, has given me more energy and I feel more like my old self. I am hoping that this will help my Lupus go into remission. No matter what, I know it's a step in the right direction!
I hope everyone has a good holiday and is feeling as well as possible!
God bless,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 7/3/2007 10:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Heather,

I don't have any experience with Prednisone yet but I truly feel for you. It really is one of those good/bad medications isn't it? I just wanted to give you kudos for your accomplishments and getting fit. I think 12 pounds is outstanding!!! Keep it up girl :-)

Take Care
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
Co-Moderator ~ Lupus Forum 
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, Idiopathic Acute Colitis 2006, UCTD 2007
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Lyrica 50mg, Protonix 40mg, Naproxen 1000mg, Klonopin 2mg/day (tapering to PRN), Miralax 17g, Supplements

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2608
   Posted 7/3/2007 11:05 PM (GMT -6)   

I gained 60 pounds on prednisone and I agree with you. It is horrible. I've never been overweight in my life and now weigh more than I ever did just prior to childbirth. I have not been successful in loosing it because I'm still not able to be as active as I wish. I also joined weight watchers, and I think that if I could start walking three miles a day and if I would religiously follow the weight watchers diet, I could lose some weight, slowly. I doubt I'll lose it all as long as I'm on prednisone, and I doubt I'll lose much while I'm still having flares. But don't give up. At least that's what I keep telling myself.
Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren's, osteoarthritis, fibro, ibs, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision.

cellcept 1,000mg, neurontin 1,200 mg, prednisone 5mg, plaquenil 400mg, synthroid .15mg, triamterene 37.5mg, tramadol prn, lunesta 6 mg, actonel, tri-est (compounded estrogen) 7.5 mg 2xmultivitamin, calcium w vit D, fish oil, aspirin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 7/3/2007 11:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I have taken prednisone for 2 years and weigh the same as when I started.  Whether you take prednisone or not the equation is calories in vs. calories out.  Prednisone changes your metabolism but many people keep eating the same or even more in frustration when they have become less active.  Perfect formula for gaining weight and then they blame it on prednisone.
Sounds like you are doing a good job of bringing your weight down.  More exercise, limit your calories and eliminate those high calorie foods and substitute them for more nutritious ones.  If you diet you can lose the weight but most dieters regain the weight because they did not change their eating and exercise habits.  Try to identify all those foods that are high calorie and not necessary. 
Try some light weight training as well.  It will build muscle and that will help to burn more calories.
I lost 40 lbs of weight due to polymyositis and had significantly less muscle to burn calories and was a quadriplegic for several months.  The weight but not all the muscles came back and now I watch what and how much I eat and exercise regularly.  Now my challenge is to continue to gain strength and increase my I can eat more.
Just remember to reward yourself at least once a week with something bad so you don't go crazy and fall back into bad habits.
Good luck.
Mixed connective tissue disease (systemic lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis), Raynauds phenomena, Hypertension, Barrett's esophagus.
Meds: prednisone (7mg & tapering), 100mg imuran, lisinopril 40mg, maxide 37.5/25mg, norvasc 5 mg, folic acid, potassium, aciphex 20mg, multi vitamins.
Maintain your optimism and you can beat the odds.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."  Helen Keller

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 2818
   Posted 7/4/2007 12:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi heather, One of the side effects of pred. is weight gain. Yes it does change your metabolism. I have started doing some calanetic exercises which I don't have to do arobic and walking. I can't do those things because my lungs are at 40%. But hey if things are working with weight watchers and excercise and you are seeing results than you are on the right track. Plus it's building up your muscles which has to be good for fighting off bone thinning issues from the steroids. At least it will help you to protect your bones with strong muscles.

Good luck and keep at it
God Bless
Lupus, possible Crest, COPD, Cervical Cancer survivor. Osteoporosis
Prednisone 5mg, Plaquanil 800mg,Evista60mg, Effexor 150mg, HCTZ25/Triamterene37.5mg,Xanax.5mg
When things are really dark look up. You can see the stars.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 7/4/2007 10:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Heather, I'm right there with you and the others that have gained a lot of weight on prednisone. I'm like Patty and have gained about 60 pounds in the past year and weigh more than I did wehn I was nine months pregnant. There are so many health reasons that this is terribly bad for me, nt to mention what it has done to my self esteem. I give you so much credit for starting some exercise and working on your weight loss. I have good intentions everyday, but it hasn't amounted to anything yet. I just need to start.

Keep us updated on how things are going.
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Amitriptyline 25mg; Neurontin 200mg; Prevacid; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Restasis eye drops



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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 7/4/2007 1:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone for your input! I definitely have a love/hate relationship with Prednisone. It saved my life, but I have experienced every side effect possible from it.

Bill - I failed to mention that I am doing strength training 3 times week. We have a Wellness Center on campus, so that has been a big help! I actually didn't change my diet when I started on the Prednisone. I was loosing weight rapidly, like 30 pounds in a month and a half, and then overnight, the gaining started. Or so it seemed! I was on 100 mg for 2 months, and on 50+ mg for around 6 months and then over the six months I have slowly tapered down to 3 mg.

Patty - I've never been in a position where I had to lose weight either! I wish it came off as quickly as it came on!

Thanks again!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 7/4/2007 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Glad you are doing some strength training as well. 
I also lost a lot of weight, 40 lbs, but it only took about a week.  Now back to where I started but not as much muscle.  I overshot my weight goal by 10 lbs but have lost the weight in the last 3 months.  Now, it is just maintain and turn more of my old body into muscle again.
In the rehab hospital I was introduced to Tai Chi and continued a little on my own.  2 months ago I started taking instructor led classes.  Great exercise...balance, strength, flexibility, and like Yoga it is very calming.  Can be done at almost any level.  The therapists are now teaching a wheel chair version and they have a waiting list for the classes.
I have been volunteering at the rehab hospital and now assist the therapists to teach tai chi (and other things) to severely disabled people.  Lots of fun and very rewarding to realize I was there just a little over a year ago.
One "trick" I learned a long time ago was to determine those "comfort, high calorie foods" that we all love to eat and try to eliminate them except for 1 day a week.  You would be surprised at how many calories you can eliminate just by doing that and not having to eat broccoli and cauliflower.  Some might love those but not me.
Have a great 4th. 
Mixed connective tissue disease (systemic lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis), Raynauds phenomena, Hypertension, Barrett's esophagus.
Meds: prednisone (7mg & tapering), 100mg imuran, lisinopril 40mg, maxide 37.5/25mg, norvasc 5 mg, folic acid, potassium, aciphex 20mg, multi vitamins.
Maintain your optimism and you can beat the odds.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."  Helen Keller

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 7/5/2007 9:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Heather, I took massive amounts of prednisone and gained alot of weight. I lost 140 pounds during a period of remission. I did low calorie and walked 4 miles a day. (I slowly built myself up from immobile to 4 miles a day) I also did very drastic calorie restriction under close supervision of my doc. I did lose the weight. I am unfortunately back on big doses of prednisone and gaining weight; but it can be lost. Good luck Judy

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 7/6/2007 6:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Heather,

Congratulations on your weight loss keep it up . I have been inactive for almost 3 years I understand completely...Its wonderful that you are able to be so active I pray someday I will be able to return to the active life I once led... Weight Watchers is wonderful I was on it a few years ago and my doctor recommended it yesterday to me I have gained weight and was overweight to begin with and losing weight is important to me and I am sure would help me feel better....

Blessings to you,

Bi-polar Depressive, PTSD, SAD, Sleep Apnea ,Diabetes, Diabetic Neuropathy, possible Lupus or something


Tegretal 200mg ( 4 tabs a day ), Wellbutrin XL 300mg, Clonazepam 2.5mg, Lyrica 50mg ( 2 3 times a day), , Simvastin 20mg, Metformin 1000mg( 2 times a day) Tramadol 50mg ( 2-3 every 6 hours for pain) Hydrocodone/Apap 7.5 /325 mg( 1 every 6 hours ), Ibupofren 800mg every 6 hrs, Lantus Insulin 80 units at bedtime

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