Weight Gain due to Steroids

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 5/31/2011 9:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone!

I had a question about losing weight after coming off of steroids. Today, I went to the doctor and I weighed in at a shocking 197 lbs for my 5'6 frame. Prior to this, I stayed around 155-160, and the most I've ever weighed to date was 185. I have never really been on any maintenance medication for my asthma before, so today she put me on Flovent, and we discussed cutting back on steroid packs. I have had to use one a month for the past 7 or 8 months, and I've put on an astonishing 35 lbs. I discussed the concern with my doctor (who said that my blood work, cholesterol, etc was all fine, so she wasn't worried) and she said that coming off steroids will help a lot (due to water weight) but also that being able to be more active now that I have less stress on my lungs should help, too.

Has anyone been in this situation? Right now I feel like a complete and utter whale. I've got full on moon face (which I've slowly had to get used to because, heck, it meant I could breathe), and I know I'm retaining a lot of water in my abdomen area. If anyone has lost weight after coming off steroids, can you offer me some insight?

Also, any insight on Flovent, and your experiences with it would be fantastic, too.

Thanks! :)

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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 16558
   Posted 6/2/2011 10:34 PM (GMT -6)   
geekgal, cute name, I am a geek too...

While I wasn't on steroids for asthma, I was on them for UC and I know exactly how you feel!! What dose are you currently on? Prednisone is an evil drug, it can yield great results but the way it changes your body can be awful. I was up and down on various doses for the past year and I ballooned up WAY higher than I've ever weighed. I am a petite person, 5'3" and I've always naturally weighed 110-120 pounds without trying to stay slim - I had never weighed over 120 in my entire life...

While on prednisone, my weight was 150+. I didn't look bad but I didn't feel like myself. I finally tapered off prednsione a few months ago and I am still carrying a bit of extra weight. Only 10 pounds but I would like to eliminate it. I noticed that at 4mg, my appetitie decreased a ton. That was the point where I started seeing my weight drop, it dropped slowly but it's consistently been going down since stopping pred. It sounds like we had similar weight gain, 30-40 pounds. I would think you will be able to llose the bulk of the weight just from your appetitie being reduced but the last 10 or 15 are a chore. I have been trying to okeep very active and eat smaller, healthier meals. Hopefully we are able to get back to our goal weight.

I have heard lowering salt can help reduce bloating and water retention. I have also heard that keeping your calories consistent while on pred can help reduce weight gain. I know I ate a lot while I was on steroids, I was always hungry.

I still have a bit of moonface. I think it is improving but it's not gone.
Co-moderator: Ulcerative Colitis
Diagnosed with Pancolitis & Migraines. Battling Extreme Exhaustion | Past Meds: Prednisone + Cortifoam + Asacol (3600) + Canasa + Rowasa + 6mp + Allopurinol
Currently: Asacol (3200mg) + 6mp

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/4/2011 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the info, notsosicklygirl! Right now I'm coming off a 20mg (twice a day) dose of Prednisone. I also had a Corisone shot 2 weeks ago to open up my airways. My doctor put me on Flovent twice a day, which is keeping my breathing clear, but it's also keeping me up at night. I'm hoping once the steroids come completely out of my system and I get used to the inhaler it will be easier. Before, it was my coughing that kept me up at night. Now, it's the inhaler. I just can't win. lol.
Asthma, GERD, & Insomnia.

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/21/2011 5:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been on and off steroids now for over 40 years. By the time I was 39 I weighed 277 (not just because of steroids, I'm no fool, I was eating like there was no end, :) ).

I'm 56 now. I weigh 115 lbs. and have for ten years. I still have to take steroids (I have hyper IgE and taking Xolair didn't help a bit, asthma is bad enough to have to have the nebulizer every six hours around the clock).

The difference? I started a lowcarb diet ten years ago, and after I lost the overweight, I continued on it. I have Celiac (didn't know it though...just knew I didn't feel well eating gluten, so thought Protein Power diet would help with food choices..boy did it!).

I do go up about four to five pounds when on oral steroids and then once weaned down, I lose that four to five pounds again. I also take Symbicort and depening on my status, medrol injection (more steroid), etc.

I've 'attempted' to be 'bad' and go off my lowcarb ways a couple of times (feeling sorry for myself) and the pounds return rapidly....so I'll just stick with what works. I think different things help different people, and you are wise to ask others how they cope with it.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/19/2011 12:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello!  I had to look at who posted this  because it sounded like ME!  Exactly!  After the Advair scare in 2005 (side effect could be death), I opted for another medication.  My doctor put me on Flovent, Singulair and it worked for a few months.  I noticed within the past three years I've made more visits, needing more medrol shots AND prednisone packs (same visits...terrible, huh?).  I gained an embarrassingly 40 pounds since 2007.  I have moonface, buffalo hump, insomnia, and mood swings.  Oh dear, look at me!  shocked    The good thing is, three weeks ago, I saw a new doctor who took one look at me and REFUSED to give me anymore Prednisone.  He treated me for allergies, which didn't work.  He had me take Zyrtec and medication for acid reflux...which I'm still wondering if it even helps or not.  idea    I have not had any steroids in my system in three weeks...can't breathe all too well when physical, however, I did lose 6 pounds.  I was surprised!  Maybe it's all psychological, but I feel CLEAN!  My moonface is starting to slim a bit (or so I am told by my sister who only sees me every other week).  My body feels wonderful....but, again, my exacerbations come on with physical activity.  After my visit last week, I was put back on Advair, and another Medrol shot.  We'll see how this goes. 
Good luck with yoru treatment and I hope I helped you in some way...I'm also glad to know there are other people out there in the same boat as me. 

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 8/19/2011 10:39 AM (GMT -6)   
I've had really good luck with Advair, and I'm one who refuses Prednisone after taking it for another condition and suffering dire consequences. Hope it works as well for you as it has for me.
Ulcerative colitis diagnosed in 2001; symptoms as early as 1992. In remission since 2006 with Remicade.
Inflammatory osteoarthritis; osteonecrosis from steroids
Grave's disease successfully treated with radioactive iodine and now on Levothyroxine.
Type II diabetes induced by steroids.
Meds: Remicade, Colazal, Levothyroxine, Mobic, Metformin

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