View Full Version : Getting fat???

10-08-2006, 08:02 PM

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can lose weight on steroids or even if this is possible???I am really ballooning and getting very depressed about this. The doctor told me that it is immposible to lose weight when taking 15mg of prednisone. Is this true? Is there any diet that I can do that will help me lose weight? I am dropping down in meds in a few days but not significantly as I crashed a few weeks ago when I went down to 10mg. Or can someone give me hope that when my prednisone gets lower that I will lose weight?

Thanks for your help.

10-09-2006, 01:24 AM
Hi tanyaw

In my own experience, it is hard losing weight while taking steroids, However don't despair, When the dose is decreased and or minimized, the extrz blubber goes away :)

However, it does'nt hurt trying to be a bit active every or every other day :)

Hope this helps !!

10-09-2006, 12:31 PM
I found this article on Oprah's magazine "The Doctors Are In" dealing with Prednisone and wheight loss. The person asked if it was possible to lose weight while taking prednisone, here is the doctor's response: "Prednisone has more knocks against it than a front door on Halloween night. It causes abnormalities in the way your body metabolizes fat, carbohydrates and protein. And it also causes you to retain salt, which can contribute to your inability to lose weight. But the bottom line to your bottom line is that you still need to think of weight loss like the kitchen doors in a restaurant: One door's for going in, and one door is for going out. In your case, it's a matter of calories in through food, and calories out through physical activity and metabolism. So, yes, you can lose weight while taking the medication. And, no, you don't need to wait to get started. Start with small changesówalk 30 minutes a day, and take charge at a restaurant: Ask for cut vegetables instead of a breadbasket. Ask for the fish to be grilled in sesame or peanut oil. Tell them to hold the cheese, bacon bits and croutons from your salad. Small changesówhen you add them all upócan make a big difference."
I've also heard people say that they were able to lose weight while on Prednisone with a diet prescribed by Elaine Gottschav in her book, "Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet". I don't know if it works or not and I am not recommending it, I've just heard people say that they were successful using it!!
I hope that this was helpful
Peace and Blessings

10-11-2006, 08:53 AM
I've lost about 13 pounds with this gastroenteritis, but I sure wouldn't recommend this method of weight loss to anybody--
UNLESS you love green jello! (ugh)

the wingless one
10-11-2006, 05:47 PM
Cutting down your dosage will definitely help with the weight loss...also I try to limit my sodium intake to avoid retaining water and eating lots of fruits and veggies.

10-12-2006, 11:07 PM

Thanks for your responses as I see myself expanding. Much of my weight gain has to do with self-pity and lack of control. In saying that, I am starving all the time especially at night which is not normal for me. I am exercising to the best that I can but I need to watch my diet!!! I cannot let this take control of me...also I got a bit of a shock today that I may need a kidney biopsy. If anyone can give me LUPUS DIET pointers as to what is good for us or not, I'd really appreciate it. I have two small kids and I really need to be around for at least the next twently years to see them make it to adulthood...I feel so out of control of everything if I could take control of my diet, I will be one step closer to conquering this condition.

10-13-2006, 04:32 AM
Hi Tanyaw :lol:
When I was diagnosed with Lupus, I was told that I should cut down on red meats. I began eating only fish and fowl (no 4-legged animals at all!) and have pretty much stuck to that for the past 20 years. I do not eat any fried foods (with the exception of french fries once in a very blue moon!) and I always remove the skin from any fowl that I eat. I eat lots of salmon, and fresh tuna (never canned tuna). Also, I love sea food!
Additionally, I eat LOTS of fresh fruit and nuts (I eat these instead of sweets and for snacks). I also eat lots fresh vegetables or steamed vegetables or (my favorite) grilled vegetables. I love baked potatoes, but I do not use sour cream and very small amounts of butter. I eat no cheese from a cow, nor do I drink cow's milk (I love goat cheese and small amounts of soy milk or rice milk).
Recently, I have eliminated chocolate in hopes that it will help to reduce the number of migraines that I get.
No white bread - only 7 grain or squaw bread. I stay away from processed foods of any kind (no boxed, frozen or prepared meals or foodstuff). I use only olive oil (salads, sauces, etc.)
Water, water, water,water,water!!!!!!! To help in detoxification due to the amount of medicine.
I know that this sounds like a pretty bland and strict diet. But, I have been doing it for so many years, I've experimented and found really creative ways to prepare my food - I make my own salsa every other day and use it instead of creamy sauces or gravy. I make my own salad
dressings and marinades (my staples are olive oil and balsamic vinegar).
Sugar is a problem because I have not yet found a substitute that I am not afraid of. Right now, I am just using plain sugar, but only to cut the bitterness of things (not to sweeten). That has been hard 'cuz just this side of bitter ain't real tasty (lol). I HATE honey, so that's out - so the search for a safe sweetener is still in progress!
Along with a healthy diet..I exercise regularly. I try to do SOMETHING every single day (even if it is just sitting in my chair doing leg lifts, arm flexes etc.)

I hope this was helpful. Hopefully, someone else will have some helpful suggestions and advice for you :lol:

I wish you the best

10-13-2006, 06:20 AM
Ny brother in law is diabetic and a dietician suggested it to him because he's a sugarholic - I've tried it for cooking and for cereal, tea, etc. - I can't tell the difference from the sugar taste. I'm afraid of artificial sweeteners and things like mannitol and sorbitol give me a nasty upset tummy, so it's been hard to find a substitute for sugar. I know a lot of people swear by stevia, but to me it makes everything taste like licorice - ugh! So far the Whey Low has worked great with no aftertaste or GI side effects - other than a slightly lower cooking temperature, it also works for baking, just substitute one/one for sugar.

I take an herbal supplement called feverfew daily to prevent migraines because I used to get them frequently, and cannot use the prescriptions meds like imitrex because of my previous strokes. Although it has not prevented them altogether, it has reduced the frequency and severity from 1/2 a week to 1/2 a month. There are a few food triggers I have to avoid - red wine being the worst - I can't even cook with it.

10-13-2006, 10:24 AM
Dear Susie,

Your advice is great and I wish that I could stick to that and be so in control. I am an avid baker and do eat very healthily and have cut down like crazy on reat meat and eat loads of fish like sardines and salmon but I have a HORRIBLE sweet tooth! The sugar drains me and makes me achy yet I still continue...I exercise almost everyday also. I need to take control and find that motivation from within. That's why I like this bulletin board so that I can be inspired...Thanks again to everyone...

10-13-2006, 11:09 AM
Hi Susie, I am just wondering why you don't drink cow's milk or eat cheese? Is that a trigger food for you or something not good for lupus people??? Thanks for your response.

10-13-2006, 11:12 AM
I know at one time doctors told everyone to eat more fish because it's good for your weight and your heart, but too much fish can be bad for you because of the mercury levels - children and women who are or plan to become pregnant should be especially careful about eating fish. The same caution applies to fish oil or omega-3 supplements made from fish. In fact, the USDA is considering amending its food pryramid guidelines abpout eating fish.

The Environmental Protection Agency has guidelines for fish consumption for children and pregnancy women but it's probably a good idea for all women to observe them - women generally tend to have more body fat than men so our bodies tend to accumulate more mercury and heavy metals.

Per the EPA, shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish are particularly high in mercury, so avoid eating those fish at all. Grouper, marlin, orange roughy, halibut, tuna (canned, white albacore), fresh bluefin tuna or ahi, sea trout, bluefish, and Maine Lobster all have high mercury levels and should only be eaten once or twice a month.

Limit your diet to two meals per week of other fish. Stick to shrimp, light tuna in a can (not albacore or white tuna), salmon, pollock or catfish, all of which are lower in mercury than other kinds of fish. Anchovies, calamari, whitefish, ocean perch, scallops flounder, haddock, rock lobster, sole, clams, oysters and Tilapia are all considered lower-mercury and can be safely eaten twice a week.

Avoid local fresh catch unless information is available on the safety of local fish.

10-13-2006, 08:25 PM
That is great advice. I am clueless about fish due to the fact of where I live. My fish is limited to sardines, light tuna, salmon and a local fish called Hammour from the Red Sea. People cook there fish in the deep fryer so I tend only to eat it at home as I just steam it. What is good is that our chickens are not injected with hormones here and neither are the lambs. I am rarely eating red meat as it is fatty and not very digestable. Is smoked salmon good for you? I like to eat that will a WASA cracker for lunch or a snack. Thanks for your time and info.

the wingless one
10-13-2006, 11:58 PM
Don't feel bad about being hungry all the time...it is just the prednisone...I remember when I just started taking prednisone and was on 40mg a day I would eat nonstop and when I wasn't eating I was thinking about what I was going to eat next. I remember going out to lunch with a coworker and he was SHOCKED because I totally cleaned my (very large) plate. I used to eat tiny portions (my coworkers would make fun of how it would take me all day to finish my breakfast) and after the prednisone everyone was like "WHOA what happened to you?"

I've read that a vegan diet is the best for lupus but I've never tried it as I can't bring myself to cut out all meats, eggs, etc...but if you're desperate...it's probably a good diet to lose weight on hehe.

10-14-2006, 04:15 AM
This is all such GREAT info. I lost a lot of weight when I first got sick. Then, went on prednisone and gained it all back, plus more. I know what you mean..I want to eat ALL the time. I just asked my doctor about a referral to a nutritionist, but she said it's just going to be common sense and stocking your home with healthy foods. I'm going to try your recommendations, Saysusie. It all appeals to me, and what have I got to lose but 20 pounds of extra "me?" Thanks!

10-14-2006, 09:11 AM
Generally salmon is lower in mercury than most other fish, but farm-raised salmon is higher in mercury than wild-caught. Either kind should be okay to eat once or twice a week.

I tried to get some information on the safety of fish available in Saudi Arabia, but the only thing I could find was a warning about high mercury levels in Red Sea breem, since I don't know the Arabic term for this fish, I don't know if it is the same fish you mentioned. I've never been to Saudi Arabia, but did spend some time in Egypt and Jordan as a teen and while in college - I remember first visiting the Red Sea and wondering how it got its name since it wasn't red. At that time there wasn't much tourism, but friends who live in Jordan tell me that it's become a great resort area.

One thing you do need to be careful of with smoked salmon, if you are taking immunosuppressant drugs (this could include prednisone, cellcept, imuran, cytoxan, etc.), or have a low white cell count due to your lupus, you should ask your doctor before eating any kind of smoked fish, because it can contain a bacteria called listeria, or other parasites. Remember that smoked fish like salmon is not cooked, so it does not reach high enough temperatures to kill the bacteria. Salmon that is thoroughly cooked or grilled is not a problem. Your doctor can tell you whether the medicines you are taking are immunosuppressants.

People who are immunosuppressed need to be careful about certain kinds of foods that could make them sick. Avoid soft cheeses (e.g., feta, Brie, Camembert, Stilton or blue-veined, and Mexican queso cheese) because they may contain mold spores or other bacteria. Meats should be thoroughly cooked to kill all bacteria, and leftovers should be refrigferated immediately, and reheated until steaming hot before eating. Avoid refrigerated p‚tťs and avoid raw or unpasteurized milk, raw eggs or dressings made with them like Hollandaise or Caesaer. raw goat's milks or cheese, or raw and unpasteurized honey. Wash all raw vegetables and fruits carefully before eating. Be very careful about handling raw chicken because it can contaminate other surfaces with salmonella, and be sure to cook the chicken thoroughly. If you are not sure your tap water is safe, drink distilled or bottled water.

I know it's really hard to keep from gaining weight while taking prednisone. I try to eet small meals several times a day so I don't get hungry and eat everything in sight. I drink filtered water with lime and lemon wedges, and lots of different herbal teas to add variety. Since I don't eat meat, high-protein diets aren't very practical for me - I do avoid highly processed foods like white bread, white rice, etc., I love bread so I make toast with a wholegrain sunflower seed bread and vegan butter - you might prefer to use tehina paste. Foods like oatmeal, beans and lentils, and whole grains like sesame and bulgur are very filling - drinking a cup of hot soup or broth before your regular meal can help fill you up so you want less. If you are craving sweets, fruits, ices and sorbets are a better choice than cakes or pastries. I'm a coffee drinker (decaf), so a decaf flavored coffee in a dessert flavor (actual coffee, not the high sugar instant coffee drink mixes) is my after-dinner sweet treat. If you like mint tea, try making it with a sugar sunstitute rather than sugar. I know rice is a staple in many saudi dishes, but you might try substituting different varieties of brown or wild rice if they are available - red and black rices and wehani rice can ususlly be used in any dish made with long grain rice.

If Saudi Arabia is like Jordan, you probably have access to a lot of fruits that are just seasonal, and very high-priced here in the States - things like papayas, mangoes, cassaba melons are all very expensive and not readily available here. As you probably know, dates are very high in sugar content, so they aren't a good weight loss food.

Hope this helps!

10-14-2006, 11:40 AM
Thanks MARYCAIN for all the great info! I am a Canadian living here so my diet is very plain and Wedstern oriented. I am not a rice eater and steer away from Saudi food as it is soooo high in fat. the fruit here is good but limited in a way. I also like other women lost so much weight in the sickness /diagnosis process and was quite pleased and NOW...I am puffy, eating the table legs, and just annoyed with myself for my lack of self control. I started eating pomegrantes to get my hands away from grabbing more fattening things...I don't like the fish here as it is fishy. I would love to be a vegetarian but I think I would be starving as I am not that creative. I am on immunosuppresants so I should be more careful. I am down to 12.5mg of prednisone so I am hoping that soon I will be on a low enough dose that this will all stop... Gathering LUPUS info is a full time job...thanks to everyone for helping in my education.

10-15-2006, 07:17 AM
Tanyaw; For me, yes, cow's milk and cheese are a trigger food. But it is not so for every Lupus patient. It is not that I am intolerant, I get achy and sore if I eat dairy. My doctor said that if it were lactose intolerance, I would be gassy..that does not happen with me. So, I am not sure what the mechanism is, therefore, I just avoid most dairy. Also, as Marycan said, I avoid almost all soft cheeses - but I LOVE GOAT CHEESE - hard to give that one up!

Marycain: I've tried the feverfew and it did nothing for my migraines :cry:
Where do you find the sugar substitute that you spoke about (Wheylow)? I am so cautious about sugar substitutes and I'd love to find one that doesn't scare me.
I learned my lesson about raw milk the hard way about 3 yrs ago, ended up in the hospital behind that one!
The fish dilema is so frustrating to me. On the one hand, I am told to eat only fresh tuna, lots of salmon, halibut etc. and then I hear that this is not the best idea. I'm sooooo confused :roll: (lol). I do eat fish and sea food once or twice per month only. My diet is mostly vegetables...I substitute mushrooms and eggplants for most meat dishes. When I do eat meat, it is either fish or fowl.

Peace and Blessings

10-15-2006, 08:07 AM
SUSIE - I buy the WheyLow in the local health food store, but there is a website - wheylow.com - where you can get more information and I think they have a store finder for retail places to buy. From the research I have done, it does not contain artificial ingredients or chemical byproducts, is safe for diabetics, and has a very low glycemic index, which is something I have to watch because prednisone really affects my blood sugar. What I really like is that it works well for baking and cooking as well as general sweetening, and my children don't complain that the foods don't taste right, as they did with some other things I've tried. I do use Sucanat (evaporated cane juice) sometimes but it does affect my blood sugar so I have to limit it.

I know what you mean about the fish thing - it seems like every time something is recommended because it's healthy, something else comes out the next week saying it's not. The only information I could find out about fresh fish in California dealt mostly with sport fish varieties, but I did find some general info about ways to reduce exposure to contaminants - www.oehha.ca.gov/fish/general/broch.html

The OEHHA website also has information about contaminant levels in specific areas, in case you buy anything from local fish markets, etc. I used to think my vegetarian eating was safe, but with all the e-coli outbreaks lately, I'm afraid of any lettuce or spinach that didn't come from my own garden!