People searched for “Do steroids make you gain weight?” We would like to provide detailed information on steroids in our guide to clear up the concept to answer this query. Read the guide to find out why there is a possibility of weight gain when using steroids.
Corticosteroids are commonly called steroids. These steroids are the synthetic version of the cortisol hormone. It is found in the adrenal glands, and the main function of these hormones is to reduce inflammation in the body. Read till the end to learn about steroids, their reasons, how they work, how to prevent weight gain, etc.
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Do Steroids Make You Gain Weight?
Steroids help treat inflammation conditions. Doctors often use Prednisone, a common corticosteroid, to treat various inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, rashes, cancer, asthma, inflammatory bowel diseases, and more.
In an international journal, it is published that 40+ million plus steroids are prescribed each year. Common steroids include Prednisone, Cortisone, Budesonide, Hydrocortisone, etc.
However, weight gain is a common side effect associated with steroids. Steroids affect metabolism and increase appetite. Increased appetite leads to weight gain and affects the fat storage in the abdomen.
How Do Steroids Work?
It is very important to know how steroids work. A weak immune system is the main reason for various diseases and inflammation conditions. The immune system’s role is to recognize several bad bacteria and viruses and alert our anti-bodies to fight against these harmful foreign bodies.
Our immune system fights against bacteria and viruses, protecting our body from infection. However, our healthy cells are also destroyed by antibodies. In this case, steroids help repair damaged cells and reduce chemical reactions that result in inflammation. Steroids also suppress the immune system to protect healthy cells.
Why Do Steroids Make You Gain Weight?
Various reasons make you gain weight. One study shows that weight gain is steroids’ most common side effect. Later, we will cover how to control weight gain using general strategies. First of all, let’s focus on the reasons for weight gain.
holds sodium and cuts off potassium. Some steroids, such as Prednisone, affect our bodies’ ability to hold sodium and we tend to lose potassium. Low potassium results in bloating, fluid retention, and weight gain.
Boost appetite: Steroids cause increased appetite. Steroids tend to boost your appetite, and you will take more calories when you are on steroids. Many people have noticed that their carving for more calories has increased.Well, it is beneficial for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Active fat-storing process: Your body starts storing fat in areas such as the face, abdomen, the backside of the neck, etc., because of fat redistribution. Even if you control weight gain, your body looks heavier. But the good thing is that when you stop taking these drugs, your body fat will be adjusted automatically.
One study reports that people who are taking 7.5 milligrams of prednisone for months gain weight faster than people who are on a lower dose.
Lack of physical activity in chronic and inflammatory conditions makes physical activities more difficult than ever. We don’t feel like doing anything in these types of conditions, and it adversely affects our bodies and makes them store fat.
How to Prevent Weight Gain
The very first step in the process of preventing weight gain is talking to your doctor. It will depend on your drug dose and the disorder for which you are on steroids. Your doctor may prescribe other medications and different dosages to meet your body’s requirements and prevent weight gain.
Let’s understand with an example: for asthma patients, a doctor may recommend an inhaler to provide direct medication into the lungs instead of using pills that will affect the whole body.
However, make sure to not interrupt the medication without consulting your doctor. Steroids are powerful drugs, and discontinuing these drugs without medical guidance will cause serious illness and health complications. Not to mention, it may also multiply your disorder if you are on steroids.
There are easy ways to curb weight gain using smart strategies. Give priority to a low-sodium diet and take potassium-rich meals such as grapefruit, lime beans, cantaloupe, bananas, etc. As much as possible, avoid highly processed foods. Don’t take more sodium than 2,000 milligrams.
Additionally, you can reduce weight by tricking your appetite management.
Cut down on the calories by dividing the large meals into small meals. In short, divide your three-time meals into six short meals.
Choose fiber-rich foods. Food that is slower to digest is far better than processed foods. For example, eat brown rice instead of white.
Drink plenty of water. Drinking water helps you burn calories and ultimately prevent weight gain.
Add at least 25-30 grams of protein to your meals. One study found that adding a good portion of protein is effective in weight management and curbs appetite.
The last but very effective way to prevent weight gain is to get involved in physical activities. It is a little tricky to do physical activities when you are not feeling well, but it works.
Do some workouts. Regular exercise keeps you fit and slim.
How to Lose Weight
Well, this is the main section of this guide. So many people gain weight even after they do many things to prevent it. However, the best part about steroids is that they will come off once you stop taking the drug.
The weight you gained during the medication will drop in a couple of months. Also, your increased appetite and water retention get lower over time, but remember, you have to stick to a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Doctors also advise eating nutritious foods and engaging in workouts and exercise to stay healthy and fit. When you feel well, doing exercise also becomes easier and resolves the problem of being overweight.
There is no easy way to lose weight. Although some diet plan programs and dieting apps claim to help with weight loss, the best way to lose weight is to exercise regularly and eat nutritious foods. It might be a slow process, but you will lose weight permanently.
Weight loss is a slow and sometimes painful process, but some people achieve it in a limited timeframe. You can also lose weight by tracking your calories, avoiding foods that make you gain weight, drinking water, and doing a little exercise daily.
Using steroids for a long period may lower the natural production of steroids in the adrenal gland. If you are experiencing steady weight gain, contact your doctor. They will help you with rescheduling dosages and medication. They may also recommend tailored diet plans and specific exercises to prevent the side effects of steroids.
Take the Message Home
In this guide, do steroids make you gain weight? Have you learned that steroids are very effective in treating some inflammatory diseases? But these potent drugs come with some unwanted side effects, such as weight gain. Weight gain is the most common side effect, after insomnia or mood changes.
It is tricky to stay at a healthy weight when you are taking steroids. Gaining or losing weight is a symptom for people with IBD. To avoid weight gain, you can follow condition-specific diet plans and nourish your body with healthy food and exercise. Additionally, you can talk to your doctor and discuss your problem with them to get a solution.