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Posted by Todd ( on January 16, 2000 at 14:10:12:

In Reply to: prednisone posted by Michael Johnson on January 16, 2000 at 12:48:53:

First, welcome and sorry to hear the demon is back, Michael.
Couldn't find any references to this, so I thought I'd toss out some personal, probably incorrect, thoughts. Hopefully the Link King (drummer) can come up with some facts.

We often see references to weight gain while taking prednisone or sansert, yet I don't recall a discussion about this side effect. Why do most people gain weight on these drugs? Weight gain is fairly straightforward...less calories are being burned off than are being ingested, OR, the body is retaining more fluids (commonly referred to as water weight). So, this gives us a few possibilities.
A. Prednisone makes us eat more. Without a concurrent increase in 'exercise' to burn off these additional calories, weight rises.
B. Prednisone slows the metabolism of the body, so that the same number of calories are ingested but the body burns fewer.
C. Prednisone doesn't actually affect the metabolism, but makes us lethargic so that, while consuming the same number of calories, we are subtly burning less, perhaps without realizing it. The couch potato effect.
D. Prednisone causes fluid retention.

If any of options A, B or C (or some combination) are in play here, INCREASING workout levels would offset the weight gain. MAINTAINING a workout schedule designed to reduce weight during this period would likely only result in maintaining current weight levels until after the prednisone regimen (and its effects) ends.
If Option D is the culprit, the weight gain should quickly reverse upon ending the prednisone. As I said, I don't recall a discussion of this, but my 'sense' from posts about weight gain is that people imply it is permanent. This would tend to refute fluid retention as the culprit and eliminate Option D.

Of course, we can also go into the concepts that 1)vigorous exercise MAY reduce severity, frequency and even abort individual attacks for some people;
2)the overall level of physical fitness is a strong factor in the ability to cope and endure attacks and cycles;
3)under current sociological trends, washboard abs make you more attractive to the opposite sex
4)the operators and employees of health clubs and fitness equipment manufacturers need to eat and pay the rent also
All of which point towards workouts as being good, regardless of whether they help with the Prednisone weight gain.

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