Oral steroids and weight gain

Morning all-

i am starting a 5 day course of oral steroids today (500mg/day) due to a lovely relapse that has left me with numb toes and not walking great. This is my first time I have had steroids- I was diagnosed in March And this is relapse number 5 since last August when symptoms first started!

my question is about weight gain/water retention as have herd that they can cause this- does anyone have any top tips on how to avoid weight gain and water retention while on steroids? I have a wedding next weekend and have a lovely new dress that i was going to wear that doesn’t warrant extra pounds!


Hi sd

I’ve had steroids many times and not found that they have caused me to gain weight particularly. What people always say about steroids is that they can cause a ‘moon face’ ie puffiness round the face as well as weight gain and water retention. I suspect that these side effects are more of a danger with long term lower dose steroid use. The high dose 5 day courses I’m sure can sometimes even cause people to lose a bit of weight because of the steroid ‘high’. People often (usually) find that they have trouble sleeping when on high dose steroids, so the more mobile people can find themselves doing more than usual, even to the extent of doing cleaning jobs in the middle of the night!! And I’ve never found water retention to be a problem either, though others may have.

So I doubt you’ll have a problem with gaining weight this week. You’ll still fit into your wedding outfit. And with a bit of luck you’ll be on the road to remission from the current symptoms as well. Just be aware that because you’ll maybe do more this week and sleep worse than usual, the week after the wedding may cause your energy level to plummet a bit and fatigue levels to increase, so plan on having a quiet time if you can the week after.

Enjoy the wedding.


1 Like

They have never caused me to gain weight or obviously retain fluid. It seems to me likely that something that gets you walking and moving about more freely is likely to be helpful rather than otherwise if you are watching your weight.

I hope that the steroids do the trick for you.


day 3 update- have managed to avoid the munchies…and the late night cleaning sessions, by SLEEPING nearly all weekend. I have never felt so exhausted in my whole life! Have managed in to work today, just about staying with it. Have recovered slight movement in 2 toes but the other 3 are still MIA, 2 doeses of horribleness left…fingers crossed the others will follow and we will be hitting the dancefloor!


1 Like