Monday, July 30, 2012

Steroids & Weight Gain

Over the course of four weeks, I managed to pack on 7 pounds!

How could this be?!?!  

I eat a whole foods, plant-based, oil-free diet.  I avoid processed foods.  I recently added Kamikaze Tennis to my daily exercise routine (see below for definition).  I should be losing weight, not gaining!

Meanwhile, I noticed my boyfriend's newly emerging six-pack, while a flat tire parked itself on my stomach!

Since I control all the meals and my boyfriend was losing weight - I knew it couldn't be the food.  So, I took an assessment of what had occurred in my life over the past month, looking for changes that could attribute to the recent weight barrage.

And then it hit me, due to emergency dental surgery (you don't want to know) I relented against my better judgement and agreed to engage in a round of steroids in order to speed recovery time.

I hit the Internet to see if the steroids could have anything to do with this new irritation in my life.  And to my dismay, I am overwhelmingly not alone in my despair.  Apparently, Mr. Steroid has been packing on the pounds all over town - bastard!

Turns out weight gain is a very common side affect to doctor prescribed Corticosteroids (steroids) sold under the names: prednisone (sold under many brand names, such as Deltasone and Sterapred), methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisolone (Prelone, Pediapred), dexamethasone (Decadron, Hexadrol), and hydrocortisone (Acticort, Cortef).

While the gain is predominately water weight, this weight will stick around as long as the steroids are active in your body - 6 to 12 MONTHS!!!  

Holy Hell Batman!

Steroids also like to mess with your metabolism and how your body deposits fat - specifically targeting your abdomen (hmmmm) as well as face and back of neck (ick).  As if this couldn't get any worse, steroids also increase your appetite!  And this all contributes to the kind of weight that's really really hard to kick to the curb.

This news did not sit well with me, so I set out to find ways to reduce the duration of this "relationship."

Here's some suggestions to speed Mr. Wrong out of your life:
  1. Pump Iron - steroids break-down muscle, the muscle that burns fat in your sleep (thanks a lot!)
  2. Cut the Salt - helps with water retention
  3. Drink TONS of Water - flush Mr. Roid & excess Sodium out of your system
  4. Rigorous Exercise - resets the metabolism - Kamikaze Tennis anyone?
  5. Stick to your Healthy Diet - don't let a run away appetite derail you
  6. Don't Stress - mental stress can pack on the pounds too

I put these suggestions into practice ASAP and was able to drop 2 pounds within a week, 5 more to go!

Steroids while useful in some situations, have some pretty nasty side effects.  Discuss with your doctor if they are 1000% necessary, asking what good will come of them and what will happen if you don't take them.  Sometimes we get caught up in "standard operating procedure" and unless we question the system, we get lumped into the system.

Next time a doc offers me a date with Mr. Roid, I will just say, "Hell No!"

The Hoff

Kamikaze Tennis - Tennis practiced by those who do not know how to actually play tennis, in which all balls are fair game, nothing is out of bounds, one bounce rule does not apply, scoring is non-existent & trash talking is extremely high.  Burns 2,000 calories per hour (individual results may vary).


No comments:

Post a Comment