steroids and weight gain

rjjj
rjjj Member Posts: 1,822 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Goodmorning sisters!
just wondering..my chemo nurses say that most people gain 20 or more lbs. with chemo and they say that this is a side-effect of the steroids given and that i will lose it after treatment? I don't know about it because it has been hard for me to keep weight off. I used to go to the gym, eat healthy and walk alot. I'm sure that some of the weight gain is my sedentary life style of late. Has anyone else had trouble with gaining weight and does it REALLY come off after treatment? Hope everyone is having a good day.

Today is my daughters birthday i remember when i had her i climbed over hills of snow to get to the hosp. and when i brought her home 2 days later it was SPRING! didn't even need a coat. so everytime her birthday rolls around i hope for spring. It's right around the corner girls! Lots love Jackie

Comments

  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
    weight
    I gained 20 pounds. I was told not to try and lose weight until after treatment. Lost 10 or so after treatment. I could have lost more if I really tried but really don't want to diet. Some days can't exercise because of other health problems.
  • chenheart
    chenheart Member Posts: 5,159
    Marcia527 said:

    weight
    I gained 20 pounds. I was told not to try and lose weight until after treatment. Lost 10 or so after treatment. I could have lost more if I really tried but really don't want to diet. Some days can't exercise because of other health problems.

    Fat and Sassy
    I gained 20 pounds as well...I also exercise and watch what I eat, but have never shed the excess. I know it's also cuz I produce no estrogen, thanks to both age and 5 years of Arimidex, and truth be told~ my love of wine! It's a crap-shoot....what am I willing to give up in order to shed the weight? I gave up the exercise and kept the wine~ obviously, that was the wrong choice!! But at least my wrinkles are filling out nicely! Whooo-hooo!!

    Hugs,
    Claudia
  • rjjj
    rjjj Member Posts: 1,822 Member
    chenheart said:

    Fat and Sassy
    I gained 20 pounds as well...I also exercise and watch what I eat, but have never shed the excess. I know it's also cuz I produce no estrogen, thanks to both age and 5 years of Arimidex, and truth be told~ my love of wine! It's a crap-shoot....what am I willing to give up in order to shed the weight? I gave up the exercise and kept the wine~ obviously, that was the wrong choice!! But at least my wrinkles are filling out nicely! Whooo-hooo!!

    Hugs,
    Claudia

    wine is good
    I also like wine..and milkshakes..and chocolate and......I guess we do have to get our priorities straight. Life is too short to deprive ourselves of the things we love and i certainly don't!lol. I guess i'd rather be fat and happy than ever do that! I think when i'm feeling better i will have more energy for exercise and walking.
    I didn't know that lack of estrogen would cause weight gain. If it's not one thing its another oh well pass that wine bottle over!
    have a good one
    Jackie
  • RE
    RE Member Posts: 4,591 Member
    EXTRA POUNDS
    Well, I was on chemo and steroids for a year back in 98 and I gained 70 lbs. I know WOW!!! I have managed to keep 30 of it off, but I struggle with the rest. Once I feel better from my recon. surgery I plan to start riding my bike in hopes of riding myself of a few more pounds or at least firming up.

    Hope your daughter has a wonderful birthday!!!

    RE
  • seof
    seof Member Posts: 819 Member
    you're right
    The steroids can cause weight gain, and the chemo that goes with it can make you too sick to eat, so some people lose weight. I stayed just about the same, and still am. Everyone is unique!

    Live as well as you can for as long as you can, seof
  • Derbygirl
    Derbygirl Member Posts: 198
    I agree about steroids,
    I agree about steroids, chemo, lack of energy and weight gain. I know women who have gone both ways - gain and loss. I was one of the lucky ones and maintained my weight throughout. Jackie, be patient during chemo and radiation because fatigue is one of your worst enemies. It will get better after treatment and then you can start walking and going to the gym. I didn't exercise prior to cancer and can't get motivated now. I found Yoga during treatment to be helpful because of relaxation, stretch and strength. Sustained strength will give you energy to maybe walk...or at least think about it. By the way, I still do Yoga and I'm two months post chemo. Good luck!
  • creampuff91344
    creampuff91344 Member Posts: 988
    Derbygirl said:

    I agree about steroids,
    I agree about steroids, chemo, lack of energy and weight gain. I know women who have gone both ways - gain and loss. I was one of the lucky ones and maintained my weight throughout. Jackie, be patient during chemo and radiation because fatigue is one of your worst enemies. It will get better after treatment and then you can start walking and going to the gym. I didn't exercise prior to cancer and can't get motivated now. I found Yoga during treatment to be helpful because of relaxation, stretch and strength. Sustained strength will give you energy to maybe walk...or at least think about it. By the way, I still do Yoga and I'm two months post chemo. Good luck!

    Steroids do cause weight
    Steroids do cause weight gain, but for some reason during chemo and rads I lost about 20 pounds. Now that I am 4 months post treatment, my appetite has picked up and I still can't put the weight back on this body. (I know some people feel this is a blessing, but for me the weight loss has not been flattering.) In trying to eat healthy, I have tried to stay away from foods that are high in fat content, and eat more chicken and fish than anything. The weight loss is just as hard as weight gain, and if anyone has suggestions as to how to put on weight, please let me know. This board is always so helpful, and you ladies are great to share your experiences. Hugs to all.

    Judy
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143
    Weight
    Jackie, I have lost about 10 pounds since my diagnosis in November. Part of it was due to not eating from stress. I've now kept it off through a dramatic change in my diet and exercise (when I can). I do have some weird pockets of fat now, on my upper thighs for instance, that I attribute to the steroids. I definitely think you can take the weight off after chemo, when you return to your previous way of eating and walking. Can you eat healthier while on chemo? Some people have those awful taste changes, so I know it's not always possible. I have to say that my energy level during my "off" weeks (most of week 2 and week 3) is really good -- and I attribute that to, among other things, my diet and exercise routine. Good luck, Jackie.

    Mimu
  • jaavon2002
    jaavon2002 Member Posts: 57
    Steroid
    Which medication of the chemo treatment is a steroid?? I asked my first doctor if steroids would be used and he stated no, but I didn't ask my second opinion doctor.
  • Joycelouise
    Joycelouise Member Posts: 482

    Steroid
    Which medication of the chemo treatment is a steroid?? I asked my first doctor if steroids would be used and he stated no, but I didn't ask my second opinion doctor.

    I was instructed to take
    I was instructed to take dexadron with the Adriamycin/Cy-something chemo and then to take eight or so (!) with the taxol. The dexadron is a steriod.
    Who would think we would ever say something like what happened to the good old days when people lost weight during chemo. I guess the good news is that we don't get naseous. (I never could spell that word).
    My weight has gone back to normal one year after and I am taking tamoxifin. Actually, I am eating healthier and vegan and that helped me alot.
    love, Joyce
  • phoenixrising
    phoenixrising Member Posts: 1,508
    I maintained my weight
    I maintained my weight during chemo but gained 15lbs and then 5 more with Tamoxifen and Arimidex. It's a lot of work to get just the smallest amounts off. I feel like a tank esp since I work with 2 gorgeous slim and trim young women. Ugh! I work out when I can but the Arimidex is killing my muscles/joints/feet/eyes and I'm so darned tired.

    love
    jan
  • phoenixrising
    phoenixrising Member Posts: 1,508

    I was instructed to take
    I was instructed to take dexadron with the Adriamycin/Cy-something chemo and then to take eight or so (!) with the taxol. The dexadron is a steriod.
    Who would think we would ever say something like what happened to the good old days when people lost weight during chemo. I guess the good news is that we don't get naseous. (I never could spell that word).
    My weight has gone back to normal one year after and I am taking tamoxifin. Actually, I am eating healthier and vegan and that helped me alot.
    love, Joyce

    Joyce, I was wondering what
    Joyce, I was wondering what your protein source was as most vegans use soy and I'm assuming you aren't eating soy.
    Thanks
    jan
  • Joycelouise
    Joycelouise Member Posts: 482

    Joyce, I was wondering what
    Joyce, I was wondering what your protein source was as most vegans use soy and I'm assuming you aren't eating soy.
    Thanks
    jan

    Well, I just had some not
    Well, I just had some not too delicious looking, but actually yummy black beans with quinoa which is a good protien source. I also take vitamin B12. Also, with all those greens I am eating I can only hope I am taking in some bugs too. That is how cows get their protien. Actually, gorillas are vegetarians too and they seem to do okay. I eat soy occasionally.
    love, Joyce
  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510
    mimivac said:

    Weight
    Jackie, I have lost about 10 pounds since my diagnosis in November. Part of it was due to not eating from stress. I've now kept it off through a dramatic change in my diet and exercise (when I can). I do have some weird pockets of fat now, on my upper thighs for instance, that I attribute to the steroids. I definitely think you can take the weight off after chemo, when you return to your previous way of eating and walking. Can you eat healthier while on chemo? Some people have those awful taste changes, so I know it's not always possible. I have to say that my energy level during my "off" weeks (most of week 2 and week 3) is really good -- and I attribute that to, among other things, my diet and exercise routine. Good luck, Jackie.

    Mimu

    Taking the weight off after
    Taking the weight off after chemo is difficult if you are any kind of inhibitors such as arimidex or tamoxifen. Because they block estrogen, the one side effect of these drugs is weight gain. Try to get a handle on the weight now, before you have to start any of these meds. Hugs, Lili
  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510

    I maintained my weight
    I maintained my weight during chemo but gained 15lbs and then 5 more with Tamoxifen and Arimidex. It's a lot of work to get just the smallest amounts off. I feel like a tank esp since I work with 2 gorgeous slim and trim young women. Ugh! I work out when I can but the Arimidex is killing my muscles/joints/feet/eyes and I'm so darned tired.

    love
    jan

    I also had joint pain and of
    I also had joint pain and of course weight gain with the tamoxifen, but found that the pain got better as I was exercising. Now, I find the joint pain to be worse when I don't work out. I have been doing 30 minutes of cardio and then some light weightlifting to strengthen muscles. Hugs, Lili
  • rjjj
    rjjj Member Posts: 1,822 Member

    Taking the weight off after
    Taking the weight off after chemo is difficult if you are any kind of inhibitors such as arimidex or tamoxifen. Because they block estrogen, the one side effect of these drugs is weight gain. Try to get a handle on the weight now, before you have to start any of these meds. Hugs, Lili

    Hi lili
    You are right i have to get a grip on this. I am already on Herceptin and will be for a year I believe this is an estrogen blocker? You are a good role model for me as i have read your postings and know you are working out and doing what is good for you Thanks for the info.
    God Bless
    Jackie
  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510
    rjjj said:

    Hi lili
    You are right i have to get a grip on this. I am already on Herceptin and will be for a year I believe this is an estrogen blocker? You are a good role model for me as i have read your postings and know you are working out and doing what is good for you Thanks for the info.
    God Bless
    Jackie

    Jackie, I went to my
    Jackie, I went to my oncologist Friday for my 3 month check up and got the lecture to beat all lectures of how much weight I've gained wince this whole journey started in June 2007. I have gained 40 lbs total so far. I of course am frustrated, because I feel I have cut out tons of calories, am working out and the dreaded weight is NOT coming off. I have now stopped eating carbs except for a bowl of cheerios in the morning. Don't know what else to do since I've cut out my favorite wine too. I am also eating very small portions. Needless to say that right now I feel very frustrated. It is tough, but then again, we are ALIVE, so I guess that until we stop with all these meds, this will be a struggle for us. Hugs, Lili
  • jeanne1948
    jeanne1948 Member Posts: 18
    steriods and weight gain
    I argued when my chemo nurse told me that i would gain 20 lbs with my treatment. I laughed and laughed and told her she was crazy. Well I proved her wrong and gained 25 lbs. I am off my treatments and now on Lyrica for neuropathy. I lost about 8 lbs and then hit a block. My husband says he is just glad to have me and the more the merrier. Laughing really helps..sometimes a good cry too. Whatever works to help you get through this time
  • cem
    cem Member Posts: 6
    Just wanted to comment on
    Just wanted to comment on the weight gain/loss with breast cancer chemotherapy. I too had been told most people gain weight during treatment. I stayed the same throughout. I finished Chemo in June and am now on Arimidex which I have also been told will help you gain weight. I'll just have to see. Before I was dianosed (Jan. 2008) my husband and I ate mostly chicken, fish and lots of fresh vegetables. We're back to that since I finished radiation in Oct. I'll just have to wait and see like the others if I gain weight. I hope not since I was about 20 pounds overweight when I started chemo. But, on balance would you rather be overweight and alive or skinny and in a coffin? It's all about perspective. The other side effect of the arimidex is one which really bothers me (the joint pain) but I just keep taking my glucosamine with chondroitin and working on doing more physical things. Good luck and prayers to you as you continue on this journey.