The person’s bodyweight is affected by many factors, among which, calorie intake is, undoubtedly, the most important. As a close second, the extent of physical activity follows. Also, it depends on one’s genetic characteristics. However, there is one more facet that can lead to putting on undesired extra pounds. It concerns medications, in particular cortisone, which belongs to the class of corticosteroids. Do cortisone shots cause weight gain?
Causes of Weight Gain when Taking medications
Medicine-caused weight gain can be triggered by the following reasons:
- The medicine is chosen by the doctor specifically for the individual to gain kilos. In some cases, legal anabolic steroids may be prescribed for this purpose.
- Weight gain shows an upswing in the patient’s condition. For example, it contributes to those, who suffered from thyrotoxicosis or severe gastritis (dyspeptic syndrome) and lost weight, which is because of the course of the disease itself. Taking special drugs, for instance, proton-pomp inhibitors for gastric diseases (like Omeprazole, Lansoprazole, Dexlansoprazole, Pantoprazole, Rabeprazole, and laprazole) lead to stabilization of the health and normalization of the bodyweight.
- Putting on pounds is a preparation’s adverse event, which causes demotivating effect and upsets a person. Indeed, becoming less sportsmanlike is dolorous.
In the first two described cases, an increase in weight is considered a joyful result for the person, because this is the goal he/she pursued while taking pharmaceutical products. But the last one is often baffling and nettlesome because often we take these medications without the goal of becoming fatsos. As a result, after or during the therapy, people are shocked seeing a completely different figure in the mirror. This can induce a bad mood and sometimes even a depression (you might be interested to know about steroid-induced psychosis). Cortisone steroid injections belong to the third group of medications that can trigger weight gain.
Why Do Cortisone Shots Cause Weight Gain?
Corticosteroids have many side effects: they affect the metabolism, including carbohydrate one, may result in water retention, and elevated appetite. regular intake of drugs of this group certainly influences the physique. Read more about side effects of steroids.
Cortisone impacts the way the organism spends and stores fat. Corticosteroids may boost hunger. The patient becomes a glutton, consuming horrendous amounts of food. This lead to truncal fat accumulation. Even slender people can get a couple extra pounds of fat on their bellies, not to mention overweight folks and overeaters.
Consequently, a specific obesity type is formed: excess fat is deposited on the face, chest, abdomen, neck, while the limbs and buttocks usually remain lean. The severity of these symptoms is determined by the hormone’s dosage: the higher it is, the faster the unwished weight increases. Long-lasting use of corticosteroids can cause the development of steroid-induced diabetes, which is a dangerous disease.
Already overweighted people should be especially careful. A corticosteroid potentially exacerbates the condition and maintains obesity (Mesut Savas, Vincent L. Wester, Sabine M. Staufenbiel, Int J Med sci. 2017).
The Case of Weight Gain Due to Cortisone Injection
The newspaper The Telegraph reported the following case. One patient received the steroid every four weeks until an infusion of Tysabri for multiple sclerosis, a progressive and disabling condition, was received. The patient reported that he gained quite a lot of weight from the beginning of treatment, although his diet didn’t change. He took corticosteroid to reduce the side effects of Tysabri, which induced skin lumps.
Dan Rutherford, a doctor, advised the patient to do some sports and slightly limit the consumption of calories.
Tysabri (natalizumab) is a medication for multiple sclerosis. It is comarketed by companies Biogen Inc. and Elan Corporation plc. The drug was previously marketed under brand name Antegren. Natalizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody, which acts against cell adhesion molecule (CAM) named α4-integrin.
How to Prevent Weight Gain When Undergoing Treatment with Cortisone Shots?
Weight gain against the background of undergoing therapy with cortisone shots is a rather complex problem that requires a very careful approach of the attending physician and correction of the patient’s diet. Although it’s difficult for the person to avert or change this process, it’s possible: a wholesome (but strict) diet with restriction of digestible carbohydrates and harmful fats (such as trans fats contained in margarines, crackers, doughnuts, pies, cookies, especially with frosting) will maintain a good physique despite metabolic disturbances. In addition, stop eating before feeling of satiation.
To ensure that cortisone treatment affects your figure triflingly, you need to remember that appropriate diet and exercising are the most suitable aides in the fight against this issue. Healthcare professionals say you shouldn’t worry about weight gain because of cortisone injections. They elucidate that in several months after treatment’s termination, the body shape will come back to normal. Trainings and proper nutrition will accelerate this process.