T Nation

Former Cancer Patient Friend Trying to Gain Muscle on Prednisone


#1

A friend of mine, a 25 year old female, is taking prednisone daily to prevent the growth of future brain tumors. It makes it very hard for her to gain muscle back since Chemo. I know it is a tough situation since prednisone is basically affecting the body like a constant influx of cortisol to literally prevent anabolic signals that make muscle grow.

Anyone have any ideas or experience with getting fit despite a a daily prednisone regimen? I think she would be happy to find some method of consistent exercise that helps her get back some fitness, but it any former cancer petients have been on prednisone, maybe someone knows of alternatives or work-arounds.

(I know that the first thing i’d do with the potential for a brain tumor to regrow would be to go on a ketogenic diet for life-which I wouldn’t do otherwise-ketogenic diets are likely to halt brain tumor growth by switching the brain over from glucose (that feeds tumors) to ketone, but I don’t know if I would also halt predisone if it was prescribed.)


#2

That is a hell of a situation and I’m sorry for your friend. Keto is a good idea in relation to it’s effects on cancer , but advise her to watch the saturated fat intakes. Does no good to prevent cancer growth if you die anyway in a few years from ldl plaque buildup giving you a heart attack!

Modified keto, where the proteins are run just a tad higher than regular keto, are helpful in slow muscle muscle building. She should probably keep cardio and aerobics to a minimum to minimize cortisol levels spiking.

She may benefit from using a medium weight and focusing on time under tension sets. 3-5 reps, then 3 more VERY slow reps, then rep out to failure on each set.


#3

So what I found out talking to her more is that she needs prednisone because her chemotharapy from a few years ago destroyed her adrenal glands. She is considered to be cancer free. She lost most of her muscle and energy.


#4

Damn dude that sucks!

She may want to give someplace like Defy Medical a call. I’m not extremely knowledgeable on the female endocrine system, but I have feeling that they could steer her in the right direction to exogenously replace what she has lost to help balance her out.