T Nation

Prednisone Stored in Fat?

Hey T Nation!

So it is 2:30am and I have a question about weight loss, insomnia, and prednisone. Can prednisone store itself in fat? I have insomnia every night since about 1 month into to my workout routine - even on nights I work extra hard, am crazy sore, and feel exhausted. It feels like I am on a heavy dose of prednisone again without the mood swings or constant sweating.

Background information:

I was on a mega high dosage 5 years ago for about 8 months. I cant remember the exact dosage but it was 80mg or more tapering all the way down to 2mg/day at the end (kidney thing, I am fine now.). I’ve been working out for just over 2 months so far.

6’1’’, 225 lb., large frame, body fat is probably between 20%-25%, blood sugar is normal,

My work out consist of:

Monday: Cardio warmup on treadmill jog 1 mile - back and biceps 30 minutes
Tuesday: Rest or Jog 5 miles (depending on if I have time that night)
Wednesday: Cardio warmup on treadmill jog 1 mile - arms and shoulders 30 minutes
Thursday: Jog 5 miles
Friday: Cardio warmup on treadmill jog 1 mile - core 30 minutes
Saturday: Bike around town (not strenuous)
Sunday: Rest

The supplements I am taking are:

fish oil 2 tbsp a day-morning and night
glutamine after work out
Whey protein after work out

Short answer: No.

And train your legs.

I’m not an expert on prednisone but have an immediate family member that’s been on it for years. Prednisone can affect your weight loss (make it more difficult) and also change your body composition (generally causes weight gains in the core area). In other words, you can suddenly start gaining weight in places that you never used to.

The insomnia, however, is fairly typical. That and just plain waking up a lot and having difficulty staying asleep. Did you have your dosage increased again? You already know that it’s the best to be on the lowest possible dose. When was the last time that you saw your specialist? Maybe it needs to be altered, or maybe you’re on a new dose and seeing how that works for you? I’m asking as I’m not sure. There is always an adjustment period if you’re changing doses/timing, etc.

Just as an aside, does your specialist have you taking anything for bone density? I would highly suggest that if you’re not, you talk to him/her about that. This precaution wasn’t taken with my family member and after chronic use of corticosteroids, his bones are like paper and this makes you more prone to injury the longer they are used.

So, it’s great that you’re physically active and have incorporated some types of resistance training into your schedule even though I’m not sure what your exact routine is.

As far as prednisone storing itself in fat, someone else with more of an understanding of medicine will have to answer that but if I had to guess, and I stress guess, I would imagine so as that’s what chemicals do. Please do not take that as fact though.

I’m confused. Are you still taking prednisone? Or did you stop taking it 5 years ago and now you are suffering from symptoms that seemed familiar when you took it? I’m not entirely sure about it being stored in your fat cells for 5 years, especially if all of the sudden now you are feeling symptoms again.

What are you trying to achieve with your workouts? You mentioned weight loss, and if that is indeed your goal then your workouts are not helping you a single bit, if anything it’s probably causing you to store more fat. I would drop all of the cardio, and get on a decent weight lifting program. I assume you are new to weights so I would try starting strength as it focuses on compound lifts(which use most of the largest muscles in your body and cause the greatest energy expenditure).

Tons of cardio for fat loss is an ancient idea that never worked terribly well. The body responds much better to short, intense movements that use the large muscles of the body. The difference between a marathon runner and a sprinter demonstrates this fairly well, have a look: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_eyU94sddoPw/TKe6XLlWKkI/AAAAAAAAAAg/W_Yb5Ck7qTg/s1600/marathoner_sprinter2.jpg

As for the insomnia, sleep for some people is just a bitch, myself included. It’s gotten better over the years but I still struggle with it from time to time. Lifting heavy weights does help in my experience. So does trying to keep a consistent sleep schedule(fall asleep at roughly the same time, wake up at roughly the same time, every time). Some supplements out there help a lot too. I like melatonin and GABA. There is also a great product sold here called Z-12 that is fantastic. Best sleep of my life when I take that stuff. It might be worth a try.

Best of luck to you with everything.

I have not taken prednisone for about 5 years but the insomnia feels very similar to what I had while I was on it, sweaty and kind of uncomfortable; Before this I slept like a baby. I also never fully got off the fat I gained while on it (which is why I asked). I guess I just have insomnia - I’ve been taking 5-HTP to no avail. I’ll try and just rest as best I can.

As far as fitness goals I am trying to lose fat and gain muscle - I have lost a bunch of fat before in my early 20’s through mostly diet and stationary bike/treadmill. Until now I never wanted to put on muscle because I didn’t want to look big and intimidating - I just wanted to look fit. But I have a large frame with not enough muscle on it and I think that is part of the reason i have hard time keeping off the fat.

My friend built my weight routine for me, he knows what he is doing but the running part is all me. He want’s me to add plyometric style intensity workout to what I’m doing. It sounds like I should cut the 5 miles out and add in the intensity training. Should I keep the 1 mile warmups if I want to put on muscle? I kind of like doing them.

[quote]LazerMike wrote:
I have not taken prednisone for about 5 years but the insomnia feels very similar to what I had while I was on it, sweaty and kind of uncomfortable; Before this I slept like a baby. I also never fully got off the fat I gained while on it (which is why I asked). I guess I just have insomnia - I’ve been taking 5-HTP to no avail. I’ll try and just rest as best I can.

As far as fitness goals I am trying to lose fat and gain muscle - I have lost a bunch of fat before in my early 20’s through mostly diet and stationary bike/treadmill. Until now I never wanted to put on muscle because I didn’t want to look big and intimidating - I just wanted to look fit. But I have a large frame with not enough muscle on it and I think that is part of the reason i have hard time keeping off the fat.

My friend built my weight routine for me, he knows what he is doing but the running part is all me. He want’s me to add plyometric style intensity workout to what I’m doing. It sounds like I should cut the 5 miles out and add in the intensity training. Should I keep the 1 mile warmups if I want to put on muscle? I kind of like doing them.

[/quote]

5-htp isn’t bad. Try adding in some GABA and melatonin. That’s a pretty solid sleep cocktail that is still relatively inexpensive. I still think a consistent sleep schedule is the best thing you can do for quality sleep. It’s also the hardest.

No problem on the fitness goals, in my opinion it doesn’t really matter if you just want to look fit or want to be a monster body builder, you should have similar training and intensity. The 5 miles of running I’d probably drop. If it’s something you enjoy(and I get that because I used to be a runner too)maybe keep it to one big run a week or something. Pylo stuff is great too. The one mile warm ups might be a bit much, but I don’t think it’s outside the realm of your fitness goals. You aren’t really looking to add tons of muscle, so some extra cardio here and there isn’t going to kill your progress.

I’ll pick up some GABA and see if that helps me sleep.

Yeah, I actually want to see how big I can get without going overboard since I’ve never tried before. I’ll scale back the runs and add in the high intensity workouts and see how that treats me.

Thanks man!