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Weight gain with steroid epidural injections

From: kinsley - on 03/13/2010 11:22am

I have had 2 steroid lumbar facet injections for lower back pain. I have gained 9 lbs and fat deposits around my abdomen. I work out alot and really watch my diet but am having trouble losing this. Its really frustrating as I have always monitered my weight. Has anyone experienced this and what can I do to get rid of it?? My face also gets puffy at times too. Thanks!

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on 03/19/2010 2:40pm

I know how you feel. I had those same injections from 2007-2008 often 3 months apart at lumbar and cerrvical locations. I had already gained weight prior to that due to pregnancy but I was losing weight until those injections. I gained so much weight and felt bloated and could not get the stomach bulge to go away no matter what I did. I quit the injection because they were not working and I lost weight within 6 months but I never have been able to get my stomach back down. I'm told that the creation of fat cells is the problem and starving myself is not really an option when you have back or neck problems as you need to eat well, stay hydrated, do not drink sodas or fast food, fried foods etc. I lost 60 lbs overall and am now back to normal but if I ever get rid of the stomach bulge I will let you know. Steroid injections definitely cause weight gain in nerve blocks etc. Everyone I know has gained weight when they have them done. I wish I could help more but if the blocks are working then it's either the pain relief or the blocks. If any of my pain blocks had worked, I would have continued them despite the weight gain but I'm not sure where you are at. If they help you just stay healthy and exercise. I'm told that total gym works well.
Good luck and keep posting so we'll know how you are!

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on 05/04/2010 9:51am

Hmmm...and all this time I thought it was because of the meds I'm on and the fact that i can't do things I used to do. The next time hubby says something about my whole 120 lbs, I can say that it's because of the epidurals I get every three months! Personally I thought it was age, the hysterectomy and the meds causing me to have my pooch. Not that I really want the excuse, but it sure helps knowing there's an underlying cause. I can't tell you what to do to get rid of it as I can't do most of the excersises anymore...I can't even clean the house anymore and I'm a housewife! Let me know if you find a low-impact excersise.

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on 05/06/2010 1:18pm

The first question that I asked my Doctor before having the Steroid injections was exactly that.
"am I going to gain any weight from this procdure"?
"yes" he said. About 10 pounds was average . Then he told me I could afford to gain the weight. He didn't think it was a big deal. But, to woman especially, it is a big deal!!
So after a series of 3 injections, about 3 to 4 weeks later and Bam!! It's like I woke up 10 pounds heavier. Right around my abdomen and back area. When I put my back brace on it's feels even worse. Like the fat hanging over the brace!! LOLOL It totally sucks but I would do it again because I did get some pain relief even though it was temporary. I also noticed an increase in my appetite. I try hard to eat right all day and then at night I have to eat something. It's crazy.LOL
I am going to try riding my bike again and maybe some crunches.
I myself cant do walking or running because it causes way to much pain. No pain with biking though.
Good luck
-Sandy

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on 05/17/2010 12:19pm

I had 3 epidural injections at L4/5. The injections were given over about a 5 week interval. I did not gain any weight as a result. I actually lost weight when my disk was herniated. I stayed with a friend that knew it would be easy for me to gain weight since I could not move around. I was obese to begin with. My friend controlled almost all of my food intake. I ate a diet high in vegetables, then protein, then fruit, then starches (bread, rice, pasta). I was allowed very few refined carbohydrates. In 7 weeks, of little movement, I lost 15.5 pounds. The original goal was simply not to gain any weight. I did notice though that the weight loss did not affect my waistline all that much and was more in the face and arms. Perhaps the epidural did affect me some.

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on 05/21/2010 3:41am

If you want to do body weight loss, you need to exercise, and exercise the whole body.But I heard that if we stop doing exercise after some days weight will increase.Is it true?

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on 05/22/2010 5:40am

I just finished my third epidural injection. I have put on about 20 pounds in the last six weeks but the injections have helped my back. It seems that I am craving sweets more than anything else. Also, I suffer from depression and my doctor told me that food cravings are normal and they satisfy the part of my brain that makes me feel good. So I guess a few pounds may be worth the extra weight if it helps me with my back pain. I am going to ask back doctor about swimming a few times a week and see if that will help with the appetite and the back pain. It is hard to exercise when you can't bend very well and I have had three knee surgeries in the past year. Anyone have any other ideas that might help me with weight gain and exercising?

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on 06/11/2010 5:50pm

Loosing weight has become the most popular problem between women, and most look decent enough and do not really need that, but because the fashion world likes very skinny .. it is a trend that is very bad for your health, and if you are really skinny , find the best steroids and get some meat on you , no man like so skinny women .

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on 06/13/2010 1:49am

Epidural steroid injections are commonly used to treat radicular pain (pain radiating down an arm or leg) caused by compressed or irritated spinal nerve roots. Pain radiating down the leg is referred to as sciatica. Herniated discs and spinal stenosis are common causes of spinal nerve compression / irritation. Epidural steroid injections also reduce inflammation of facet joints and are sometimes used to treat moderate to severe osteoarthritis of the spine. ESI injections are not used for musculo-skeletal pain.

Steroids

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on 06/18/2010 9:32pm

I got a shot 2 weeks back and have lost 12 lbs. They ask you to be on a low sodium diet for 3 weeks post the shot. Cant exceed 2000mg per day (way too low!) . I have another shot (booster) next week.

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on 02/01/2011 5:13pm

I was rear ended by a drunk driver in 1990 and have suffered with chronic lower back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain since then! From 1990 until May 2010 I have had the series of three epidural steroid injections each year! I started out at 108 pounds and ballooned up to 235 pounds which made the lower back pain worst! My face was always puffy and I developed a double chin. The injections only offer limited relief in my case but was about my only option other than medial branch nerve blocks which I have done about every 5 years! The only advice that the doctor could offer me about the weight gain was that I know the injections will cause me to gain weight from the out of control appetite the steroids cause is to not eat! Great advice there! Then when they prescribed Lyrica. which causes weight gain as well! That was when my weight really got out of control~ I did finally get it though! Since May of 2010 I have lost from 237 to 142 pounds! Since I know that the steroids cause me to gain weight because they cause an increase in my appetite I only nibble! It was actually good advice. You know the steroids cause weight gain just cut back on what you consume! I monitor every bite that goes into my body~ I started eating the lean cuisine 300 calorie entree's and it works for me! Now of course with the compound mixture of pain meds which leaves everything tasting like cardboard I use don't eat as much! My advice is if the steroids do not provide enough relief from the pain to justify the weight gain and puffy face Do Not Have Them Done! In my instance they only made my lower back pain worst as the weight gain put more stress on my spine, which in turn caused even more pain~ Everytime you get that ravenouos urge to eat the steroids cause I nibble on some nice baby carrots! The steroids also caused violent mood swings and rage in me so I won't take them anymore! Not worth all the problems they caused me! The steroids will only last in your system for about 6 months I was told and only provide relief for about a year if you are lucky! Eventually they are out of your system so just continue on with your exercise programs and also try some facial exercises to combat the steroid effects. Also drink lots of water and stay hydrated! Hope this helps! Hopefully though you won't have to have the injections done each year as I did so the effects will eventually subside! Steroids are really hard on your body and in my opinion not worth the effort and the side effects they cause!

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on 02/07/2011 6:59pm

Hi Maggie here - I found this interesting as I have been told that steroidal injections "do not" cause weight
gain: HA! Though my weight gain has been minimal...it has distributed itself to my belly, legs & face.
I actually seel that my legs are heavier...guess because my pant legs are so much tighter. My husband
says he doesn't see much of a differance.(good answer on his part!). But, my answer - YES!! EPI's cause weight gain in some people..and in some cases may actually cause some weight loss. My gain is partly due to the decrease in activity from my condition, and the holidays (sorry to say) but, I also have not been able to loose it the way I usually do, having cut back to my normal diet. It is frustrating because on top of everything else..you feel bad cause you feel bad, then you feel bad cause you feel you look bad.
Yet, There is HOPE.. I remember years back having to take steroid injections and oral prednisone for
several months to combat a severe break out of eczema..I gained over 15 lbs., and was miserable even though it helped my break out. But gradually as my eczema subsided, I felt better, ate better, and started exercising = weight loss. Eventually the steroidal effects will wear off..question is, then what? Do you have
a chronic condition? if so..then start looking for alternatives to Epidurals..perhaps a tens unit, implant or
accupuncture. I can't have anymore epidurals..they've been ineffective..and I began getting gastritis attacks after each shot..a nasty side effect.. I hope you will eventually lose the weight, I know how you feel believe
me. Good luck with your back..hope it heals so you won't require further shots. Maggie1422

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on 02/10/2011 10:09am

Hello,

You blog has good information on spine universe community advice.

Thanks,
Ilchi Lee

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on 03/01/2011 8:07pm

That must be frustrating for you especially that you are working hard to lose weight. Don't worry, maybe you should try jogging. You should check our mens Brute running shoes, and maybe try running one of these days.

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on 06/28/2011 7:36am

I need 12 examples so a little help would be nice! Thanks so much to whoever helps. I really need it! By the way, by public health care I mean Canadian health care. So like, free health care but higher taxes.

Regards,
http://www.massageenvy.com/clinics/VA/Herndon/Reston.aspx
Reston massage

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on 05/21/2012 1:49am

I was told that this would not make me gain weight, what a load of bull I called on my way to the hosptial and even as I was being prep for the injections I was asking about the weight gain and was told no u don't gain weight, I hate steroids and will stay sick before I let my doctor near me with the pills or shots so I am really mad, I gain 30lbs pounds almost all in my stomac and back but legs also. Wish I could go back and make them refund my money because it sure din't help me any.
Never take a doctors word till you get online and check it out. I found out on my way for the first injection that it was a steroid and called to change or cancel it but was told to late to change and its not a side affect.
Melissa Broussatd

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on 07/21/2012 12:44pm

Hah, I have had so many injections I lost count!! The first thing I said to the pain Doctor was," I have been trying to lose weight to help with my back pain". He sets me up for three injections and BAM, I am puffy and put on 12 pounds.. on top of that my hair was falling out in clumps. I called the office to inquire if this was NORMAl and was told, 'Yes it sometimes affects people like that'. I was supposed to have a fourth shot, but cancelled it. I drove myself back to my home state and has SI joint fusion... Now dealing with pain from post op... Disgusted is the only word I can think of right now!

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on 09/25/2012 3:03pm

I have had a series of both facet block injections and steroid epidurals with my most recent one in August, 2012. I have degenerative disc/spondylolisthesis at L4/5 diagnosed 2.5 years ago. I am very fit and worked hard most of my life to eat healthy, exercise at an intense level, and keep my weight in normal range. Facet blocks and steroid epidurals will make you gain weight and even though I've continued to exercise and watch my diet throughout my treatments, I have still gained 10-15 lbs.
Some prescriptions like Lyrica will also make you gain wieght very quickly.

I am finally pain free and while gaining weight after all my years of hard work in the gym bothers me, anyone that has had long term spine pain and suffering will agree that gaining weight needs to be a secondary concern. Finding a treatment to reduce pain is critical and the most important issue.

Doctors think some of our questions are trivial and do not tell us enough about ramifications of drugs or treatments. Be your own advocate. I don't intend to end up on the couch, in pain, and overweight reliant on drugs and shots the rest of my life.

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on 04/12/2013 11:59am

I have had 8 injections and 4 radiofrequencies in a 2 year span and have gained around 20 lbs. I have gone from no exercise(which I had lost all but 5 lbs baby wt) to 5-6 days a week(7 during holidays) eliminating ice cream,chocolate and pop from my diet and no change so please don't tell me these things are the solution! I'm hoping eventually in time I will see some loss-6 months since last treatment. I sweat my butt off working out and have not given up that eventually I will see loss and try to tone any gain but still have a layer over the muscle I'm building. If anyone has found supplements or treatment that do work please post!

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on 04/13/2013 10:41am

I also have had thease facet injcetions 4 times and each time i gained about 6 lbs what my pain doctor did for me was change one of my nerve pain medds and put me on another one instead witch the main side effect was loseing weight . The first month i lost 9 lbs and have been loseing weight ever since I have lost 2 stone 5ibs now but i have been watching what i am eating but not dieting. Over the last 6 years siene i hurt my back and all the different medds i did gain 5 stone 7lbs tho, but the new tablets he put me on helped me to lose weight and he told me that would happen i have not gained 1lbs since he put me on them Topiromate50mg one in morn and at night for my nerve pain i am on other pain medds for my other pain

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on 04/14/2013 5:41pm

I have been on a 10 year journey with my condition. I have experienced weight gain after having epidural injections, but have been repeatedly told they don't causevsuch by neurologists. I too tried Topiramate (Topmax). It is nicknamed Stupimax for its side effects. I had the side effects and would wave off anyone from this drug as a cornucopia for weight loss. Visual halucinations and inability to finish your own sentences being the worst and not worth the weight loss achieved.

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on 04/17/2013 6:01pm

I am sorry to here about the side effects you had ,I have had no side effects yet but it is good to here the good and bad about each medication because it can have a different effect an each person.

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on 06/30/2013 5:49pm

I have had over the past three years around 6 epidoral's I also had knee and two hips replaced this last epidoral has made me gain a great deal of weight I have 5 detorated disco and disc bulge it is causing me not to heal from the surgeries, the onl;y good thing is I didn't gain this weight like I have now how long does it take to lose the weight very unconfortable I am only 4 11 tall please advise

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on 06/30/2013 6:15pm

I wish I could excerise my right knee was done twice still bother's me then my right hip replaced and I am now in 7 mos since the left was done, my surgeon told me to go for the Epi's becuase the pain from the back goes to the legs still in alot of pain, so unhappy thank god I havemy husand I do things around the house go to the store's but I hurt bad I told my huband I will not go for another Epidoral I still have one knee to go It has been the worse 5 years of my life! I don't mean to be a cry baby but I was a very active person I have gained about 35 lbs believe me I don't eat alot? my husband don't understand why thanks for listening.

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on 07/22/2013 2:11pm

I have just had my first steroidal injection and after reading this forum decided to call my doctor regarding weight gain. To my surprise he said "not common in epidural injections". I also asked my daughter...also a doctor and she told me that weight gain was not typical. I'm satisfied...

Edier

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on 07/14/2014 11:46am

I started receiving the injections for lower back pain about 3 years ago and have gained 20 LBS. It is very hard as I am in 60's and always strived to be slim with exercise and eating right. Most of it is in the stomach area but also legs heavier. I still do the treadmill a few times a week for a couple of miles but just get very discouraged. I have heard instead of steroid they can use saline solution but don't think the results would be the same.
lbj

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on 07/14/2014 8:34pm

If I would get the saline solution instead of the steroid, would I lose the weight that I've gained? I need something for the pain but was wondering if anyone else had switched and then lost the weight.
Thank you
lbj

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on 09/09/2014 3:09pm

Have any of you lost hair due to your steroid injections? I am now seeing a pattern with my hair falling out after I have an injection! And just recently put two and two together and think it is from the shots!

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on 09/09/2014 5:02pm

If you stop the steroid injections then will all the weight you gained come off again? Most of mine is all around the stomach area.
Thank you

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on 10/06/2014 6:13pm

this is so upsetting! I have had 2 lumbar and one cervical injection in the last 8 weeks. I had one before going on vacation and thought I gained the 8 lbs from eating too much. But since then I have gone back to eating very healthy and exercise 5+ times a week. I was a little underweight before....it isn't really the weight that bothers me as much as the bulge in my abdomen...even upper abdomen. Does anyone know how to get rid of the fat deposits? That is exactly what it seems like. I too was told it wouldn't make me gain weight, but it certainly did. And the worse part of all I spent alot of money and got no pain relief whatsoever.

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