Thursday, October 18, 2007

Moon(face) Over Seattle...

I'm off the roids...thank Gawd. Had I remained on Prednisone (or IV Solumedrol) another week, I would have to hire a forklift operator just to get me in and out of the Hut! Yep, the "official" weight gain from steroids over the past 3-4 weeks has been about 14 pounds...I now appear to have swallowed a regulation-sized football that has lodged itself just under my rib cage and the roundness of my face makes Porky Pig look anorexic in comparison...

While reading my chart at one of my recent IV infusions (yes, I DO read my own chart...stealth reading...if it's left out, it's fair game for my eyes!), I noted Dr. She Who Will Not Be Named referencing my *appearance* as "looking Cushingoid"...that's medical speak for effing FAT FACED! My neurologist was trying to politely say (or not?!?) I had developed what is typically called a "moon face" from the roids. This is something that often occurs in a disorder called Cushing's Disease, which is caused by high levels of cortisol in the blood from various causes...and cortisol is a corticoSTEROID hormone naturally produced (primarily) by the adrenal cortex...get the steroid connection here? Solumedrol and Prednisone are both man-made steroids, thus having very similar effects on the body...AKA, FAT FACE/Moon face.


One of my primary concerns when on roids IS weight gain...well, that and stark-raving-circus-freak-crazy psychosis, which...ah...we can talk about at another time. LOL And I know many of YOU have voiced the issue of steroidal weight gain as a major concern also (somewhat quietly, however...as though it is a pornographic topic). It sucks...it's "allegedly" avoidable...but I've never quite figured out HOW to avoid it, short of having my mouth wired shut and strapping myself down in four point restraints (which maybe would "assist" with the steroid crazies, too?...but I digress). The steroids make my HUNGRY...all the time...even if I am too full to eat...I eat/gorge myself anyway. It becomes uncontrollable! I WILL kill for food (not work for it, KILL for it...which would NOT make a great road-side cardboard sign for a beggar now, would it?!?) when on steroids.


Being the "I gotta know why this works this way" type of person I am, AKA, nosey and wanting to be a know-it-all, I did a little research about steroids and increased appetite. And you know what? "They" don't really know why this occurs, just that it does...go figure. There is some thought that steroids (Solumedrol/Prednisone referencing here when I say "steroids" or "roids") suppress another chemical in the body called, "Leptin", which is a naturally occurring appetite SUPPRESSANT in the body (and the word "Leptin" comes from the Greek word "leptos", meaning thin). In lay man's speak, Leptin works to decrease the appetite while increasing body metabolism. So, it makes sense if roids are holding down Leptin, there's no one in the ring to pin down the appetite.


It is a KNOWN fact that Prednisone/Solumedrol cause the body to retain sodium and lose potassium...this is a VERY well known fact to me personally as I always have to take a potassium supplement when on roids to ward off potential heart failure from plummeting potassium levels...my K+ (potassium on your lab values sheet) can drop to dangerously significant lows during steroid treatments...been to the ER before for this and it's NOT pretty!


With the increase in sodium (known as "salt" in the diet) retention comes fluid retention in the body...yep, sodium molecules like to hang on to water to keep them company. The only problem with this is, the "water" tends to build up in the tissues, causing swelling in the extremities and in other places you just don't want to be packing around extra fluid. And...fluid retention or fluid/water that isn't supposed to be there, increases the amount of WEIGHT one carries around. It's like dragging a six pack around in each ankle and your gut just so the nasty sodium molecules have "company"...and it doesn't work to just drink MORE fluids in an attempt to drown (flush out) the sodium. Oh no...sodium will simply collect more friends to deposit in your tissues...the more the merrier to sodium.


And if all of the above isn't enough, Prednisone/Solumedrol ALSO have one last kick in your shorts...roids tend to REDISTRIBUTE fat cells. That's right...not only do you get MORE of 'em, you get the fat accumulating in places not easily concealed...LIKE YOUR EFFING FACE!!! (And also the back of the neck and abdomen, but it's MY mug I'm worried about here).


So...here's the problem in a "nut shell" as I see it...the roids increase the appetite (probably because they're knocking out the body's natural appetite suppressant), thus increasing caloric consumption, while increasing sodium retention and potassium depletion, causing a build of excess fluids, while increasing fat cell production, which gets distributed into places you NORMALLY wouldn't gain weight. Bottom line...STEROIDS CAUSE ME TO HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO WEAR IN MY WARDROBE!!! Which is the REAL reason for this post.


I am supposed to attend a somewhat formal ball/banquet on Saturday...I have NOTHING in my closet that currently fits. I REFUSE to run out (like I CAN run right now...that image is really kind of funny!) and buy NEW FAT LADY CLOTHES. My face looks to be that of a cartoon character and I am afraid people will think I am trying to produce a genetically flawed fetus, given my protruding belly looking pregnant and the fact I am 43 years old! This is my dilemma...commiserate with me PU-LEEZE!!!


Oh...I suppose I *should* digress back to the original topic of this post and say some comments about decreasing calorie intake, decreasing sodium and fluid intake, and continuing exercise programs to combat steroid weight gain, but seriously? Do ANY of us DO this when on roids?!? NO...we already feel like crap from whatever MS is throwing our way and most of us CAN'T continue exercise programs even if we were engaged in one prior to the steroids. But I feel I must (because I play a medical professional on the "INNERNET") mention these things "allegedly" DO help with steroidal weight gain...LOL...


So, it's back to my closet to see if there are any TWO pieces of clothing I can sew into one to make some kind of tent to cover this "hunka hunka burnin' love" I call my current steroid fat self. I think it is most likely too late to convert to Muslim just so I can justify wearing a Burka on Saturday...LOL...

18 comments:

Peej said...

my body has no idea what Leptin is... I have never been skinny (or even thin). Actually, I look like I'd been on roids already in my first baby picture. Doesn't help at all to see that Italian bread heal in my fat little fist.... Most kids have pacifiers, I had Italian bread. Go figure. LOL!

Maybe you can borrow an outfit? Buy one and return it after the function? :)

Oh, a question. Why is this window so small all of a sudden? It's a real PITA to try and read.

Miss Chris said...

Being the freak of nature that I am, I was once on steroids (not due to M.S. but to a potentially disfiguring sunburn...(topic for another day) But I didn't get hungry. Go figure...

Have myelin? said...

Roids make me HHH. Hungry, Hot and Horny. And yes I gain a lot of weight. I *just* lost the summer steroid weight.

I'm really bad about salt. I turn into a deer with a salt block.

Didn't know about the potassium thing. No one ever tells me anything anyway!

Exercise? Decrease food consumption? Are you kidding me? Hand me the potato chips and salt shaker.

BRAINCHEESE said...

PEEJ:

I have NO idea why this might be showing up in a smaller screen for you...continues to load as always here. Maybe it just LOOKS smaller because the writer has gained sooooo much weight?!? (Ah, that would be me)

LD

BRAINCHEESE said...

MISS CHRIS:

Yes, that definitely classifies you as a FREAK...LOL

LD

BRAINCHEESE said...

HAVE MYELIN:

It's nice to know I'm in good company with this...of course, wishing steroid binging on someone is like wishing weight lose on an anorexic!

LD

Sara said...

once again I can't compare situations, but I do know that when i've got pmt (that's pms for the brits with the t=tension) i retain extra water & crave salty foods, so maybe that's kinda similar . . . okay not really, but i'm grasping at staws here.
i reckon since halloween is coming up soon you could wear a burka & just be surprised when nobody else dresses up for the formal (aka halloween) ball you're going to ;)

adina said...

You are going to wear yourself out girl with all this overanalyzing hysteria …You crack me up, I love reading you …
Here’s my 2 crappy cents on fashion :
I usually wear loose clothing when gaining weight. ( like now …I feel I have a 30 pound baby inside..). loose dresses , blouses , shirts . there is no way I can even remotely think about pants ..Forget it .
I also bought the DVD with Winsor Pilate and the exercises are actually pretty cool . ( on a different note infomercials after 2 AM work like charm on a wasted , tired and frustrated mind …That’s how I bought my Gintzsu knife also…LOL)

Bubbie said...

There just isn't anything nice to say about steroids. We should form a group...NO a Movement. Moonies-United-Steroid-Troupe.

Becky said...

my mouth is usually opena nd food is usually going in...the few times I have been on steroids,,,,might as well just shove in the fridge!

BRAINCHEESE said...

SARA:

I LIKE that Halloween idea! Yes...now the only problem is GETTING to my function without being the victim of a hate crime.

LD

BRAINCHEESE said...

ADINA:

No YOU crack ME up!!! ROFLMAO about the late night QVC purchases...

I've settled on wearing a "robe" from my days of officiating women's circles...if I'm going to look like a freak, I might as well have the credentials to back it up! LOL

LD

BRAINCHEESE said...

BECKY:

You know, if I COULD have shoved the frig in my mouth, I probably would have...since the roids already leave a "metallic" taste anyway...LOL

LD

BRAINCHEESE said...

BUBBIE:

Yeah, we form a group and it's just another "dangerous" group the government will have to *watch*...LOL

LD

Bubbie said...

Face it Ms. Cheese, I know I'm already on THAT list. I always need an extra hour for the search at the airport. And it's not a stretch thinking you're on it too!

BRAINCHEESE said...

BUBBIE:

Ah, me too...probably for the same reasons! LOL

LD

katie said...

This blog summed up my entire life at the moment. Thank you so much. You really made me LOL.
My face is like a ridiculously huge chipmunk and I feel pregnant. None of my clothes fit me anymore... im 20 and everyone just looks at me like "woah.. shes letting herself go" :(
Ive been on 60mg pred for a few months and now I am down to 30... slowlyslowly going down.. does anyoneknow what dosage horrible big moonfaceyukkysideeffects goes away???????? :(

Anonymous said...

I'm getting married in 3 days I have been weining off for a week to try and get these horrible cheeks down...I can't even look in a mirror without crying I don't see me at all and here's the kicker I have stage 4 cancer and these are going to be the pics my family will remember me OMG I'm pisses...has anyone found anything to help...a antihistamine something OMG anything.