Friday, April 22, 2011

Unrequited Hunger

In the past couple days I have seen some questions concerning non-stop hunger come to me from different people; I think this was prompted by my blog about how I don't feel hunger like others.  I got to thinking and it is amazing how a couple of questions can jog someones memory and then lead to one of those "AHA!" moments.  There have been SEVERAL times when I have experienced an unending or insatiable hunger.

After having written Hunger Pains, there are those that would ask how it is I can say I have felt an unending hunger if I usually never feel hungry or full.  I would say to look back at Prednisone.  I didn't go into detail about that long-standing prescription as there were just too many ill side-effects.  It doesn't help that it is touted as a cure-all or used as an umbrella for so many different issues in the medical world.  Nor does it help that most of the people that prescribe this drug don't really know how it will affect their patient; this is why you will only ever see me write about the ill side-effects of prednisone.  I am getting off topic.

One of the side-effects I have experienced while taking prednisone is an unending hunger.  It doesn't start right away and it did take me several years to figure out what was going on.  It is worth noting that there are both short-term and long-term doses of prednisone that are used, depending on the severity of the flare-up, with quick and long taper periods.  I have very rarely ever experienced a feeling of insatiable hunger when on a short-term regimen of prednisone; but whenever I have been on long-term doses I have always gotten to the point that I just never felt full.

Now what does it mean to never feel full?  It means that I was eating over 8,000 calories a day and still not feeling full -- a healthy diet is between 1,500 - 2,000 calories per day for someone that is not too active.  I was eating to the point that if I ate any further I would vomit because of how full my body was, and yet I still did not feel full.  It took me a while to work up enough will-power to actually stop eating with the amount of hunger I felt.  The worst part wasn't the unending hunger.  No, the worst part of this aspect of the prednisone is that I was lulled into a false sense of security for some time.  I felt that I could eat anything and it would not affect me due to the prednisone; but it was only a cover.

While I shan't go in depth on what you should and shouldn't eat while on prednisone, I will say that if you eat contraband while on prednisone in order to try and deal with the hunger you will use up all of your daily funds rather quickly.  Would you run your AC while the windows and doors are open?  If the AC was running so well that it got cold, would you turn on the heat to make it warmer or turn down the AC?  I now watch what I eat while on prednisone and am mindful of stopping when I get to a certain point.  I have memorized the portions that work for me when I feel no hunger and apply those same portions during those times I take prednisone.  I haven't found a way to get rid of the endless hunger other than stopping the prescription.

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