One of the risks of long-term prednisone usage, is that it can reduce bone density.
I'm glad my rheumatologist has been monitoring my Vitamin D ever since I started taking steroids. I've been taking Vitamin D supplements the whole time, and regular blood tests have been used to make sure I'm taking the right amount of supplement.
I've heard that there's more than one way to do a bone density test, mine was basically an xray. I was asked to lie on a table, with my legs raised on a block and an xray machine passed over my torso. My feet were then put flat on the table, toes pointed inwards and the xray machine passed over again. The test was non-intrusive, and over in a couple of minutes.
Despite my normal bone density result, my GP and I have discussed, and are now beginning, weaning me off my steroids. This isn't because of any harm the steroids are doing, but to make it easier for me to lose weight.
I weigh about 90kg at the moment, and my healthy weight range is about 55-60kg. My rheumatologist wants me to lose the excess, because excess weight adds so much extra stress to my joints.
It's very hard to lose weight while taking steroids. So I'm going to very slowly come off them. Each fortnight, my dose will reduce by .5mg/day. Hopefully, my other medications, and time on the tens machine will keep keep my lupus symptoms in check. I might end up having to deal with a little extra pain, but hopefully that will be the worst result. And if I can lose the weight, that will help with my pain levels long-term.
It's a tough time to try to lose weight. This month I have my birthday, World Lupus Day, Mothers' Day and my daughter's wedding. That's a lot of eating out, but if I'm careful, and with the steroids being reduced, I should still manage to lose some weight.