Our expert says:
I am sorry to hear that you suffer from suppressed immunity and that the cortisone tablets are causing weight gain. I trust that the hormone specialist (Endocrinologist?) has pinpointed which hormones are not being produced at the required levels and had prescribed the necessary hormone replacement therapy (e.g. Eltroxin if your thyroid is not working properly) or medication (Glucophage if you suffer from insulin resistance)? If not, please consult her again and ask if she can prescribe the necessary treatment. Basically you need to eat a well balanced diet to build up your immune system. Such a diet would consist of plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (at least 5-7 portions a day), lean meat, fish (3-4 times a week) and eggs (4 per week), plus 3 cups of fat-free milk or yoghurt or cottage cheese a day, whole, unsifted grains and cereals (3-4 servings), legumes (cooked or canned dry beans, peas or lentils or soya) as often as possible, and poly- or monounsaturated oils or margarine (olive oil, tub marg, etc) (3 tablespoons a day) to provide all the nutrients the body requires for good health. If you eat this type of diet you will not really need to take any vitamin or mineral supplements, but if you feel that you are not getting sufficient vitamins and minerals from your diet (i.e. if you are on an unbalanced diet), then it may help to take a complete vitamin and mineral supplement like Centrum or Supradyn Forte for a month or so. The use of probiotics (beneficial microorganisms) such as Intestiflora (buy at health shops) can also boost immunity. You also need to get your stress under control and I would suggest that you consult a clinical psychologist to teach you more effective coping skills. The dr can refer you to a clinical psychologist. Gentle relaxing exercise such as yoga or going for walks in the fresh air will also help to relieve stress. Once you have improved both your immunity and your hormone levels and reduced stress, you can try using an energy-reduced, low-fat, high-fibre diet (click on 'DietnFood' at the top of this page, then on 'Healthy Diets' and then on 'Slimming Diet' for a copy of such a diet), and increasing your energy output by for example going for brisker walks to lose weight.
I do hope you will soon be feeling better.
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