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Does Prednisone Raise Blood Sugar? 5+ Ways to Reduce

Does Prednisone Raise Blood Sugar? 5+ Ways to Reduce

Understanding the Relationship Between Prednisone and Blood Sugar Levels

We will delve into the relationship between prednisone and blood sugar to help you better understand the effects of this medication. Prednisone is a widely prescribed corticosteroid medication known for its anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant properties. While it is effective in treating various conditions, it is crucial to understand its potential impact on blood sugar levels.

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Prednisone Explained

Before we dive into how prednisone affects blood sugar levels, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what prednisone is and why it is prescribed. Prednisone is a synthetic corticosteroid that mimics the effects of cortisol, a hormone naturally produced by the body. It is commonly prescribed to reduce inflammation, suppress the immune system, and manage conditions such as asthma, allergies, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders.

Prednisone and Blood Sugar Levels

One of the known side effects of prednisone is its potential to increase blood sugar levels. Prednisone can stimulate glucose production in the liver while decreasing the effectiveness of insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar. This combination can lead to higher blood sugar levels, especially in individuals who already have diabetes or prediabetes.

Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels

For individuals with diabetes or prediabetes, it is crucial to monitor blood sugar levels closely while taking prednisone. Regular blood glucose testing will help determine if prednisone is affecting your levels and allow you to take appropriate measures to manage them. It is essential to work closely with your healthcare provider to develop a monitoring plan that suits your specific needs.

Managing Prednisone-Related Blood Sugar Changes

If you notice a significant increase in your blood sugar levels while taking prednisone, here are some strategies that may help:

1. Maintain a balanced diet

Focus on consuming a well-balanced diet rich in whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid foods high in added sugars and refined carbohydrates that can further elevate blood sugar levels.

2. Regular exercise

Engage in regular physical activity to help improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels. Consult with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program.

3. Medication adjustments

If you have diabetes, your healthcare provider may need to adjust your diabetes medication or insulin dosage while you are on prednisone. It’s important to communicate any changes in your blood sugar levels to ensure an appropriate treatment plan.

4. Stress management

Stress can affect blood sugar levels. Incorporate stress-reducing techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in hobbies to help manage stress.

5. Nutrient Depletion Replenishment

Prednisone depletes chromium leading to higher blood sugar. Supplements:


Prednisone can potentially raise blood sugar levels, particularly in individuals with diabetes or prediabetes. It is crucial to monitor your blood sugar levels closely while taking prednisone and work closely with your healthcare provider to manage any changes. By maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and practicing stress management techniques, you can better manage your blood sugar levels and minimize the impact of prednisone on your diabetes management. Remember, always prioritize open communication with your healthcare team to ensure the best possible outcome for your treatment.

  1. Control of steroid-induced diabetes with supplemental chromium
  2. Reversal of corticosteroid-induced diabetes mellitus with supplemental chromium
  3. Practical Guide to Glucocorticoid Induced Hyperglycaemia and Diabetes

Dr. Megan Milne, PharmD, BCACP

Dr. Megan Milne, PharmD, BCACP, is an award-winning clinical pharmacist board certified in the types of conditions people take prednisone for. Dr. Megan had to take prednisone herself for an autoimmune condition so understands what it feels like to suffer prednisone side effects and made it her mission to counteract them as the Prednisone Pharmacist.

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