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Thread: ED/loss of muscle mass

  1. #1

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    Default ED/loss of muscle mass

    Hi everyone and sorry for not having posted for a while, things have been a bit, well, rocky. I'm really hoping someone can help me out with my question 'cos I'm a bit confused! I've also posted this on Vegan Fitness, so please forigive the "double post"...

    So I've been told by a dietologist that the weight I lost when I was suffering from my ED (anorexia) is muscle mass that has been destroyed. But here's where it gets confusing... according to her these cells cannot be regained, except as fat (adipose tissue). I HAVE gained back the weight I lost, and I guess I do have a tiny bit of a pudge... but can it REALLY be true that muscle mass cannot be regained? My understanding of it from her is that they can't be rebuilt, the remaining ones just increase in size.

    So I'm Wednesday I'm starting judo, which I hope will become a regular thing, and am also taking up running. So what will this exercise do to my surviving muscle cells?

    Help!!!!! Any input is most welcome. Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    muxu bero bat! gogs67's Avatar
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    Default Re: ED/loss of muscle mass

    Not sure what she means about the cells being 'destroyed'?
    I do know that if i train hard for 6 weeks say, i can put on half a stone of muscle but as soon as i stop that will burn off in as little as 10 days which is rather annoying but i CAN increase my muscle mass again if i go for it.
    Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty!

  3. #3

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    Default Re: ED/loss of muscle mass

    You need to be eating enough of the right sort of food and doing the right sort of exercise to gain muscle.
    If you just do cardio and fret about weight gain your muscles will waste. You will also lose weight. Some of it will be muscle.
    Maybe that's what she meant.
    I suggest you go to a good gym, find a good gym instructor, attend regularly and be frank about your history.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  4. #4

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    Default Re: ED/loss of muscle mass

    Running and Judo are healthy exercise but I also think that if you want to develop your muscles you need some supervision, like from a trainer.
    Maybe the Judo instructor can advise?
    If you move to Newcastle I'll introduce you to my trainer.
    Also the running could be damaging to your muscles if you aren't eating properly.
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Hemlock's Avatar
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    Default Re: ED/loss of muscle mass

    That sounds like nonsense to me, I've looked after people who've been in intensive care or in plaster for months and sure their muscles waste away but with physio and eating the proper diet it comes back again - I'm a bit confused by her advice on this issue

    There are two types of muscle atrophy, the first is from misuse such as a being confined to bed, cachexia (lack of nutrition), people in comas etc etc, this is reversible with physio and an exercise programme.

    The second type which I see at work all the time is neuropathic. For example in polio the disease destroys the nerves going into the muscles which leads to irreversible muscle wasting, the same with diabetic neuropathy and vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia which is why vitamin B12 is so important. If you cut your common peroneal nerve in half say in an accident you will end up with permanent foot drop and a permanently atrophied muscle.

    So unless you have severe vitamin B12 deficiency and permanently numb arms and legs as a result of the anorexia which I think is highly unlikely and you should be able to build your muscle up again. I think you should query this.
    Silent but deadly :p

  6. #6

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    Default Re: ED/loss of muscle mass

    Thanks for your replies everyone

    She did seem to be on a bit of a crusade against people with EDs...

    It's not that I necessarily want to build up muscle, I'd just like to tone up a bit, and this picture of my muscle being lost and then replaced in the form of fat, a situation that could never be remedied... was frankly a bit disturbing.

    I don't know what to think. I think there is a "point of no return" where if you lose a LOT of muscle it can never be regained. But as I don't really have an objective view of how ill I was I can't really be a judge of that.

    I just want to get in shape, and use sport as a substitute for psychotherapy and doctors banging on about what I should be eating; I want to increase my calorie intake, eat properly and fall in love with my body once more. After the crappy two years I've just had I want 2009 to be the year I start realising my potential.

    Thanks again everyone

  7. #7
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    Default Re: ED/loss of muscle mass

    I didn't have a great experience with judo. obviously I'm not gonna speak for the entire sport but if you don't click with the sport don't give up on martial arts. I have completely fallen in love with kickboxing. I found kickboxing really helped with my eating problems, when I'm toned up I get less hung up on my body shape, I can actually look in the mirror and not hate myself these days, I hope you can too xxxxxxx

  8. #8

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    Default Re: ED/loss of muscle mass

    I hope my posts did not come over as discouraging, I just wanted to point out that you need to be eating well as well as exercising.
    I hope you continue to feel better!
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  9. #9

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    Default Re: ED/loss of muscle mass

    ^ Oh no, they didn't, not at all! In fact I'm very grateful for your advice. I know I'm still not taking in enough calories, and it's hard to take in more, but I'm getting there, slowly.

    Thanks again :smile:

  10. #10

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    Default Re: ED/loss of muscle mass

    I had an offer from one of the instructors at my gym for a free InBody analylis, this is where you stand on a machine which supposedly measures your body fat, muscle mass and bone density, to be honest I am a bit sceptical about how accurate these things are but apparently I came out as protein deficient and weak muscles. I could have predicted the weak muscles part.
    The instructor said I needed to eat more protien and try having nuts with my breakfast. So I do...when I remember! Almpnds, goji berries and raisins, and a few brazil nuts...now and again!
    See my local diary ... http://herbwormwood.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
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    Default Re: ED/loss of muscle mass

    I find judo brings many benefits; balance, full contact, soft mats, very funny sometimes, great range of bodily configurations etc.. and the opportunity to exercise if you want to.
    I would recomend swimming as the 'best' activity for all through muscular toning though.
    Worth noting that any soft tissue damage after the age of thirty years is much more likely to result in osteo arthritis... another big indicator to the swimming pool.
    If you have body image concerns... I recently got hold of a neoprene wetsuit from aldi for thirty euros... crap picture on the front but I keep moving. Even if you doubt you look good in a wet suit....you won't feel cold in one.
    On the subject of muscle growth, I was under the impression that when muscles are used to exhaustion, the fibres become kind of frayed...then as they repair, more cross linkages are formed making more muscle mass, which might explain the need to stretch to avoid short tight muscles. If that is true then perhaps stretching stimulates extra muscle growth aswell, due to ever so slight 'fraying' [in addition to the improved circulation of nutrients, and squeezing out of waste products].
    Nota Bene: overstretching is crap.
    Sounds like bunkum now.
    Problematic is waking someone whom pretends to sleep.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: ED/loss of muscle mass

    I have a friend that I work out with at the gym just about every day. She is in unbelievable shape and happens to have a nice amount of muscle tone, and this girl at one point had anorexia and had gotten down to as low as 68 lbs. I would say that you can build the muscle back. It will take time but if you are getting the proper amount of amino acids and proteins needed to help rebuild muscle tears and degeneration, you should be able to.

    And although cardio is always good for your health, to rebuild muscle, you will have to get on a regular strength training routine. If you belong to a gym I would see if there are any strength training (weight lifting) classes that you can take. Or maybe you can even visit with a certified, experienced trainer and explain your situation. They will be able to assess your personal health status and lead you in the right direction.

    Glad to hear that you are on a healthy road. Just don't lose hope. It can take a while to see results when you are doing it the right way, but if you stick with it..you will see them. Good luck!
    The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.~ Mahatma Ghandi

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