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Benni

Losing muscle mass?

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Benni   

I lost 10 pounds during my stroke hospital stay. I've only gained 3 pounds back. I've had 2 friends say they noticed the weight loss since their last visit (a month ago), then hubs noticed my arm is thinner -- when he put on the BP cuff, it slid down to my elbow.

 

I'm eating more than I ever have so could I be losing muscle mass? Is there anything I can do?

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Eat more dessert! About 6 months after my stroke I lost my sense of taste and lost 40 pounds. My taste came back and I gained it all back. I am real surprised I haven't lost any muscle mass. It stands to reason that you would. I did lose muscle mass in my shoulder, which makes it difficult to keep my clothes up.

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Benni   

I use to eat only breakfast and supper. Now I also eat a lunch, an afternoon snack, and dessert. I'm so thin that I look like Kermit the frog! It doesn't show on the scale that I'm losing weight. That's why I thought of muscle mass.

 

I wonder if that's what's happening with MY shoulder? When I wear v- neck shirts I constantly have to pull it up as it slides to my shoulder?

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You might look for a supplement drink, like Boost.  If you drink several of them each day for several months it might help. 

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Benni   

I've drank Boost before and it helped a lot. But, for muscle mass, I thought you had to take protein, or use protein powder.

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The trouble is you will lose muscle mass if you are not using the muscles, even with all the exercise I do my left calf is half the size it was before my stroke. There are too many muscles in there that won't do what I ask.  you'll need to get the scales that measure your body density and give you a muscle and fat mass if you want to track how your body composition is changing, you may be able to access one at your doctor or gym they are an expensive bit of kit.

 

Using protein powder might help if your body was trying to make muscle, but generally your body will throw away what it thinks it can't use right now, except for carbs which it will try to store as fat.

 

So try to increase your intake of nutrient dense food, aim for balance (if you want to emphasise protein eat almonds and walnuts as your snack food, raw and unsalted is best).  What you lost in the hospital would have been fat stores as the body burns extra calories while it is in healing mode.  So increasing your overall calorie intake should help get your reserves back, here something like Sustagen would probably be recommended (I've no idea what your local equivalent would be called).  So long as you are exercising/using the muscles overall body muscle mass should not be affected, but you'll probably find your good side gains muscle easier than your bad side.  The basic western diet is overloaded with protein, I seriously doubt that you need to supplement

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Benni   

Thanks my guru! I LOVE carbs so that may do the trick. Here our nutrient supplement is called Boost or Ensure. They've worked well, for me, in the past so I'll go back on those, too. I love almonds/walnuts but hubs is allergic to tree nuts so we don;t keep those around.

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Sounds like a plan.  Yes  if hubs is allergic you don't want nuts in the house. But if you've not been eating much your body adjusts and it'll take time for it to recognise that there's plenty and start to rebuild reserves and make new habits, don;t try to rush it. Lots of little "meals" may be your best answer.

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Benni   
10 hours ago, heathber said:

 Lots of little "meals" may be your best answer.

 

Good answer!!

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Benni! I cannot keep a single thing on my right shoulder!!

 

Definitely a great question for my physio. 

 

If you want some weight, I have a bit to go around...

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Benni   

Janelle, not even a t-shirt?

 

I'll take all the weight I can!

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T shirts are good, but they do hang to one side a bit.

 

I normally only wear a tshirt and jocks unless I'm going out of the house. 

 

Everyone who visits is used to me wearing not much (I wear big Tshirts that cover my bum etc)...except for Wayne.  He's constantly rolling his eyes at me.

 

Oh. Well.

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Benni   
1 hour ago, GreenQueen said:

 

Everyone who visits is used to me wearing not much (I wear big Tshirts that cover my bum etc)

 

Makes for interesting visits, I bet!  :smile:

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It used to upset my dad, but he's learned to roll with it!!

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Benni my parents have just been here...you'll be pleased to know I had clothes on. Proper clothes! I think he was surprised!!

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