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Old Tue Jan 2, 2007, 08:05 AM
judyjudyjudy judyjudyjudy is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 10
Building muscle mass and strength training

David, my husband, is getting physically weaker. Is it possible to build muscle mass when you have MDS and are severly anemic? If so, how have people done it. What types of exercises have helped? Judy
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Old Sat Feb 10, 2007, 12:21 AM
Wayne O'Shana Wayne O'Shana is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Vista, CA
Posts: 15
Building muscle mass

Hi Judy:

I was getting monthly tx w/two bags of filtered and irradiated PRBC, and later responded to combined EPO (60,000/wk) and G-CSF (300/wk) so anemia wasn't a problem for me. Can't David get a tx to get his counts up? Total body function and QOL are so important.

Type "exercise bands" in the search box at www.amazon.com for a look at item No. 35. I didn't get a DVD with the one I bought at Big 5, but it would have helped to get me started with the correct technique if it had been part of the package.

I started with ten of each exercise every day for about a week to get the muscles used to their new tasks. I gradually increased the reps over about a month and then felt ready to do the Monday, Wednesday and Friday schedule where I did each exercise until I thought my arms would fall off. That very definitely didn't take very long to happen! Over time I found that I had to do a heck of a lot more work to make my muscles want to quit. I don't think there are very many other middle-aged men out there who could match my fitness level after doing this routine for several months.

Pushaway ... Stand at the kitchen counter with the feet about 12" to 18" away, then lean into the counter and push away. When this gets too easy just move the feet back. When the feet finally get about 30" away it might be time to graduate to real on-the-floor pushups.

Situps ... I use a heavy drapery cord at the foot of my bed to anchor my feet, but these are not regular situps. With my knees bent I start from the sitting position and lean back until my tummy quivers. I hold as long as I can, and as the tummy gets stronger I can lean farther back. I should have had my hands behind my head as a support to keep my neck muscles from getting too tight. I had trouble turning my head when driving.

I hope this helps.
Middle-aged (83 yo) dx Nov 4, 1997 w/MDS-RA+pancytopenia, tx about 18 mo. Responded to EPO+G-CSF. Ferritin dropped from 2500 to 480. Three non-fatal heart attacks, five non-fatal strokes and a lot of TIAs. Otherwise in very good health.
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Old Sat Feb 10, 2007, 03:02 PM
Albert Seufert Albert Seufert is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 13
Judy: When my hgb is below 7 I find it difficult to exercise. After a transfusion I am able to exercise and build muscle mass. If his anemia is sever I can understand his inability to maintain fitness. The energy just isn't there. The muscles need oxygen supplied by red cells which are deficient. I use light weights and walk whenever able. It does get discouaging, all we can do is keep trying.
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Old Mon Feb 12, 2007, 12:38 PM
John R John R is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 29
I'm not sure of your husband's age, blood counts, general condition, etc., but I work out every day both aerobically and with strength training. My counts are all low, but with the exception of platelets not terribly low. I have increased muscle mass since my dx. Good luck and God bless you and your husband. John.
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Old Sat Feb 17, 2007, 09:40 AM
cthomas cthomas is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 129

Hi Judy

I was prescribed High Protein Boost to help me build muscle mass.

This is a wonderful article describing dietary requirements plus benefits and types of exercise needed.


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