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What do you do to prevent muscle atrophy?

I'm sure we all are aware that prolonged use of immunosuppressants can lead to muscle atrophy (among other problems).  With this in mind, do you do anything specific to try to prevent it?

Has your transplant team discussed this issue with you, and if so, what have they recommended?

I am 3 1/2 years post renal tx and take the usual cocktail of meds, namely, prednisone, myfortic and tacrolimus.  I do not have any issues with the meds so far, but while I know that faithfully using sunscreen will help lower my risk to skin cancer, I am not sure what I can/should be doing NOW to lessen my risk of muscle atrophy LATER.

I suppose the obvious answer is weight/strength training, but I am just assuming this to be true. 

Anyone?  Thank you!

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  • Never heard of this side effect.  I lost a lot muscle in the lead up to my TX.  Sitting around for 2-months after also caused muscle loss.  I gained some back but not like what I was.  I was never a body builder but at least I had SOME muscle.  I am hitting the weights a tad and gaining some strength.  I suggest you do the same.

    • Yeah, it's a common side effect in some patients who have been taking these meds for a long time.  I have been doing some strength training, but I need a plan and a specific routine, something more than "hitting the weights a tad", otherwise I'll be just flailing about.  I was just curious to see what others were doing in this regard, if anything.

  • I think you are thinking too much, I use to ask all these questions to my Transplant team , and their reply was its a possibility not sure shot possible. There are N number of side effects these meds comes with.Can u prepare for all?? NO. So just relax live your life , enjoy it.

    • You are right in that I can't prepare for all possible side effects, but I can certainly act to prevent SOME.  I bring up this subject because on the front page of our local newspaper today is a story about a local man who had suffered for his entire life with diabetes and had a pancreatic tx 10 years ago.  Because of the meds, he began to experience muscle atrophy to the extent that he felt he had to do something about it, so he teamed up with a local physical trainer who created a special training program just for him and his particular difficulties.  It was a really interesting story and got me to thinking, "What if he had started this program earlier?"

      • I agree with MooseMom. You should try to act upon things you can. You can't prepare for everything, but you should try to.

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