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achalasia / diet

8/17 8:50:00

Hey Lawrence,

I am 27 and was diagnosed with achalasia about 4 months ago. If you aren't aware, it is an esophageal motility disorder where I basically can't swallow foods or liquids, or have a very difficult time doing so. I am an avid body builder, and have gone from a 5'9 185 pound muscular frame to 155 pounds with a lot of muscle loss. I am getting surgery in 6 days which should help to restore my ability to eat normally. However, I will not be aloud to lift anything over 15 pounds for about 6 weeks.

After the first few days, I will be aloud a liquid and soft food diet for about 3-4 weeks, at which point I will be able to drink a lot of ensures and protein drinks, pending any heartburn or pain associated with them. I am very concerned with losing more muscle mass, so here are my questions?.

- With the way that my body has been on such a calorie deficit (My legs legitimately are the size of boy's ski poles? will I put back on some muscle without being able to work out just due to the fact that I will be getting in way more calories (I'm taking in next to no protein daily currently)? What foods should I stick too, and should I be eating every and anything that I can? Do I risk a situation where my body would conceive this sudden splurge of calories as an opportunity to store it all as fat? Finally, is there anything else I can do or supplement with to preserve or possibly restore some of the muscle I have lost while I go on this 6 week recovery? Could muscle stimulators be a possibility?

Sorry for the long post, I have had a hell of a year, and hopefully I will be back to, or damn near close to normal soon. Any info you could give me would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Evan

Lets start by saying No you will not regain your muscle simply by eating said to say. The good thing is though with the increased calories and more caloric balance you should be able to begin the process of returning your body to a state where you will be more pleased. As for eating everything and anything, not a good idea. Your metabolism has most likely considerably slowed as a defense mechanism do to your low caloric intake and will take time to readjust to a more normal diet. As for what foods would be best, you would need to consult with your doctor because he will need to make these sort of suggestions through his evaluation of your healing process. Certain foods may cause more irritation then others. Your recovery will determine how quickly you will be able to return to your former self. Once you are able to eat a regular diet again write me back and then I can make some suggestions on what foods may help you progress faster.

Thanks and good luck
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