Earlier this week we told the story about a man who lost 200 lbs. – without surgery and without medical supervision, and the surprising, alarming effect on his heart. You can read that full story here.
Ultimately, he was hospitalized with severe chest pain, and eventually the doctors discovered that, “The walls of the left side of the heart -- the side responsible for most of the push -- were thin and weak.”
The man had not consumed anywhere near enough protein and calories. He thought he was burning fat for fuel, but his body was also using muscle tissue for fuel too. The article notes: “Malnutrition can eat away heart muscle the same way it wastes other muscle.”
What does this have to do with bariatric patients? Three important things:
- Losing weight is not the same as losing fat.
- During weight loss, especially rapid weight loss, the body can harvest energy from more than just fat. It can also take from muscle, even from the heart.
- Muscle is the primary way we burn calories. With less muscle, we burn fewer calories, and the risk of weight REGAIN can increase. So it’s good to try to retain your muscle to minimize regain.
Bariatric patients commonly lose 25% of their lean body mass (muscle) within the first year after surgery according to a July, 2020 review article in Bariatric Times. Some lose as much as 40%.
Here is how that happens: when we don’t eat and drink enough calories to maintain the body as it is, the body looks inside for sources of energy. Yes, the body burns fat for fuel, but another place the body looks for energy is your muscle.
Following WLS, that’s what causes the 25% loss of muscle. And after the body burns more and more skeletal muscle, there is even a chance that it will begin to “eat away” the gut, skin, liver and eventually the muscle of the heart in order to survive.
Could some patients be losing heart muscle during their first year?
Possibly if energy and protein intake is very low…and case reports tell us that that it could take years to recover. So please, do what you can to protect all of your muscle. Get plenty of protein and do what exercise you can. Exercise helps your body maintain muscle.
Get at least as much protein as is indicated for the general population over aged 40:
30 grams of high-quality protein, 3 times per day.
The whey protein in UNJURY® has a 100 PDCAAS protein quality score, AND it is the highest in leucine. Leucine-rich high-quality protein is best for preserving muscle mass. That’s why you cannot do better than UNJURY®.
Use a highly trusted brand. UNJURY is recommended at All of America’s Top Rated Hospitals. No brand is more trusted.
Use a brand that tastes good. Use great tasting protein supplements that are enjoyable. If you don’t like your protein, you won’t meet your protein goals every day.
No brand tastes better than UNJURY®. Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. Period.
Thank you for using UNJURY® Medical Quality Protein™.