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Lipodystrophy and WastingLipodystrophy and Wasting
          
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steroid/absorption
Nov 16, 2002

I am considering the use of steroids to combat my wasting. Could it be, however, that in some cases wasting that is due to the body's loss of ability to symthesize muscle growth or protein absorption would not be helped my steroid use?

Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

Wasting is not usually a single-faceted problem. Many things can lead to wasting and it is probably best to find out what is leading to wasting and how wasted you really are to determine the best course of action. For instance, if you are simply not eating enough and have not lost a significant amount of weight (by significant I mean about 10% of your baseline weight in a 12 month period), then strategies to improve your calorie and protein intake are appropriate. If, however, you have lost a significant amount of weight things change and the need to regain will be more urgent. Testosterone replacement should be considered and other more temporary and intermittent courses of anabolic strategies may speed up the process.

By steroids I will assume that you mean testosterone in this case. You have mentioned two very different issues in your question.

First, the inability to synthesize protein (muscle in this case) is more of an internal problem such as liver or other organ dysfunction. If this is the case then it is important to address and consider that issue before adding testosterone into the mix.

Second there is the ability to absorb protein from the gut. If you decide to use testosterone as a replacement therapy or as an anabolic, you will need to make sure that you can consume and absorb an adequate amount of both calories and protein. To investigate this problem, have your current dietary intake checked to see if wasting is because you are not getting enough food in.

In addition to getting enough calories and protein in to support testosterone and anabolic therapies, you will also want to make sure you can get into some type of exercise to optimize your body's use of these sex hormones. For this you may want to call on physical therapy or other appropriate professional service to design a productive program for your recovery.

Best wishes!


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