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re: anabolic/catabolic
May 27, 2010

a VERY interesting and informative response, nelson, thank you. have you yourself noticed this type of problem (consistent diet and workout, yet sudden catabolic spells) and if so, have you found ways of addressing all those hidden factors you mentioned in your prior response, to the point that you've actually managed to lessen catabolism? i.e., besides for diet and exercise, have you been able to change other things around and actually seen marked improvement in your ability to maintain nice body shape? i.e. is there anything else i can do besides diet and exercise to curb these catabolic spells?

btw, i'm treatment naive, as my hiv doc (and second and third opinions agree) that with my LTNP cd4 counts, and lack of infections, there is no need to begin treatment - yet.

keep in mind, i had these catabolic spells even while on anabolics and testosterone.

all that said, again, besides my consistent diet and exercise, arv and anabolics, is there anything i can do to curb these spells. is there anything experimental in the works? are you a proponent of thelidomide for controlling tnf and other cytokines? is there any place for hydrazine sulfate in all this?

thank you so much for your insight.

Response from Mr. Vergel

My body weight and composition seem to be the most stable since my viral load has been undetectable ( a year now), my testosterone levels have been stable ( total testosterone 500-800 nanograms/ml), my work out frequency at 3 times a week ( not too much since you can overtrain and become catabolic), and I snack 4 times a day instead of having 2-3 large meals. Sleep quality has also been shown to impact how well you retain or gain muscle ( better sleep equals better strength at the gym and probably better growth hormone output since GH tends to increase while we sleep).

Malabsortion due to diarrhea, dehydration, fatigue, poor appetite, poor sleep, hormone deficiencies, stress, sedentary lifestyle, and other factors can make you very catabolic (which makes your more prone to break down muscle, and gain fat).

I tell people who are serious about fitness while living with HIV to carry nuts/seeds/fruits for snacking, drink plenty of water, sleep 6-8 hours a day going to bed at the same time and waking up early, take their vitamins, keep an eye on their testosterone and thyroid function, and exercise 3-4 times a week for an hour (even if it is a light work out when you are not feeling up to it). Keeping your viral load down under 50 copies and your CD4 cells up should not be the only goals for health and a long life free of disability and dependence on others.

Good health and body composition are dependent on so many factors. Keeping balance is not difficult once our brains have accepted certain habits and routines (that is the hardest part!).

Nelson



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