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Update on recovery / compression fractures / water weight?


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unfortunately I havent been able to post on this site for quite a while due to my health. I will try to cut a very long story short by saying that for the past 6 or so weeks I have been having back problems - I have been in such agony and even had to call an ambulance out twice! It turns out that I have 3 compression fractures in my spine due to osteoporosis. 1 in the thoracic region and 2 in the lumbar region. I had x rays but they didnt show anything and I only found out when I had an MRI scan done. Previous to this I had been attempting recovery and had managed to get up to around 1300 calories. However all the pain scared me and pushed me on and I managed to increase up to 1800 and then 2000. I had those for around 3 weeks but put on 11lbs and have since cut back down to around 1600 this week as I am feeling so bloated and I cant do any of my trousers up or anything! I know this is supposedly the wrong thing to do and I do not want to do the wrong thing because I NEED to recover this time - for one thing I can not go through all the pain again. I am sure I have some water retention because my stomach looks kinda swollen and also I have marks where my socks have been and behind my knees if I try to pull my legs up i feel like i have tennis balls there behinf the knee! i know water retention is expected and is normal in recovery but does it go away at all? by this i mean do you actually loose some of the weight you have gained if you continue to eat the higher amount of calories? or does it just change from water weight to actual weight? im confused because i read of people taking months to recover and eating like way over 2500 cals but i have put on almost a stone in 3 weeks so really even tho i am still low bmi technicallly i could maybe put another stone on and no longer be classed as anorexic as i think my bmi now is about 15 up from about 13.5 at worst. and another stone could only maybe take a month? sorry if this is a little disjointed i am having to type it on the laptop and hate the tihngs! also, has anyone else had the unfortunate experiance of compression fractures? One last thing, how long into recovery do you start to feel a little better? I weigh the most I have in over 2 years and feel the worst i have. the fractures obviously made me feel worse, but i just feel soooooooooooo tired and achey and generally awfull. I shall hopefully post a better more detailed post soon when i can back on my PC. in the meantime thanks for reading and as always appreciate any advice. xx

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I can't answer most of your questions, but thought I'd bump the thread in the hope that someone with more relevant experience will see it and respond.

Re water retention, though, it will get better - considering the fact that you started your recovery from an extremely low weight it is to be expected that you will have a lot of fluid retention and bloating for a time. Please don't let this discourage you, most of your gain is most likely not actual weight gain, as your body will be using a lot of the extra calories just to try to repair itself. And you are (as you know) still eating far too little. You need to gradually keep increasing, so that you do gain some much-needed fat and muscle mass.

For what it's worth, I think you're doing an incredibly difficult and brave thing - you are trying to save your own life. And it sounds like you are going in the right direction, even if it might feel painfully slow.

Good luck and please don't give up.

Aw, I'm so glad you've made some progress though so sorry it came with so much pain. I hope your back gets better. I don't have any experience with that type of back pain.

As for feeling worse all of a sudden, I remember having that too. I went from exercising (albeit lightly) to no exercise and yet I went from not being sore to being sore. It seemed so backwards but I just assumed it was all part of the healing process (and I've read others have experienced the same). I don't remember how long it lasted, but I feel like it wasn't too terribly long so don't give up. It does get better. Not just physically, but mentally too! You can do it.

I wish I could give you some input about water retention but I'm one of those few oddballs who actually didn't bloat like everyone else. I don't know why, I guess my body's just weird. I do hope it gets better for you soon. From everyone else account, it seems pretty awful. :(

Take care of yourself. You can beat this thing! :D

thanks guys....anyone else suffered compression fractures?

Hi Gemzywemz; So sorry this is happeneing to you! You are right, you HAVE to recover and increase - you will be in real trouble with your bones if you don't. Yes, you can increase! I know it feels like too much food at the moment, but that is because your body has had too little for far too long. Sure, 1,600 is better than 1,300; but you know it is not enough, - bone healing takes a lot of energy too! the good news is that even over 25, your bones can recalcify given the right diet: I was going to direct you to a post asking about ostoeporosis on hedgren's site, then realised you wrote it!! So, as hedgren said then, you need 3,000 a day.

Yes, it will be uncomfortable, and yes, you do sound as though you have water retention, so upping your calories will need to be done incrementally over the next couple of weeks, but sorry, increase you MUST!

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