Distended Stomach Due to lack of Muscles

Patient

Q: I was anorexic for many years and although I recently got to a normal weight, my stomach suddenly became distended. This was not during all the time I was so drastically malnourished and I feel helpless now that I am normal-weight that I look like a pregnant lady, as I am only twenty years old. The rest of me is lean, it is only my belly that is so enlarged. My doctor assumes it is because I have lost all my muscle mass but I do not know what to do to get it back. I eat normally now so it is increasingly frustrating. Is there a type of operation I could do to get back my muscles or any other measure? Thanks!

Symptoms:  Distended stomach, frequent pain due to lack of muscles
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. It is possible that you could have experienced a combination of muscle wasting and increased redistribution of abdominal fat which is causing your abdominal distention. What we first recommend is you first try to reduce your abdominal size by following a healthy diet is complete in your macro and micro nutrients. We also recommend that you gradually incorporate daily exercise to assist in reducing total body fat. This will help in building, and maintaining muscle mass, while reducing body fat. There are surgical procedures that can be employed to reduce abdominal fat such as liposuction, however this is usually indicated in very severe cases of obesity or in excessive post-natal abdominal girth. Please be guided accordingly.

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