I am a girl and a k poucher but for me, a pouch is a pouch...you didn't tell how old you are, in what physical condition you were/are and what your general healthy is like so those are also factors...
I used to lift, a lot (was a powerlifter pre-pouch but continued lifting afterward, just not as high weights)...as a 'kid' I could lift, push, pull and pretty much do whatever I wanted with my body...but these last 10 years I ended up discovering that my body has limits and that hernias are not my friend...
30 years ago, post pouch creation I thought that I was indestructable but I have since realised that the human body has limits and if you love your pouch then you do not over do it for any reason...I did stairmast 6 weeks post pouch revision...and split, herniated and generally destroyed 6hrs worth of surgery. Waited 8 weeks the next time with the same result. It took a lot of pain and surgery to wrap my brain around the fact that I will never be able to do what I did before and that I shouldn't either.
So, if your doctors says no, then it is no. There are other ways to keep fit, get a hard body and stay healthy without putting your pouch and health in peril.
We are the same age (will be 53 this yr) but guys a different than girls, you seem to fall apart less than we do probably because you don't have to deal with the major hormone changes of menopause...But still, be careful and survey your body and its responses...What is the goal here? To be storng and healthy, not to rip things open or apart...The game is the long term with us..And no matter what anyone says, I much prefer to baby my pouch than to have to have more surgery...
I imagine that even without this surgery, there is risk of organ rupture if you are not careful!
My only thought is that the guys from Cleveland know what they are talking about and if you are having pouch issues, maybe go a bit easier on yourself.
What it comes down to is if the weightlifting and hormones cost you your jpouch, requiring it to be removed one day, would you be ok with that? It may never come down to that, but sometimes you need to consider the worst case scenerio and think about how you would feel if that actually came true.
I'm all for living the life you want, just know there are consequences (good and bad) to everything.
But, if you really want the body building culture, you have to be willing to accept responsibility for the risks. It is your choice to make. As frustrating as it is for you to be told to stop, it is also frustrating for your doctor to have his advice ignored.
Would it be possible to set up a "telephone appointment"? My HMO does it, where they have an appointment time for the doctor to call you. It is perfect for when you need to touch base and discuss a few things, without needing an examination. Emails are usually too brief, so for me they are mostly to ask about meds, labs, etc.
While the 25 pound limit seems rather arbitrary and extreme, Dr. Shen has had more experience with j-pouches and their problems than practically anyone. Plus, we each have our own histories to deal with, and have different things going on. For example, perhaps your pouch was created with some tension at the suture line, making it more susceptible to weakness and rupture. Or, maybe the blood supply is somewhat compromised, causing chronic pouchitis, also weakening the pouch.
Many of us often lift more than 25 pounds, but usually not repetitively. I am not sure how the extra hormones factor in, but Dr. Shen does know what he is talking about. If you continue on your path you probably are not guaranteed to have a pouch rupture, but are increasing your risk. Sure, it is important to feel good about yourself, but it probably is possible to find a compromise that works for you.
So, your choices are to have some follow up with him, or change doctors to someone who has more time to explain everything to your satisfaction. Having the best sometimes means trading off the personal attention.
If it means anything, my doctors routinely just give short responses to my emails. That is why I am very concise and ask specific questions. They don't write long narratives.
As for the Testosterone therapy, I've been on it now for the past 5 years (I get an injection every two weeks, and check my levels once a month), and touch wood, I've had zero problems with it. I, like most GI patients, thrive on routine. If I stick to the same schedule every day, I'm just fine. However, if I deviate from it (ie not eat/sleeping/taking my meds at the same time each day) I feel it, and most times, will get really sick.mas long as I stay consistent, I'm just fine, and I know you will be too, good luck, and keep us posted,
You are the exception, not the rule...you know how to take things slowly, work your way up and not over do...most people do not have your self control...most act like 10yr olds at the entrance of Disneyland....they want to do everything, Now. They do not know that building up slowly means month by month incremental increases in weight and not weekly.
I am one of the unfortunate enthusiasts that goes gung-ho and then has to put the breaks on slowly (I am a self admitted workout addict).
I have learned to 'slow' things down a bit but still overdo it.
369, your decision sounds reasonable. You need to be careful...having a pouch for 16yrs does not make you bullit-proof. It makes you more fragile than 10yrs ago. The older you get the more you need to be careful, not less.
Shen's 25lb rule has nothing to do with you in particular but pouchers in general. He knows that most people won't pop their pouches at 25lbs or even 50lbs but 1 in 100 will. (or 1 in 1000, I have no idea what the statistics are). So it is the generality rule that matters. Better safe than sorry.
If you don't warn them, then when the unlucky 1 in 100 pops or prolapses or herniates his pouch or abdomen he screams and yells that no one warned him not to. And he is right. So consider yourself warned....on the other hand, you can in all probability enjoy your sport for years without a burp and then one day find your pouch hanging out your butt for no reason whatsoever. It won't be the 'one time that you lifted too much' but the accumulation of 1000xs that you lifted just a bit too much.
It wears. So be safe and be careful.
I have been lifting over 100kgs (220lbs?) for my deadlifts but haven't noticed any problems with my pouch at all. *sigh* I'm getting worried now. My next session I'm gonna have this on the back of my mind the entire time
Like I said, not everyone will hurt, get hurt, suffer of destroy their pouch...but 1 out of 100 or 1000 Might. That means that there are precautions to take...wear that weight belt...it exists for a reason, to hold things in and up and to prevent (or help to prevent) hernias...take the necessary precautions, do not "work through the pain" but stop if it hurts, you feel undo pressure in the region or feel like something has torn or ripped...I am NOT saying that it will happen but that it can be more frequent in us than in other populations (read: people who have never had abdominal surgery or pouches).
Keep yourself hydrated too...although form what I remember that is not a problem for you...but do not forget that hydration is not just water but also mineral salts so get something that can replenish that too.
And have fun...you are doing fine so keep it up!
But I feel so much better now after having read the past two posts. Thank you guys I will keep on lifting hopefully for years to come
In my youth (about 35yrs ago) I lifted competitively (power lifter) in Toronto (JCC team) with a team and pushed things hard...I probably also contributed to some gracillis muscle flap destruction by doing so.
When you say that you lifted so much that you felt like you were going to blow off your head...well that sends warning bells-a-ringing.
There is a tipping point between lifting for health, fun, competition, and damage.
Going that far can be dangerous for anyone but a poucher can cause prolapse, hemaroids (think pregnant women and hemaroids) and hernia + a ton of other problems that I cannot even think about...so please be careful.
I did it to prove something to myself...that I was as good as anyone else...that I was normal.
Guess what? I am and I am not...I did cause some long-term damage to my knees, back and a lot of lower body pain...so for whatever reason you are doing it just be careful...undoing the damage is a bi-ch.
Having read a lot of these posts, everyone is different, and weight lifting exercises or expectations are different for each gym enthusiast. I have been weight lifting on and off through my entire J pouch experience. I had 6 months off in 2008 when I had my take down, but 6 years out, I still work out. I am not into dead lighting, or shrugging too much, so lifting more than x amount is irrevelent to me. As some have mentioned, there are many many ways to work out, with free weights and on weightlifting machines too. I think you can get a great work out doing that without hurting your hernia based areas or even your knees. I also take testosterone replacement therapy because I need it. No worries there either on my pouch, I get blood tested routinely and thanks be to God, all is well...I listen to my body and while nothing is certain, I feel; better for both weight lifting AND testosterone replacement therapy. I don't take it for "weight lighting" purposes, but for other reasons that only a male can understand. I just happen to be a male that is weight lighting AND taking testosterone. I don't get into the gym as much as I used too, but for those who have other needs and are considering testosterone, listen to your urologist and get a plan that fits your needs as a man Good luck.....
Thanks to everyone for participating in this thread. I just read it because that's where I am. I, too, have Dr. Shen and saw him for the first time this week. (My fourth GI at CCF.)
He spent most of the time scaring the living shit out of me with dire warnings including the lifting. I've never been a power lifter, but there is nothing like weight training to feel better. I am only seven months from the takedown.
Most discouraging is there isn't a consistent message throughout. Surgeon says one thing, another GI says something else... It would be nice to have something more definite than, "you're going to rupture your pouch, good luck."
OMG, I never come and check this forum, I have had some of the same questions and worry about the same issues. I just turned 37 and I still power lift with a Pouch. Matter of fact 5 days after I won 2nd in Military Nationals I had my large intestine removed. After a year from my last surgery I started to try and compete again, of course it has been a hard road because I'm always anemic and loose/gain weight from week to week. I do notice more blood in my stool after a good squat day. But I honestly thought I was the only power lifter with a pouch. I'm glad to see all of your stories and see that pouches have lasted as long as some of yours have. My most recent visit to my Doc it was explained to me that because of all the issues i'm having with my pouch (pain, bleeding, pouchitis) that my pouch will not last too much longer and i should go back to the bag soon. I told them i was not ready to do this and have been training and competing like crazy to at least make it to the Arnold Classic because i feel like i'm on a time crunch. thank you all for sharing your stories, you just gave me that extra motivation I needed before I head to Raw Nationals next month.
Hi All & ERIC & DONN369,
I also have a big problem with keeping on muscle / weight and entering mid life at 47 combined with chronic musculoskeletal and joint pain. I am a not a big guy but I was always naturally muscular. In the past 5 years I have lost the majority of my muscle mass and I am thinner than ever. (lost about 10 lbs just this year) My pouch is now 31 years old (Mayo Clinic in 1985) and I am considering whats called Human Growth Hormone "STIMULANT". It is supposed to naturally stimulate your pituitary gland to PRODUCE more HGH. I have been told it is TOP OF THE LINE, organic/ all natural with very little side effects and that it has helped many people with chronic muscle and joint pain from either FIBRO or Arthritis related to IBD. The brand is called SEMORELIN and my doctor assures me that it is of the highest quality and can be used for a specific period of time (based on blood levels being monitored)... sometimes about 6 months to boost levels and then you stop it. Doctor said it will definitely help build muscle working out or not! I cannot do ANY of the protein shakes with WHEY. Only the vegan ones ( no milk, lactose or SOY!!) Using ORGANIC (by Orgain) now and I am trying to increase my daily caloric intake. Would be great to discuss this with others as I am feeling so alone and overwhelmed with my situation. My chronic pain is debilitating so its a vicious cycle of not being able to build up my body physically to help with the pain... Plus I have a tough time functioning with Percocet or Vicodin. I am considering Low Dose Naltrexone but am first making a trip to Mayo Clinic in October for a full evaluation by many different specialists. I have not been seen at Mayo in 20 years. All of my local tests (OPEN MRI) (lumbar and pelvis) and blood work do not show ANY of the CLASSIC typical "markers" for IBD related arthritis / Ankylosing Spondylitis. No Sacroiliac joint involvement but yet based on SYMPTOMS, I was told in 2000 that I had Ankylosing Spondylitis (Enteropathic Arthritis). I want Mayo to due further testing with newer technology (CLOSED MRI... with higher magnification) because I cannot live with the chronic pain and local doctors feel it is more FIBROMYALGIA than anything. But like others, I now am looking at a hip replacement (now have bad Osteoarthritis of the left hip) so I need answers!! Tried BIOLOGICS (Humira and Remicade) 10 years ago. Too toxic. Landed me in the hospital over and over with infections. I do have episodes of pouchitis as well and DO NOT want to take antibiotics as I believe that long term CIPRO specifically can be contributing to my chronic nerve and or muscle pain. I am interested in the latest studies regarding bacterial overgrowth in the pouch and CHRONIC pain. Hoping Mayo or Cleveland can help with this. First trip to Mayo in October of 2016. I will be seen by GI and Rheumatology as well as my original surgeon before he retires. His name is is John H. Pemberton and he did my J-pouch surgery with I was only 16 years old! He wants to do the pouch exam (Pouchoscopy). If Mayo does not help me, I will go to Cleveland in 2017 and see Dr Shen and a Rheumatologist there. Hope to hear from anyone with any input or suggestions. I am so tired of being in pain and having a terrible overall QUALITY of life. It impacts everything and of course I have not been able to work. I can also be reached directly at: email@example.com.
Best to all of you!
Hello to all.
I had a total Colectomy with j-pouch back in 1993. I just turned 48 this year. Currently taking testosterone cypinate injections every two weeks for idiopathic hypogonadism. Started working out in the gym first time in my life and continue to go four to five times a week. Slot of joint pain throughout my body from advanced degenerative patio arthritis caused from UC. Gaining a lot of weight has bee a problem currently 272 lbs. bulking up from lifting but joints hurt when I stop excersising. I'm probably lifting too much weight for my age and health issues but never considered a prolaps of my pouch. More concerned with having leakage due to fistula surgery. Considered isegenix for weight control but it made me really sick. Lately having bouts of pouchitis but treated succefully with anti biotic. So far not seeing the plus side of getting older and concerned with incontinents getting worse with age. Almost impossible to pee standing up. Still grateful to have my pouch and fearful of life without it. Glad to see this web site and forum.
The weight thing is bullshit I've lifted a lot heavier weight and my pouch did'nt burst..
LOL. That last comment could have been written a little more tactfully but I agree with it. I posted a youtube video deadlifting 675 pounds with a j-pouch 10 years ago. A couple years later I broke a state record deadlifting 750 lbs. with my j-pouch. Here we are 10 years later - i'm 44 years old and I can and still do lift extremely heavy weights. For 10 years I have regularly lifted with maximal exertion - and I mean to the point where I've burst blood vessels in my eyes and or almost passed out. I have never once had a j-pouch issue with regards to straining as hard as possible and lifting extremely heavy weights. A few weeks ago I did a rack-pull (basically a partial deadlift from about knee-height) with 855 lbs.
My point is NOT that it's safe for everyone with a j-pouch to lift extremely heavy weights. I'm sure everyone's j-pouch is constructed differently and functions differently. My point is just that I have been doing it for 10 years with a j-pouch and have torn muscles (many many times), ruptured major tendons (a few times), blown flood vessels in my eyes, and yet have never had an issue with my j-pouch. Take from that what you will.
Daleer, I have to give you credit for your persistence. I cannot imagine continuing to do these lifts with the injuries you describe. Forget about any effect on the pouch! I must ask; why do you do it? Is there an awesome adrenaline rush or something? No judgement. Just wondering (like why to people sky dive).
Hi Jan. Although I have only been on here intermittently over the years, I have noticed that you are always around ready and waiting to help and give advice to others. I just want to thank you for all the comfort you've brought to and advice you've selflessly given to so many!
Unfortunately I have no profound or insightful answer to your question lol. I'm fairly good at weightlifting and piano (I don't have many other talents) so I enjoy doing them. I guess you tend to enjoy doing what you are good at.
Oh man I thought I was alone in this world. I've been struggling as a competitive powerlifter for the last 8 years. I've had my j-pouch for the last 7 years. I do lift heavy almost every workout. The biggest problem I have is figuring out how to intake nutrients. I've been severely anemic since I the surgery to the point I have regular iron infusions every 3 months. I even was shot twice about a year and a half ago during and armed robbery while I was going to an procedure for my pouch. Of course that through a wrench in the works as well. But after all of this i still compete at a pretty decent level. I'm actually moving up to the next age group this year for those of you that know the age groups (I just turned 39).
I actually thought I was the only powerlifter post j-pouch. I struggle all the time with my body but lifting I felt has always kept me out of the hospital. At the beginning I was told to stay away from lifting but now my doctors encourage it ( I was medically retires from the Army so my Docs might be a little more open to lifting). That you everyone for sharing and please send any advice for a powerlifting j-pouch athlete.