Meeting Weight Qualifications for Transplant
There are certain criteria lung transplant candidates must meet; candidates must meet a weight requirement to qualify for a lung transplant. Many potential recipients are either overweight or underweight. In my case; I was 80 pounds overweight. When it was time to be evaluated for transplantation, I had made the decision I was going do everything in my power to remain on this earth. Guidelines were given by the transplant team in a stern but positive tone. My body mass index (BMI) had to be below 30 and would put my weight at 230 pounds.
I knew what I needed to do and how I was going to approach my goal, losing 80 pounds. In a column written by me in the Pulmonary Fibrosis News; I wrote about how my body changed throughout my idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis journey and subsequent transplant. In the column, I pondered whether my heart beating at an aerobic training heart rate for fat burning when I stood up from a sitting position helped me lose weight? In the following bullets I have listed the plan I used to facilitate my weight loss.
- Ate 5-6 mini meals a day.
- Meals were high in protein and a medium amount of carbohydrates.
- Tried to stay as active as possible; went to work, went to pulmonary rehab phase 2 and phase 3, cooked, and helped my wife around the house as much as possible.
- I could not walk more than a short distance; all of my rehab consisted of me in a sitting or stationary standing position. At exertion, I was using 8 liters of oxygen.
- I lifted weights and rode the recumbent bike; I concentrated mostly on my legs, I knew atrophy would set in the first several days therefore a strong base was necessary. Building muscle also provides more oxygen to your body.
I had a simple yet productive plan; I didn’t overthink the process. It took me 10 months to lose the weight and I currently weigh 250 pounds. I wish I was as diligent now with my eating habits as I was before. In my opinion losing weight is 80% diet and 20% exercise. I was transplanted on December 4, 2015, and I will be forever grateful to my donor and their family for the gift of life I have received.
Has any forum member had to lose or gain weight in order to qualify for a lung transplant? If so, can you share what you did in order to qualify?
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