McArdle Disease medical overview
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EXERCISE AND DIET
People with McArdle’s may have a problem with weight gain due to an aversion to exercise caused by their symptoms (page 7a).
A healthy diet with an appropriate calorie intake to maintain ideal weight is recommended.
Diet remains controversial, further research is required. Ketogenic diet is being investigated.
A limited study in 2008 indicates that a carbohydrate-rich diet may be advantageous. (20% fat, 15% protein, 65% carbohydrate – using low glycemic index foods such as vegetables, fruits, pasta, rice, bread and low-fat cheese) .
Some patients report doing better on a high protein diet, and yet others on high fat.
It is important to keep hydrated during activity.
37 g of sucrose (143 calories, equivalent to 9 teaspoons of table sugar)†, in a drink 5 minutes before short-term intense activity (such as sexual intercourse) may ease symptoms in the first 15 minutes . (Some risk of reactive hypoglycaemia.)
Frequency of use of sucrose should be limited, to avoid the risk of weight gain, e.g. twice per week.
To date, no nutritional treatments have been adequately proven to be effective  in the short or long term.
† Equivalent to a 12 oz (355 ml) can of Coca Cola.
 Carbohydrate- and protein-rich diets in McArdle Disease: Effects on exercise capacity. Andersen ST, Vissing J (2008) J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatry published online 5 Jun; https://doi:10.1136/jnnp.2008.146548.
 Effect of oral sucrose shortly before exercise on work capacity in McArdle Disease. Andersen ST, Haller RG and Vissing J (2008) Arch Neurol 65.
 Cochrane Review: Pharmacological and nutritional treatment for McArdle Disease. Quinlivan R, Martinuzzi A, Schoser B, (2014).
McArdle Disease Medical Overview