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Abscence of Energy & Extreme Fatigue

Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:42 pm
by danielk
Today at the gym I felt extremely tired already after the warm-up squat exercise. I managed to do 5 exercices but after that I collapsed of fatigue, had to lay down for 20 minutes with my legs shaking, I couldn't move my arms and my fingers were cramped, white face, was aspiring for fresh air, got thirsty suddenly, started yawning and my ears blocked up, and had a vomiting feeling.

It has happened before, but usually I prevent it by having sufficient rest between exercises. Heart rate is higher than normal, typically over 170 while however drops to normal levels after a short while. It always occurs after intensive "whole-body" exercises, quadriceps exercises in particular such as leg press. I always eat before a pass, so that cannot be the reason.

Anybody else experienced the same?
Could be linked to SAD and sleeping problems I guess, but could it be dangerous?
Should I avoid weight-lifting completely?
Could it be that my cardio-training condition is extremely lousy and perhaps I should do just cardio instead?

Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:21 pm
by ironmaiden708
It sounds like it could be hypoglycemia. Tachycardia, sweating, extreme fatigue, pallor, nausea, abnormal breathing, shakiness, paralysis, all seems to fit. Well now that I read it over a little more this most liekly is it. You body builds up the proper amount of glucose level and then your fine and all symptoms dissapear after a little while. You just might be more sensitive than others. ... festations

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:49 am
by stuward
See your doctor. This is easily tested for and is also easily controlled by proper nutrition. It could be something more serious though and you need to make sure that's all it is.

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 1:02 pm
by danielk
I've been to a couple of doctors, they can't find anything wrong.

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 1:13 pm
by DeFlux
If its related to your glucose levels then drink a bottle of Lucozade before your workout to see if it has any effect.

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 1:14 pm
by stuward
Then I would assume this is sub clinical hypoglycemia. I had a similar thing happening several years ago.

Start with going off sugar for 2 weeks minimum. Make sure you have quality low GI carbs an hour or more prior to your workout. Oatmeal, sweetened with fruit, is a good choice. Keep grains to a minimum.

Eat frequent balanced meals with protein, fats and low GI Carbs. Also limit coffee intake.


Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 1:57 pm
by ironmaiden708
Also limit coffee intake.
I love coffee, is this under the assumption of the person using sugar, or does this deal more with the macro/micro nutrients in the coffee itself?

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:07 pm
by TimD
I don't know how valid the theory is, caffeine has never affected me in this way, but many of the guru's have a theory that caffeine byproducts (with or without sugar) affect blood sugar levels in a similar fashion to sugars, i.e more insulin, knocking down blood sugar levels very quickly.

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:10 pm
by stuward
I'm just speaking from my experience. I didn't have hypoglycemia but caffeine was giving me similar symptoms. As long as I stay around 2 cups/day I'm fine but at the time I was much higher due to a bottomless coffee pot at work.


Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:05 pm
by shaf_43
Caffeine tangent aside...since you say that you have a good diet and i'm assuming that your MD gave you a fasting glucose test (drank a sugary liquid and and hour later they took your blood). This would probably rule out hypoglycemia. I'm wondering if you might have some type of anemia, the symptoms can be similar. ... mia-basics

You mentioned that the onset is usually during squat/leg press. Some people tend to hold their breath, or even perform something called the Valsalva maneuver where they force a held breath against the back of their closed throat during exertion to increase trunk stabilization. Even if you aren't doing this on purpose you might be to an extent which explains your ear problems (forces fluids into your ear canals).

I am also curios what your blood pressure is like when you in your fatigued state (blood pressure increases anyway when you lift weights, but normally falls).

Most likely the answer to your problems is rooted in a combination these suggestions (hypoglycemia/anemia ect.) Hopefully a physician can narrow it down and help you out because they are the ones with the training and they can physically see you. I do think the key is in the onset though pay attention to how you perform these exercises (see if it is more prevalent during leg press as opposed to squat), and let us know im pretty curious how this will turn out.

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 5:39 am
by Matt
This actually sounds serious. Have you had a cardiac stress test, as well as an echocardiogram and EKG? It's important for you to have these things done. Also be checked for certain hormone imbalances and lung disease. It is true that anemia could cause this, but that's so easily diagnosed I doubt 2 doctors missed it. Hypoglycemia can cause symptoms like this but it is indirect, actually being mediated by adrenalin which surges when the blood glucose drops, same as it does in cardiac distress.

If the cardiovascular and pulmonary workups are negative, you might request a supervised exercise program with a cardiac rehab specialist, at flirst to make sure you are not overexerting. Also try to avoid exercising so high in the heart rate range, but instead aim for about 70% of your predicted maximum heart rate.

I don't know about your specific case, but generally symptoms like this caused by exercise are a marker for a high risk situation, in my opinion.

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:10 am
by danielk
I was at the doctor. They couldn't find anything. Had a standard blood test, heart test. Heart was fine. They only thing the doctor said about the blood test was that it was low on vitamin B. I am taking pills for that now. Blood pressure is very low. They said I should just do less intensive training.

I had pnemonia a couple of years ago and I was coughing for at least a year after that, perhaps my lung function is still somewhat weak. I've felt fatigue almost everyday for the last years also somewhat during day. I used to work long hours and with a lot of stress 3 years ago... But I am just 25! Doctors don't know anything about it. Quite frustrating. One speculated I should take anti-depressants, which I did for 6 months, but it didn't help either.

Thank you all for your suggestions, I really appreciate any hints or things I could try.

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:44 am
by Jungledoc
I agree with what Matt said. I think you should continue to take this seriously. Don't do the kind of exercise that has provoked these episodes until the problem is clearly diagnosed and treated.

You said that you had a "heart test" but that could cover dozens of tests. I think a stress test should certainly be done (exercise, usually running on a treadmill while an EKG is being done), and perhaps cardiac monitoring during the actual kind of exercise that triggered the episodes.

Also, you seem pretty unconcerned that you have coughed for a year after pneumonia. Pneumonia does not last a year, so there must be some other reason for the cough. Keep going back to the doctor and request further referral for these problems.

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:24 pm
by ironmaiden708
Bronchitis could cause a cough like that. My dad had a cough for a very extended time period before.

Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:05 am
by daniel4738
Absence of strength and extreme fatigue ... sounds like I feel after a normal morning workout.

50 Box jumps
50 Push ups
50 Situps
50 Burpees jumping over a weight bench (these really suck)
50 Chin ups (dead hang, rest taken ... lots)
50 Knee to chest sit ups
50 Bodyweight deadlifts
50 Pushpress @30kg
50 Floor wipers

60s plank front
60s plank left
60s plank right
60s dead hang in the L position

1000m sprint.

Intention is to build up the lactate in the muscles/blood then really build it up at the end with the sprint. This should hopefully build anaerobic threshold.

Needless to say, i am feeling a little low on energy this morning.