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Hey, you fitness gurus, are you supposed to exercise when you are sick or not?

 
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 12:18 am
@dlowan,
This wretched bug has got worse again....I'm really craving sweet stuff, which I almost never do. Does anyone know if this is something that happens with such viruses? I'm not having sweet stuff....except some fruit.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 12:34 am
@dlowan,
Never heard of that before. Still, I listen to my body. If my body says pizza, I say pepperoni.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 12:50 am
@roger,
My body is saying chocolate tart....which is actually not very sweet at all..and some weird but achingly delicious custardy and semolina thing.

And really good ice-cream. Green tea would be nice.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  4  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 01:35 am
@dlowan,
I was researching this recently as my doctors told me to avoid exercise (and stress and madness for that matter) to allow my body to fight a Staph infection. I had seen conflicting information on the matter (particularly that for stress-related immune problems that exercise is one of the best solutions) so decided to look into it a bit (I was pretty sick back then so didn't get too far but I got the information I wanted) and can give you my cliff notes/conclusions:

Moderate exercise actually boosts the immune system, how it does so is debatable but one basic way is the neurochemical effects that reduce the body's suppression of the immune system due to stress. However physical exhaustion has the opposite effect and can itself cause immunodeficiency.

If you want to find the articles I read use keywords about the immune system such as "exercise and the immune system".
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 01:41 am
@Robert Gentel,
Thanks....hey, are you disinfected? Sounds like a very nasty infection!

I know moderate exercise boosts immunity....I just wasn't sure if it was good for you when you are actually sick? Is your conclusion valid for when you are actually ill?

I know when I have exercised too much...I get a sore throat and can get a sinus infection....it really sucks.

Have you found a reliable way of avoiding madness?
Robert Gentel
 
  4  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 02:49 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
Thanks....hey, are you disinfected? Sounds like a very nasty infection!


Yeah I think the worst is behind me. It certainly can be bad, strains that are resistant to antibiotics have a very very high mortality rate (I've read as high as 80%) if you go into sepsis and I had symptoms of the onset of sepsis so it scared the crap out of me.

I'd also been dealing with a metric **** ton of stress (perfect storm of personal and business and health issues, for e.g. the same week I got sick I was in a car accident etc) and the extreme anxiety from this made it harder for me to recover.

My doctors believe I have a "strong" mental disorder that was at the root of the suppression of my immune system and wanted to sedate me for 5 days in what they described as a subconscious "reset". But starting to better understand the physical toll I was putting on my body was helpful enough and I just took a week off work instead. They also prescribed me seratonin re uptake inhibitors and other anxiety-related medication and told me to keep self-medicating (surprising, it's not legal here).

I tried the SSRIs etc for a while but didn't like the sedated stupider feel and because I don't suffer mentally from anxiety I then started trying to see how I could better control my physical stress through behavior and more exercise instead.

In my own case I think exercise is important because I think my main physical problem is excessive epinephrine levels that are constantly overstimulating my sympathetic nervous system and repressing my parasympathetic nervous system. But just understanding the physical toll better helps.

Quote:
I know moderate exercise boosts immunity....I just wasn't sure if it was good for you when you are actually sick? Is your conclusion valid for when you are actually ill?


I don't recall that precise scenario in any literature but my personal conclusion was that exercise seemed to have medium and long term health benefits and potential negative effects in the short term and that the best idea was to avoid it while sick and make sure to get enough of it to avoid getting sick again.

If you really want my advice (as a layman) for your particular situation I don't really see how exercise can help you fight the flu now and can see how it can hurt you. I would, in your shoes, rest it out and get back to exercise once healthy.

Quote:
Have you found a reliable way of avoiding madness?


Just trying to better understand and control it I guess. I rather like my madness and the manic energy has its upsides, I just don't want it to make me physically ill and now I better understand the physical toll of stress and the way it works. How so much of it is sub conscious, and how even if I didn't mind the stress my body wasn't handling it well.

I kept up with the meds while I was still doing the IVs for the infection just because I didn't wanna risk it and my doctors were impressing upon me the life-threatening nature of my infection if I couldn't get it beat (they told me there was only one stronger antibiotic available that they could go to and that it was critical to get it ) but as soon as my blood work came back good I quit the meds and I didn't go to the psychiatrist they wanted to refer me to. Now that I understand it better and accept that it can reach pathological levels I will try to manage it mostly with behavior modification (pushing myself less, avoidance of rumination at certain levels etc). Not sure what I am going to do next, was really just coming to grips with it being a problem of a greater magnitude than I had accepted more than anything else. I've started to delegate more, let go more, and try to modify my personal and professional life to reduce the stress loads. If that doesn't work I will give stuff like SSRIs another try but it will be hard to tell if it works or not (I can wait and see if I get sick again or not, I guess).
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 04:21 am
@Robert Gentel,
I hope the infection is completely gone and that your strategies for managing the hyperness go well for you. That all sounds pretty tough.
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  3  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 07:49 am
@Robert Gentel,
Excuse me for butting in, but I just wanted to tell you that there are several different classes of SSRIs, and the drugged, sedated feeling you describe may indicate that a different class is needed. Or it may be a temporary effect until you adjust to the medication. Or a dosage issue. In any event, you should definitely tell your doctor about this effect.

I've taken SSRIs for quite awhile. The effect you describe is not common to all SSRIs.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 08:46 am
I remembered reading something in the NYT that exercising moderately when you're sick is a good idea, which I was annoyed by at the time since I was sick and did not want to exercise. At all.

I'm not sure this is what I have in mind, but it has similar info and lots of links to studies and such:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/14/phys-ed-does-exercise-boost-immunity/

Excerpt:

Quote:
The bulk of the new research, including the mouse studies mentioned, reinforce a theory that physiologists advanced some years ago, about what they call “a J-shaped curve” involving exercise and immunity. In this model, the risk both of catching a cold or the flu and of having a particularly severe form of the infection “drop if you exercise moderately,” says Mary P. Miles, PhD, an associate professor of exercise sciences at Montana State University and the author of an editorial about exercise and immunity published in the most recent edition of the journal Exercise and Sport Sciences Review. But the risk both of catching an illness and of becoming especially sick when you do “jump right back up” if you exercise intensely or for a prolonged period of time, surpassing the risks among the sedentary. (Although definitions of intense exercise vary among researchers, most define it as a workout or race of an hour or more during which your heart rate and respiration soar and you feel as if you are working hard.)


Feel better soon!
Joe Nation
 
  4  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 09:06 am
@dlowan,
Yes. Never work at a job that you don't enjoy.
(I have quit so many I can't count.)
Yes.
Exercise the parts of you that are not sick.

Hmmm. Walking 55 minutes.
55 minutes is too long for a restart.
Is there a way you can cut it in half (catch a ride to the mid-point) ?
Then, take it easy on the halfsey until you don't feel like you did it the next morning. Then increase by about an additional ten percent of time, not distance. Follow that?
~~
If you can't get to the midway point to start, then
(and this is counter-intuitive)
add to the time and slow the effort.

Make the walk slower, monitor your breathing, try to get the breaths going all the down to the bottom of your lungs
(It's the poor tops which have been taking the blows over the past three weeks. My, that is a long time to be ill.)
Shoot for an hour and a half and haul along some water to sip on as you go.

Do a day, skip a day.
Do two days, feel what that feels like on the morning of Day Three (skip that day)
Do a day, skip a day, do two days.
Do that until doing two days doesn't feel like anything on Day three.
Then do that Third day. (It's a breakthrough)
Then do two days, skip a day, do two days, skip a day, do three days. ....

Increasing only about 10% either of effort or time (don't bother about distance, that just arrives) as you feel better.

Joe(gotta go)Nation
Joe Nation
 
  4  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 09:12 am
PS
Quote:
.I get a sore throat and can get a sinus infection....it really sucks.

Find someone (gentle) to teach you to use a neti pot. You will never have another sinus infection because there won't be anything for the infection to inflect. No more sore throats because there won't be any post-nasal drip.

http://www.ceramicnetipot.com/nasalwash.jpg

Joe(Or go swim in the ocean every morning.)Nation

dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 09:24 am
@Joe Nation,
Erm...I already use saline and don't have a post nasal drip.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 09:26 am
@Eva,
I don't think the SSRIs were the culprit for the mildly sedated feeling, I think it was the 3 Alprazolam doses a day that I was prescribed that did that.

But I think the main part of my objection to it is that I like the very short it fixes. It's too quiet and I sleep too much without it. The physical feeling was mild (mainly noticed the extra sleep) but the thoughts became less random and slower. I have come to enjoy the serendipity of my stream of consciousness and dislike the placid pond.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 09:28 am
@Joe Nation,
It's kind of hard to go halfway....the way I go doesn't include any buses that I can hop on except right at the beginning...that time of day they tend to be full and go past you anyway.

I do go slowly and I don't walk home in the beginning....I can walk up to the city and catch a bus back home.

(that looks as though I am contradicting myself on the bus thing but I'm not..)

I likely have as good a job as I could get....it's a good mix of therapy, training and consultation.....I think I'm just kind of over the concept of a full time job!
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 09:34 am
@Robert Gentel,
It's not worth persisting a bit with the SSRI? If you find it's too hard the other way?

I know you like the buzz, but you might find the extra sleep makes you more able to enjoy the up times without burning up. Also, you'll likely adapt to a slightly less buzzy life if you give it a bit of time.

I know you don't like advice, so I'll shut up.
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 09:38 am
@sozobe,
Interesting. I find it really frustrating that I can't push myself the way that feels natural to do. I've had to consciously force myself to build up slowly or I get sick! I think the years have worn away my immune system.....I stress myself way more than I need to about life and work, especially....but I do like the up sides of being a bit manic and buzzy when I am like that.

I think the years of pain affected the old system too...feeling some positive effects from the surgeries mow.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 09:41 am
@dlowan,
Yes, that makes a lot of sense that chronic pain would have a deleterious effect on the immune system.

And I completely understand about the pushing thing.

Just happened across another thing that's not directly related but also has to do with the wonders of moderate, even very moderate, exercise -- trying to hammer that into my own brain (as I tend to go all or nothing, exercise-wise, and am now in a phase that is too nothingish).

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/25/the-10-minute-workout-times-three/
Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 10:01 am
@dlowan,
A saline wash or spray helps whether or not you have post nasal drip. It's even good for reg health maintenance as well as when you're sick or in recovery.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 10:06 am
@Ragman,
Yep...that's why I use saline daily.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2012 10:38 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
It's not worth persisting a bit with the SSRI? If you find it's too hard the other way?


I'm definitely willing to consider it, but I think the key is that I don't find it too hard without.

Quote:
I know you don't like advice, so I'll shut up.


I've really got nothing against advice. It's just usually coming from a lot more of a superficial level than I am on at the time.

In this case I'm still on the surface and have a lot to learn and figure out, the pathologization is itself a big step and I'm reconsidering a lot of previous assumptions I had had.
 

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