Intense Training and CFS

amy4

New Member
Hello, I'm new to this website and this is my first post - so just wanted to share my story and see if i'm in the right place/there are others out there with a similar experience to me.

Before i begin i just want to disclaim that i really appreciate there are a lot of folk on here that have it a lot worse than me and may struggle to do simple daily activities, and although i am grateful i have not had it worse, from my personal perspective, sport is a major part of who i am and my only real hobby and i no longer have the privalege of partaking in it, or going on long walks/up hills with friends and family which i used to do very regularly.

Before anything happened i had been training as part of a rowing squad at uni/ was into sport at school, and had been training about 10 times a week for the duration of uni - i ended up doing quite well (for me anyway) competing for the national team the summer before.
In january 2019 (my last year of uni), i had a pretty bad virus and was off uni/training for a couple of weeks. I thought i had mostly got over it and was back at uni etc, however could feel especially at training that i wasn't quite right yet. I got waves of feeling slightly feverish and dizzy. However i continued to train through it for about a week (i'll explain that i knew this wasn't the right thing to do, but i was putting so much pressure on myself to get back and had done similar things before and been ok), then ended up ill and had to take another couple of weeks off. I did this cycle of training and rest another two times before i realised i needed to take this seriously and look after my health/take some serious time away from training. At that point i was barely able to walk into uni (about 20 mins) and was really struggling to study for my exams. Whenever i tried to exercise (e.g. walking/mild exercise) i would get those waves of feeling a bit feverish/dizzy and if i overdid it, i would feel an after effect a few days lag afterwards - this was more muscle pains in my chest/feeling really tired and not able to concentrate on anything.

This has continued until now and i have gone through a lot of trial and error figuring what i can and can't do without triggering these symptoms. I can go for short, flat walks every other day and hold up a desk job but that's about it. I also notice that when i've had a busier than usual day at work, i don't feel great and don't feel able to go on a walk. Or if i try, i get the feverish/dizzy/cloudy head symptoms much sooner.

I have been to the gp multiple times during this period, having every blood test you can think of (anemia/liver/glandular fever/others) and everything came back normal - except my bilirubin which i have been told i have gilbert's but that that wasn't related much to this. I had a couple of bad experiences with the gp where they mostly dismissed what i told them i was feeling and told me it was all in my head. But eventually i got referred to a specialist where he said i had chronic fatigue (it had been going on for almost a year at that point) and was referred to the integrative care centre and now have appointments with a physio to help me with an exercise plan (my first appointment happening soon).

Does this sound like i'm in the right place on here? I have struggled to find people to talk to who understand what i am going/have been through or who don't look at me like i'm just making it up. As if i would make something up that is basically ruining my life... But anyway, was anyone else really into sports/ a lot of hard training? And this has happened as a result?

Thank you so much for reading my waffle :)
 
Last edited:

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Hello, I'm new to this website and this is my first post - so just wanted to share my story and see if i'm in the right place/there are others out there with a similar experience to me.

Before i begin i just want to disclaim that i really appreciate there are a lot of folk on here that have it a lot worse than me and may struggle to do simple daily activities, and although i am grateful i have not had it worse, from my personal perspective, sport is a major part of who i am and my only real hobby and i no longer have the privalege of partaking in it, or going on long walks/up hills with friends and family which i used to do very regularly.

Before anything happened i had been training as part of a rowing squad at uni/ was into sport at school, and had been training about 10 times a week for the duration of uni - i ended up doing quite well (for me anyway) competing for the national team the summer before.
In january 2019 (my last year of uni), i had a pretty bad virus and was off uni/training for a couple of weeks. I thought i had mostly got over it and was back at uni etc, however could feel especially at training that i wasn't quite right yet. I got waves of feeling slightly feverish and dizzy. However i continued to train through it for about a week (i'll explain that i knew this wasn't the right thing to do, but i was putting so much pressure on myself to get back and had done similar things before and been ok), then ended up ill and had to take another couple of weeks off. I did this cycle of training and rest another two times before i realised i needed to take this seriously and look after my health/take some serious time away from training. At that point i was barely able to walk into uni (about 20 mins) and was really struggling to study for my exams. Whenever i tried to exercise (e.g. walking/mild exercise) i would get those waves of feeling a bit feverish/dizzy and if i overdid it, i would feel an after effect a few days lag afterwards - this was more muscle pains in my chest/feeling really tired and not able to concentrate on anything.

This has continued until now and i have gone through a lot of trial and error figuring what i can and can't do without triggering these symptoms. I can go for short, flat walks every other day and hold up a desk job but that's about it. I also notice that when i've had a busier than usual day at work, i don't feel great and don't feel able to go on a walk. Or if i try, i get the feverish/dizzy/cloudy head symptoms much sooner.

I have been to the gp multiple times during this period, having every blood test you can think of (anemia/liver/glandular fever/others) and everything came back normal - except my bilirubin which i have been told i have gilbert's but that that wasn't related much to this. I had a couple of bad experiences with the gp where they mostly dismissed what i told them i was feeling and told me it was all in my head. But eventually i got referred to a specialist where he said i had chronic fatigue (it had been going on for almost a year at that point) and was referred to the integrative care centre and now have appointments with a physio to help me with an exercise plan (my first appointment happening soon).

Does this sound like i'm in the right place on here? I have struggled to find people to talk to who understand what i am going/have been through or who don't look at me like i'm just making it up. As if i would make something up that is basically ruining my life... But anyway, was anyone else really into sports/ a lot of hard training? And this has happened as a result?

Thank you so much for reading my waffle :)
Oh yah - you are in the perfect place. Lots of former athletes here. Some people wonder if athletes are more prone to this because they push harder physically. Dr. Nancy Klimas is seeing athletes with COVID-19 who feel recovered - go out and push it physically - and then are back in the soup again.

You've heard of overtraining syndrome? ME/CFS is just about identical to overtraining syndrome except that it lasts and lasts - and often starts with an infection.

The good news is - COVID-19 and the long haulers. Bad news for them but hopefully good news for all the post-infectious people with ME/CFS. Hopefully we'll get some good research and get some answers how an infection starts this weird and often so debilitating problem

By the way, studies indicate that just about any infection can cause this.
 

amy4

New Member
Oh yah - you are in the perfect place. Lots of former athletes here. Some people wonder if athletes are more prone to this because they push harder physically. Dr. Nancy Klimas is seeing athletes with COVID-19 who feel recovered - go out and push it physically - and then are back in the soup again.

You've heard of overtraining syndrome? ME/CFS is just about identical to overtraining syndrome except that it lasts and lasts - and often starts with an infection.

The good news is - COVID-19 and the long haulers. Bad news for them but hopefully good news for all the post-infectious people with ME/CFS. Hopefully we'll get some good research and get some answers how an infection starts this weird and often so debilitating problem

By the way, studies indicate that just about any infection can cause this.
Good to hear i'm not alone in this - i definitely feel i made the problem worse by being so addicted and programmed into hard training. It is interesting as there is so much research going on with COVID-19 and hopefully there is progress in this area.
Also, from my doctor said they don't know what kind of virus i had but that these things can arise from 'a bad virus', that is good that studies do back that up :) .
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Good to hear i'm not alone in this - i definitely feel i made the problem worse by being so addicted and programmed into hard training. It is interesting as there is so much research going on with COVID-19 and hopefully there is progress in this area.
Also, from my doctor said they don't know what kind of virus i had but that these things can arise from 'a bad virus', that is good that studies do back that up :) .
They absolutely do. Check out Jamison Hill's story - https://www.healthrising.org/blog/2014/02/16/carrying-weight-weightlifters-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-story/ - and sign up for Health Rising's blog if you haven't.

Exercise and the effects it has is a huge topic in ME/CFS. Also check out the Exercise section in the Resources section for tips on how to exercise safely.
 

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