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Getting sick from exercise, cannot figure out why

Hello, I am 35 years old and trying to get some help with something that has been an ongoing problem since I was 22, and seems to be gradually getting worse. I used to love working out, however lately it seems even the simplest of tasks such as lifting a box of Christmas decorations, has me feeling unwell for several days after the fact. Soon I fear I won't be able to do much of anything during my day. Whenever I work out whether it's lifting weights, or doing bodyweight exercises such as pushups or pullups, I very shortly into the workout end up with pressure around the neck and ears like blood vessels constricting perhaps, and it's harder to take a breath. I have blurry vision sometimes, can't think clearly and feel out of it. I feel irritable afterward, will have angry thoughts usually about events from my past and will sometimes end up with exertion headaches later that day/the day after.
These symptoms are caused easily just by a little bit of exercise or moving around a lot/lifting something, or even something as simple as doing some gardening. It usually lasts for days after, and is gradually getting worse over the years. Doctors don't seem to know what it is, I have seen a Cardiologist, Respirologist and Neurologist several years ago and they can't seem to find any cause. The only medical issues I have is that I have epilepsy, and take medication for that daily. I do not believe that it has any relevance, just thought I would include that background.
Any thoughts as to what it could be causing this, or who to best ask for help would be GREATLY appreciated! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this :)
3 Responses
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649848 tn?1534633700
You said you've been checked out by a cardiologist, respirologist (is that a pulmonologist?) and neurologist "several years ago"... how many is several?   It sounds like your symptoms may have worsened over the years, so even though they didn't find anything then, maybe something would show up after several years.  I'd also be interested in what kind of tests they may have done.   Were there any imaging studies done on your cervical spine?

You say you're okay with walking, so what about trying low impact type exercise like yoga or tai chi?  Those are actually relaxing exercises that can also help with weight loss, muscle strengthening and toning, etc.
Helpful - 0
It was about 10 years ago that I was last seen, Yes Respirologist I meant pulmonologist. Nothing on the spine that I can recall. I've had EEG, EKG, MRI, CT scans all done as well as chest xrays. Thank you, I'm definitely going to look into some Yoga and Tai chi to try.
10 yrs is a long time between tests.  I’d suggest you ask your doctors to check again and ask for MRI/CT on cervical spine to make sure the openings that the nerve endings go through aren’t getting smaller and putting pressure on them.  

When you have problems with high intensity exercise, always good to try low impact to see if you can tolerate that and maybe improve strength to be able to work up to higher impact.
134578 tn?1716963197
Have you ever been checked for Lyme disease?
Helpful - 0
No not officially checked for that but don't recall any tick bites, rashes, and a lot of the Lyme disease symptoms I just don't have. Thanks for the suggestion though!
Have you ruled out that it is a reaction to your epilepsy medication?
973741 tn?1342342773
Gosh, that must be so frustrating! I am glad you have had a full work up. I was wondering about something related to your heart and circulation but you've been cleared. What about blood sugar? Have you had this checked? When my blood sugar dips, I feel very off and similar to what you describe. But then, this is specifically in correlation with exertion. Can you walk? Slow walk for five minute around the block? What happens if you do that? It doesn't sound like long covid but long covid is weird and some do seem to have it for a very long time. (recent info is indicating that serotonin may help it, so something like an SSRI).
Helpful - 0
It is extremely frustrating, not knowing and not able to have a solution. Walking isn't a problem for me, it seems more when weight of any kind is involved, or if the walk was really long or in the heat. I think I'm ok for blood sugar as it never bothers me any other time of the day and I try to get enough fruits and vegetables in. It started back in 2010 so probably not COVID related. At 22 it still bothered me, but I was able to get away with doing more, now it just seems little things are a trigger. Thank you very much for replying!
I agree with Anniebrooke to make sure this is not a side effect of your medication. And you are saying this is exertion related. Particularly when weight movement is involved. I actually found something. I'll look for other sources, but I read that microtears in our muscles from weights or doing something with weight involved releases toxins into our system that cause flu like symptoms!  https://www.avogel.co.uk/health/immune-system/flu/flu-symptoms-after-exercising/  Read that and I'll look for some more info!
PS, you have to copy and paste the link.

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649848 tn?1534633700
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
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