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  1. #1
    Senior Member Kestrelman's Avatar
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    What do we do when we get sick but don't want to be?

    Ok - I've been trying to get as much riding in as I can before it gets too cold. Plus, I can't resist riding in the colors of fall. But yesterday, I started feeling just.... tired. I was determined to ride, and even put on my full riding kit / pumped up the tires / water bottles in the cages (a sure thing to get me out on the road). But I just couldn't bring myself to do it and ended up putting on my street clothes and doing other some things I'd been putting off (harvested & tilled the garden for winter, which is productive, I guess). Even that, while not as jazzing as a good ride, exhausted me a little. After that, I was so tired I cut short an important Saturday night date with the G/F and ended up on the couch dead asleep by 9:30.

    Slept late this morning and I woke up still tired (but not dead), and while a bit misty and cold (55F) I could have ridden but I didn't. I spent the day on the couch watching mindless TV and bored out of my skull. I REALLY wanted to go out and ride, but I felt that, if I did, it may make me feel better now but I'd really regret it in the morning and I'd get full-blown, balls-out sick. G/F says that I need my rest, I've been riding too much, etc. - and she's probably right, but - I still feel the urge.

    Symptoms - fatigue, sinus pain / mild headache. That's it. No fever or anything, but the fatigue and sinus pain!! Took some Advil - helps some, and I could ride but my better sense says not to. So, here I am not REAL sick but VERY restless. URRGH!!

    So, here's the start of the thread - I've read that cyclists can become less resistant to infections by nature of their lifestyle - lower body fat, rapid depletion of nutients, more exposure to elements, etc....
    Also - I think that, as a lifestyle and given to our nature, cyclists tend to be more hyperactive than other people, making a situation such as mine unbearable. I've always had a really high metabolism and being sick doesn't agree with my nature, unless I'm totally sick and passed out and have no real say in the matter.

    So - what do we do in times such as this? Should I just sleep for two days? It's really bugging me.

  2. #2
    Vermonticus Outdoorsus CommuterKat's Avatar
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    I am recovering from a sinus infection, and aside from two days that I took off from work when just getting up to go to the bathroom made me exhausted, I rode every day of the thing.

    I am a firm believer in the idea of "sweating out" an illness if at all possible. I remember reading somewhere that if you have a cold/sinus infection/flu type of sickness that has most of its symptoms above your neck, then you are fine to exercise as much as you want to. It is only when you get the coughing gunk up, sore lungs, achy joints type of "below the neck" symptoms that you should lay low.

    Yesterday I was still feeling pretty darned tired and clogged up in my sinuses, but I went out on a ride that turned into 50 miles. I found that the fresh air, and the feeling of my muscles moving made me feel much better and today, I almost feel back to normal.

    I would just go a little more gently than normal and see what happens.

    Just my two cents.

    Kat
    "Methinks my own soul is a bright invisible green" H. Thoreau

  3. #3
    fredelicious mini-masher overthere's Avatar
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    Hmmm, went out this morning, was planning a 35 mile ride, but it turned into only 30...my sinuses hurt, I'm tired, I feel like I'm on the verge of being sick. And my throat hurts. Legs felt great; but the rest of the system just wasn't up to par.

    How about it? Does biking fitness shorten the illness, you never get sick, you get sick more?
    Just curious.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Redhed's Avatar
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    I have severe sinus problems brought on by allergies, which if my sinuses get infected there is a chance that it could cause a lung infection, which then causes my asthma to be unbearable. However, I have found that exercise will open up the tight sinuses. I think it is an endorphine/adrenaline related thing. I know that if my head it so tight that I can't breathe through my nose, I force myself to go up and down the stairs in the house until I can breathe. It is temporary, but it helps.

    I am also a big supporter of Vitamin C taken everyday in large quantities. You can't overdose, and what your body doesn't use it comes out the other end. It was found that vitamin c is present in the lining of your lungs and respiratory tract and that it's presence keeps everything fluid, which is good. If you are stuffed up and take about 2000mg - 3000mg, before bed, when you wake up the stuff in your sinuses will be loosened enough to blow your nose and get the bad stuff out. Most doctors won't tell you the benefits of vitamins, minerals and supplements in general because they won't get kickbacks from the prescription drug companies. I know that all doctors aren't like that, but I have had many doctors over the years and not one has ever mentioned the benefits from supplements.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kestrelman's Avatar
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    I'm also a big vitamin C fanatic - 2000-3000mg daily. I use the powdered "Solaray" brand - a teaspoon in the morning. This sinus thing just snuck up on me, I guess. But, as I asked in my orignial post, I'm wondering if my immuinity went down due to cycling hard the past four months. I've heard that pros have pretty weak immune systems.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Redhed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrelman
    I'm also a big vitamin C fanatic - 2000-3000mg daily. I use the powdered "Solaray" brand - a teaspoon in the morning. This sinus thing just snuck up on me, I guess. But, as I asked in my orignial post, I'm wondering if my immuinity went down due to cycling hard the past four months. I've heard that pros have pretty weak immune systems.
    Does it taste good? How do you take it, mix it in juice or water??

    I heard that intense exercise can lower the immune system. I would take a few days off and recharge your batteries. Plenty of fluids and rest, as when you are sleeping, your body is making the necessary repairs. If you get a fever, you may want to visit the doctor. I have to, because the infection could reach my lungs and cause a larger problem. I only take antibiotics when I absolutely have to, I am afraid of immunity to them.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Kestrelman's Avatar
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    Doesn't taste like anything, really. Sometimes I down it with water, sometimes I mix it with OJ. I like the powdered form because the body absorbs more of it.

  8. #8
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    Infections into my freaking muscles around my lungs.

    Last time my chest felt like this I had cracked a rib where it meets the sternum.

    I keep thinking I'm dying....well... I woke up again alive. Wish I could ride my bike.

    AAARRRGGGG!! Cough...OUCH!! Damn.

  9. #9
    Vermonticus Outdoorsus CommuterKat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff williams
    Infections into my freaking muscles around my lungs.

    Last time my chest felt like this I had cracked a rib where it meets the sternum.

    I keep thinking I'm dying....well... I woke up again alive. Wish I could ride my bike.

    AAARRRGGGG!! Cough...OUCH!! Damn.
    Get Thyself to a Doctor!
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  10. #10
    Custom User Title: jallen's Avatar
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    This time of the year... the allergy factor is very high... I am one of those people that thought I got colds easily, I would get them many times a year and curse my wimpy immune system.

    Then a friend of mine who has an allergy problem finally talked me into going to an allergist.

    The allergist gave me a skin test, and lo and belo I am allergic to so many things found outside in nature, that I am exposed much more as a cyclist.

    Maybe this is one reason why cyclists show more symptoms of sickness than others.. They;re gulping in vast amounts of pollen, dust, and mold in the air the breathe.

    So, I got some rx allergy meds, and am on an allergy immunization treatment plan... One and half years later, I cant begin to tell you how much difference it has made.

    Since then, I think I have had a bona fide "Cold" ONCE, when I used to get them half a dozen times every freakin season.

    Allergies can feel EXACTLY like a bad cold... down to feverish feeling aches, stuffed lungs, sinuses, scratchy throat, and all that good stuff.

    Allergies are way treatable, if its that, then that IS good news

    I am so ticked at myself for not thinking of this 20 years ago when it started being a major problem for me. I was in denial, thinking that surely allergies MUST feel different... No, not necessarily so. I suffered needlessly

    DOnt let that happen to you all... if this post helps even one of you guys get treated, then it has served its purpose.. It has made such a HUGE difference in my life. YAY

    Suffering for no dang good reason just plain sucks.
    Learning the ropes of mechanics on my Specialized Hard Rock Sport 2004 that I ride a bit too hard.... and upgrading parts that give me trouble on an excellent frame.

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  11. #11
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrelman
    So, here's the start of the thread - I've read that cyclists can become less resistant to infections by nature of their lifestyle - lower body fat, rapid depletion of nutients, more exposure to elements, etc....
    Also - I think that, as a lifestyle and given to our nature, cyclists tend to be more hyperactive than other people, making a situation such as mine unbearable. I've always had a really high metabolism and being sick doesn't agree with my nature, unless I'm totally sick and passed out and have no real say in the matter.

    So - what do we do in times such as this? Should I just sleep for two days? It's really bugging me.
    Some of the things you describe at the top of your post can actually help build your resistance to illnesses rather than weaken you. I have all of those things (although the "elements" here mean extreme heat more often than cold), and have only had one serious illness in the last five years. As Kat says above, sometimes you can ride an illness out of your system. I've done that a few times -- I've even ridden imperial centuries doing that.

    Having said that, you also need to be conscious of burn-out. IF you feel the symptoms coming on, make sure you get plenty of food, water and sleep. You need rest as well as exercise.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    "Feed a cold; starve a fever" is apparantly true
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1755642.stm

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