Overseas, way back I use to have a physician who specialized in athletic performance, among also treating general health patients.
Quarterly exams included blood tests, nutrition analysis, EKG on a bike, heart X-Ray, Lung X-Ray, general health and sports specific analysis with advice or assistance as needed.
Find it hard to get this in the US, all Sport physicians in my town treat either specific conditions, or injuries. My family physician is not much help.
What do others do?
Hire a coach with a brain. Try to find a doctor who does sports.
Obsess about training and physical metrics that don't require a physician or medical test equipment.
Four motorcycles and four road bikes.
Originally Posted by Cleave
Motorcycles = Oil analysis every 4000 miles, because it is a hobby and I enjoy understanding exactly what is happening to both the oil and the engine/gearbox.
Road cycling = No analysis right now, would like to get my "oil" (blood/EKG) analysed. Physicians working in Elite Sport often play a role in performance medicine, whereby an athletesí physiology is monitored, and aberrations corrected, in order to achieve peak physical performance. It can make a big difference, identifies over-training, diet deficiencies, nutrient levels.
One has to be pretty healthy and fit to do what we do, but no surprise when modern agriculture and food habits identify that our macro and trace minerals are fine, however not optimum for sustaining hard training, recovery and enhance performance. A really good experience if you ride for a team with a good physician, or you find one on your own.
To be honest, I am sceptical about what regular bloods would tell you. The last time I had my bloods done it wasn't for training purposes, i'd been experiencing some post-operative pain and was worried about startng a mega-tour in a few days time. The results, in the words of the nice physician at the Toronto teaching hospital I visited, were "pristine". Absolutely everything was smack in the middle of the normal range.
The funny thing is, I wasn't especially fit at the time. Overweight, and at the end of a five-day binge with some friends that had involved far, far more alcohol than was good for me. It reminded me of an intensive care doctor i used to work with, who used to tell his students "most of our patients die with their electrolytes in perfect balance".
Don't worry about this stuff. If you have a problem, get checked out. If not, you don't have a problem.
As with you, my health is prestine and blood tests centerline exactly where they need to be according to my family physician. Never been on any meds. The tests are not as complete though as I was used to and the questions I ask are not answered very well. My family physician is not an athlete, missing the experience of what we put our bodies through.
Originally Posted by chasm54
From my old doc, who is no longer around I know what nutrient supplements to take to prevent getting sick from over-racing or over-training on the bike. I can't even remember when last I had a cold, the flu, or anything. This is despite flying all over the country, sitting in a plane full of people, going to a busy gym where you in contact with lots of folks.
My recovery on the bike is not very good and accepting this with age is OK, but I believe something is missing and I can do much better. IMHO my thyroid is a little too high and T levels are too low, all repairable within the rules.
Do you ever get the flu, or a cold?
Do you take any nutritional supplements?
Do you have to avoid certain foods, caffeine, gluten?
Can you make caffeine work for you in a race?
If you over-train, or after a very hard race, do you have slight build up on your teeth?
If no to all of those, great! If yes to any of those, one can either accept it as OK and normal, or one can find out what is needed, diet, how much and if anything is missing?
T levels are not "repairable" via testosterone "within the rules". You cannot get a TUE for "low T".
Originally Posted by ColnagoC40
Flus and colds are a part of life. I don't need a doctor for this unless it causes a fever that lasts more than three days.
The only supplements I take are glucosamine/chondroitin for my joints and a protein shake for after racing.
I do not have to avoid certain foods but I can consult any nutritionist along with a GP to determine them. This is not sports specific.
I do not use mega doses of caffeine when racing. Many I race against do. That's for them and not me.
The last thing I care about after a race is my teeth.
I did consult a nutritionist when I started preparing to race again. My GP discovered my EIA and prescribed Pro-Air.
However, my orthopedist and PT are both cyclists, which proved very valuable when recovering from crashes.
You can increase T levels without steroids, with diet, nutrition, sleep and not over-train.
Originally Posted by shovelhd
Flu and cold use to be part of my life, put me back 4 to 6 weeks in training. No longer part of my life, immune system sorted out with one of three supplements I take.
Build up on your teeth is an indication of free radicals, due to your immune system being low after a very hard workout. Part of the reason many athletes get sick. No longer happens to me.
In general I agree one does not need a sports physician for the average cyclist, but way back when cycling put food on the table for my family, our team physicians sure was a great benefit, something I miss.
Seems like you have the answers. So what was the question?
I very rarely get colds, I haven't had 'flu in twenty years.
Originally Posted by ColnagoC40
I take 75mg aspirin each day for its apparent preventive effects with respect to a number of cancers. No other nutritional supplements. In my view the vitamin industry is one of the most conspicuous examples of quacks creating, and preying on, totally unnecessary anxiety to make money. And there have been meta-studies that indicate that those taking supplements actually have shorter life-expectancy than those who don't.
No, I don't have to avoid any food groups.
I'm not certain about caffeine working for me in a race. I have certainly found caffeine to be useful in maintaining my energy levels in very long (> 160km) rides.
I don't overtrain. I've never noticed "build up" on my teeth after hard efforts.
Can't agree with you more. The FDA heavily regulates the pharma industry, reasonably regulates the food industry, but when it comes to vitamin nutrition, no one seems to care. They can put a label on almost anything and get away with it.
Originally Posted by chasm54
Something my old Doc was very strong about and recently cycling with my German friends in Leubeck, they feel very strong about this. Don't want to give away my secrets, but this is what changed me from getting bad flu/colds about four times a year, to never.