Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-08-06, 04:44 PM   #1
bmike
Bye Bye
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Gone gone gone
Bikes:
Posts: 3,677
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Anemia and Cycling / Endurance Sports

I've been dealing with a mystery anemia for at least a year now.
My local docs can't seem to find a cause. I'm currently researching specialists in the "big city".

Anyway - here's where I'm at:
At my lows my hematocrit levels were high 20's.
Average is low 30's.
Hemoglobin is low
MCV is low
MCH is low
Red Cell distribution width is high
Reticulyte counts are high
All other baseline blood work looks normal

Iron absorption fluctuates - I'm on a supplement now
I've been tested for Celiac's Disease (negative)
Biopsy of my stomach lining and intestine showed nothing unusual
Ednosopy showed nothing unusual
Colonoscopy found nothing unusual

I have a thyroid disorder - I'm hypo

I ride long distance - focusing on Brevets.
Recovery between efforts (if its a bad day or week) seems to take forever.
I feel like I hit a wall - and even if the mind and legs think we can go, the rest of me can't. Sometimes I simply can't go any harder. (This is usually when I'm already going pretty slow, compared to last year) I did my 200k and 300k just after getting some of the lowest blood results I've had... my doc can't wait to see the levels get back to normal and see how I do with training / riding - he just hasn't been much help.


I've found a few references to endurance athletes and anemia - esp runners - and in "Serious Cycling" I read that Greg LeMond was feeling sluggish and after some bloodwork was found to be anemic at some point in his career...



Can training / diet be influencing this?
Anyone else out there dealing with anemia?


I'm worried that this is more than just "Sports Anemia" or iron deficiency...
I'm at a loss.
__________________
So long. Been nice knowing you BF.... to all the friends I've made here and in real life... its been great. But this place needs an enema.
bmike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-06, 03:34 PM   #2
slowandsteady
Faster but still slow
 
slowandsteady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Jersey
Bikes: Trek 830 circa 1993 and a Fuji WSD Finest 1.0 2006
Posts: 5,979
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Have they checked for any kind of kidney disease? 1 year is a long time to suffer with anemia with no diagnosis.
slowandsteady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-06, 07:58 PM   #3
LilSprocket
Wheee
 
LilSprocket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: S. FL
Bikes: Schwinn Rocket 88 phase 1/ Surly 1x1/Cannondale R700 WSD 650c
Posts: 378
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmike
Can training / diet be influencing this?
Anyone else out there dealing with anemia?

I'm worried that this is more than just "Sports Anemia" or iron deficiency...
I'm at a loss.
I'm not a doctor... and I didn't stay at a holiday inn express last night...

training / diet influences a lot more, IMHO, than most people (sometimes Doc's included) realize....
I don't know your training / diet habits but it's sure worth monitoring in conjunction with checking with Dr's...

Are you under 40? do you Gu a lot? sports drinks often?
I think a lot of athletes rely on those more than necessary.

I hope it's nothing serious bmike...
Be well
__________________
If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.
http://www.myspace.com/qwtrailbuilders
rip sydney
LilSprocket is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-06, 09:02 PM   #4
Richard Cranium
Senior Member
 
Richard Cranium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Deep in the Shawnee Forest
Bikes: LeMond - Gunnar
Posts: 2,830
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Yeah, it used to be a "big deal" that endurance athletes would "test out" anemic...... More females than males. For whatever reason, it doesn't seem to be that big of a problem these days. At one time, it was thought that anemia was always caused by iron deficiency.

Have you searched your family tree for signs or symptons of genetic blood diseases from ancestors?
Richard Cranium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-06, 06:18 AM   #5
RiPHRaPH
Don't Believe the Hype
 
RiPHRaPH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: chicagoland area
Bikes: 1999 Steelman SR525, 2002 Lightspeed Ultimate, 1988 Trek 830, 2008 Scott Addict
Posts: 2,628
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
do you know your sedimentation rate for your urine?
RiPHRaPH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-06, 07:15 AM   #6
bmike
Bye Bye
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Gone gone gone
Bikes:
Posts: 3,677
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
@riphRaph - I have sed rate results somewhere... my memory says that it didn't alarm anyone.

@Richard - researching the family tree now - my mother is looking into something odd happening with an aunt - she's getting regular IV's - speculation is it might be iron.

@Slow and Steady - Kidneys are working fine, as far as I know - and as far as my blood work hasn't alarmed anyone

@LilSprocket - I'm 32, Hammergel / Gu alot, did try to keep a liquid diet on "event" rides (brevets) - but that's changing as I've been experimenting with real foods


Going for acupunture this week - specifically for the anemia as well as looking at my mild hypertension - and then starting to work with a nurtritionist. (that's going to be ugly - my diet goes all over the place - especially when its the peak of cycling season!)

I'm also waiting till mid October for my pending marriage so I'll have access to better health care - Currently as a self employed (or rather "unemployable") worker bee I buy my own health insurance - my fiancee has access to fantastic docs at reasonable rates (compared to mine!) I've shelled a ton o $$ out of pocket for tests and visits and consults and procedures.

I'll be exploring more traditional docs and diagnosis, as well as continuing with the non traditional approach if it seems to be working.
__________________
So long. Been nice knowing you BF.... to all the friends I've made here and in real life... its been great. But this place needs an enema.
bmike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-06, 12:33 PM   #7
SHirsch999
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmike
I've been dealing with a mystery anemia for at least a year now.
My local docs can't seem to find a cause. I'm currently researching specialists in the "big city".

Anyway - here's where I'm at:
At my lows my hematocrit levels were high 20's.
Average is low 30's.
Hemoglobin is low
MCV is low
MCH is low
Red Cell distribution width is high
Reticulyte counts are high
All other baseline blood work looks normal

Iron absorption fluctuates - I'm on a supplement now
I've been tested for Celiac's Disease (negative)
Biopsy of my stomach lining and intestine showed nothing unusual
Ednosopy showed nothing unusual
Colonoscopy found nothing unusual

I have a thyroid disorder - I'm hypo.

Has your doctor done tests for autoimmune diseases or red blood cell parasites like Babesia or Leishmania? These would be other considerations.
- Scott
SHirsch999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-06, 12:39 PM   #8
terrymorse
Climbing Fool
 
terrymorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Bikes: Scott Addict R1, Felt Z1
Posts: 3,019
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmike
Can training / diet be influencing this?
Did you know that anemia is one of the many symptoms of overtraining? An excerpt from a sports science journal:

It has also been hypothesized that chronic elevations in 5-HT concentration, which may occur in athletes maintaining high-volume training, explains some of the reported signs and symptoms of the overtraining syndrome: postural hypotension, anemia, amenorrhea, immunosuppression, appetite suppression, weight loss, depression, and decreased performance (Newsholme et al., 1991; Gastmann and Lehmann, 1998; Kreider, 1998).
http://sportsci.org/jour/9901/rbk.html

Do you have any other common symptoms of overtraining?
__________________
Managing Director, Undiscovered Country Tours
terrymorse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-06, 12:48 PM   #9
bmike
Bye Bye
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Gone gone gone
Bikes:
Posts: 3,677
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrymorse
Did you know that anemia is one of the many symptoms of overtraining? An excerpt from a sports science journal:

It has also been hypothesized that chronic elevations in 5-HT concentration, which may occur in athletes maintaining high-volume training, explains some of the reported signs and symptoms of the overtraining syndrome: postural hypotension, anemia, amenorrhea, immunosuppression, appetite suppression, weight loss, depression, and decreased performance (Newsholme et al., 1991; Gastmann and Lehmann, 1998; Kreider, 1998).
http://sportsci.org/jour/9901/rbk.html

Do you have any other common symptoms of overtraining?
Thanks for that info Terry.

My first results came back last fall - when I was just ramping up my mileage - so I don't think that it would have initially been overtraining. My brevet schedule and getting my mileage up to handle it could have compounded the problem - no doubt.

I did my 200k and 300k with some really low blood numbers - I kept telling myself as I struggled along "You're doing great - for an anemic guy!". My fiancee who is a clincal researcher was pretty weirded out by the results - we are tracking down docs in Boston that might be better suited to help than my "hometown" doc.

I'll look into the overtraining and read through that link - anything's possible at this point. I've dropped my mileage down quite a bit from midsummer. Still feeling fatigued. I'll be getting some new tests done in the next month and reinvigorating my search for why this is happening.
__________________
So long. Been nice knowing you BF.... to all the friends I've made here and in real life... its been great. But this place needs an enema.
bmike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-06, 12:50 PM   #10
bmike
Bye Bye
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Gone gone gone
Bikes:
Posts: 3,677
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHirsch999
Has your doctor done tests for autoimmune diseases or red blood cell parasites like Babesia or Leishmania? These would be other considerations.
- Scott

We did look for Celiacs Disease - both the blood test and the biopsy for this came back negative.
We did not look for parasites though. Something else to add to the list of questions.
__________________
So long. Been nice knowing you BF.... to all the friends I've made here and in real life... its been great. But this place needs an enema.
bmike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-06, 06:08 PM   #11
LilSprocket
Wheee
 
LilSprocket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: S. FL
Bikes: Schwinn Rocket 88 phase 1/ Surly 1x1/Cannondale R700 WSD 650c
Posts: 378
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmike
@LilSprocket - I'm 32, Hammergel / Gu alot, did try to keep a liquid diet on "event" rides (brevets) - but that's changing as I've been experimenting with real foods

then starting to work with a nurtritionist. (that's going to be ugly - my diet goes all over the place - especially when its the peak of cycling season!)
I'm also waiting till mid October for my pending marriage so I'll have access to better health care - Currently as a self employed (or rather "unemployable") worker bee I buy my own health insurance - my fiancee has access to fantastic docs at reasonable rates (compared to mine!) I've shelled a ton o $$ out of pocket for tests and visits and consults and procedures.

I'll be exploring more traditional docs and diagnosis, as well as continuing with the non traditional approach if it seems to be working.
Keep the gurl with good health care...

Try to avoid "waiting" when it comes to your health though...
If you lack your health, you will lack in every other aspect

Working with the nutritionist sounds like a REALLY good move bmike... Really good move

Please keep us posted, I have great interest in your well-being
Be Well!
__________________
If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.
http://www.myspace.com/qwtrailbuilders
rip sydney
LilSprocket is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:09 AM.