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Is this adrenal fatigue/overtraining?

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Is this adrenal fatigue/overtraining?

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Old 07-30-18, 08:23 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I'm very familiar with riding in heat. We have two states here, eastern and western. While I live in the western part, I frequently ride in the eastern part. Last week I rode 115 miles, 7000', over 2 mountain passes in temps up to 106°. I've climbed several mountain passes in 105° heat. The simple fact is that it's very difficult, even with training, to pass more than 1 liter an hour across the stomach lining. Which is a good thing: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318619.php
Your kidneys can eliminate about 5.3-7.4 gallons (20-28 liters) of water a day, but they can't get rid of more than 27-33 ounces (0.8-1.0 liters) per hour (14, 15). Therefore, in order to avoid hyponatremia symptoms, you should not drink more than 27-33 ounces (0.8-1.0 liters) of water per hour, on average (14).
This fact is pretty well-known by those who've ridden long distances in the heat. So what to do? If you get too dehydrated, you have to stop and rest in the shade while hydrating. Done it many times. That said, a little dehydration is not a bad thing. Performance actually increases up to about 1.5% dehydration.

As far as drinking plain water goes, of course as I've said above and many other times. I take Hammer Endurolytes as necessary. The important thing is neither to drink too much water (hyponatremia) or too much electrolyte (hypernatremia). Your body has very simple clues which tell you exactly how to respond.

Training in the heat is the best way to become heat tolerant. I make it a point to ride in the heat when I can.
I'm not sure the linked article really backs up your position here.
First, hyponatremia results in sodium levels that are too low. This would indicate the need to take electrolytes, particularly sodium, and that increased fluid consumption should be balanced with increased electrolyte consumption.
Second, the level your kidneys can excrete isn't all that relevant if your sweating out a bunch of fluid as well. The 1 liter per hour level doesn't include how much you sweat.
Finally, the examples given are all people that consumed far more than 1 liter of water per hour, which seems to indicate the stomach/intestines can absorb more than that amount... otherwise they wouldn't have had any issues.
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Old 07-30-18, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Well, then you might get checked for mono ... and sleep apnea.


https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/311932.php
I'm no expert, and I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn recently, but I think this is probably the right area to investigate. It just sounds to me like this is some sort of underlying illness or condition like mono.
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Old 07-30-18, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I was averaging about 24-25 hours a week for 4 months when I overtrained.

8 lb weight gain, neverending fatigue, tough to fall asleep, a hr that was 20 bpm below normal all the time while riding, and I started getting dropped on every little roller around. Went from a winning cat 1 to getting dropped by cat 4s.

Took about 5-6 months to initially recover from, and about a year to fully recover.

Permanent issues: my heart rate dropped 10 bpm lower across the board and never recovered. Max hr of 210 dropped to 200, LTHR of 193 dropped to about 183, etc.,etc. Also never really lost the weight again.

Are there any diet issues that need addressing? I don't get sore very often, so when I do I up the protein (and have an extra scoop of whey before bed) for a few days and it seems to help a lot.

Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Good god, I could have written this. The differences in my situation were minor at most-- my LTHR dropped from 172 to 166, I gained 12lbs instead of 8lbs, etc. It was three months of barely managing to turn pedals, and a good year before I was back to "normal."

That's why the OP's elevated HR leads me to think it's something else-- I still get the depressed heart rate for the ride or two after big efforts, as in an inability to get out of Z1. Go as hard as I can up a hill, HR goes to 133 or 134 and just sits there. Blood not moving enough to clear the legs, so they just turn into sand. Overreached, I call it. Micro-overtraining.

Again I've nothing relevant to add to OP's question but want to say that these are two super interesting posts.

I would not have thought it would take so long to completely recover.

Really eye opening. Thank you both for posting this.


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Old 07-30-18, 11:25 AM
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I missed your age but almost everyone with any mileage on them will test positive for mono. Takes a skilled doc to tell if it is acute or not. In addition to sleep study, get your testosterone checked also. Even in your 20's and 30's.

Hate to be overly simplistic but maybe you are just tired and bored. Take a real break and do some other things and come back in a month or so. May not be an option if you are training for something. I believe ( zero proof of this mind you) we evolved around long breaks and changes in activity levels. Seasons, availability of different foods, battles, rainy seasons, etc. I believe we have to make changes or walk away from our chosen activities from time to time.
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Old 07-31-18, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
I'm not sure the linked article really backs up your position here.
First, hyponatremia results in sodium levels that are too low. This would indicate the need to take electrolytes, particularly sodium, and that increased fluid consumption should be balanced with increased electrolyte consumption.
Second, the level your kidneys can excrete isn't all that relevant if your sweating out a bunch of fluid as well. The 1 liter per hour level doesn't include how much you sweat.
Finally, the examples given are all people that consumed far more than 1 liter of water per hour, which seems to indicate the stomach/intestines can absorb more than that amount... otherwise they wouldn't have had any issues.
Have a go at a a couple pass climbs in the heat and report back. IME 1 liter/hour is my limit with appropriate electrolytes. I have heard that RAAM riders train to absorb a little more than that, and that it's possible, but I've never seen anyone do it.

It's true that the linked article doesn't mention a case of high volume consumption of water and electrolyte. Drinking a gallon/hour of Gatorade while riding in the heat would be an interesting experiment. Anyone?

Data points: July 26 I did 154 miles and 10,000', temperature on the last pass was only 80° at bottom, 100° at top, full sun, and then the last 35 miles at over 90°. Nice weather, really. I went through about 5 liters of water in ~11 hours elapsed, averaged 14.7 in the saddle, very slow this year. Out of shape. Then backpacked in the mountains this past weekend, 5 hours up in ~90°, 2.5 liters water. Faster coming down, about the same temp, 2 liters. Peed every hour.
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Old 08-01-18, 04:22 AM
  #31  
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While there's some dispute about whether "adrenal fatigue" is a recognized medical condition, there are some commonly recommended supplements. You might try some DHEA, pregnenolone and maybe GABA supplements. They're still legally available in most states. DHEA and pregnenolone are hormone precursors, naturally produced by the body but sometimes under-produced as we age or are ill. In that respect they're similar to melatonin, a naturally produced chemical that helps us sleep but tends to be produced by the body less as we age, or are under stress. So the supplements can help.

Due to a wonky thyroid and auto-immune disorder I've just started taking DHEA, pregnenolone and GABA, just to see if it helps with my energy level. The doctor took me off thyroid supplements for a month to check my reactions and will do some tests and a biopsy later this month to see what's going on. When I was taking thyroid supplement my blood tests were normal, but I still had the symptoms of a thyroid disorder. I'm curious to see how the tests turn out.

I've been taking the supplements for only a day, too soon to say anything about whether they're helping.

Incidentally, DHEA and pregnenolone are the main ingredients in many "male supplements" that are implied to help with erectile dysfunction -- although manufacturers aren't permitted to make any such claims. But those voodoo potion male enhancement pills include stuff we don't really need, like yohimbe, an alkaloid that can have stimulant and mood enhancement effect on some folks -- but many users complain it makes them feel jittery and sick.

So it's cheaper to just buy generic DHEA and pregnenolone and add only the other stuff that you like. I drink enough coffee so I don't care to add yohimbe or other stuff that the male enhancement makers use to justify charging ten times the price.
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Old 08-01-18, 06:16 AM
  #32  
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DHEA is a banned substance at all times, so if you have any plans of hopping in any types of races (cycling, triathlon, running), don't take that.
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Old 08-01-18, 10:14 AM
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Meh, with my health issues and age I'll never compete, not even in my own age group of fellow gimps. DHEA *might* help me a little if I'm actually deficient. Most research indicates it offers little benefit even in larger doses and there probably isn't much reason for it to be banned in competitive sports. But the bans don't concern me one way or another. I'm only interested in doing whatever I can to improve my own health.

Subject to change at whim if I notice any sudden improvement in my times on familiar routes.
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Old 08-01-18, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Meh, with my health issues and age I'll never compete, not even in my own age group of fellow gimps. DHEA *might* help me a little if I'm actually deficient. Most research indicates it offers little benefit even in larger doses and there probably isn't much reason for it to be banned in competitive sports. But the bans don't concern me one way or another. I'm only interested in doing whatever I can to improve my own health.

Subject to change at whim if I notice any sudden improvement in my times on familiar routes.
Always an experimenter, I tried all the stuff you mentioned above in my late 50's. None of it did anything as far as I could tell, other than cost money. Training is the hammer, supplements are a feather. Better to spend the mental energy researching and experimenting with the hammer. Big returns there.
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Old 08-02-18, 09:17 PM
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Been a little over a week since my OP and still no sign of improvement. I've deliberately slowed down and ridden only on flats to keep my intensity in-check. My HR for a given pace (about 16 mph) is elevated around 10-12 bpm, and seems to experience a greater increase over normal as I up the effort (ie holding 20 mph might be more along the lines of 20 bpm high). I've ridden at this pace for two hours this week without any fatigue, but there's no sense of being able to go harder or go uphill without running into fatigue and bonking.

Looking back, I can certainly recall ignoring some fatigue I had on the bike in the weeks leading into this episode that perhaps I shouldn't have. And beyond the elevated, rather than suppressed HR, the symptoms do adhere to adrenal fatigue to some degree: tiredness despite good sleep, restless sleep at times, more awake and alert at night, perhaps tinge of lower back discomfort around the adrenals, albeit far less than I've experienced in the past when under stress.

Might it be in my interest to dry adding a little sodium to my diet, or consuming electrolytes (Gatorade) even in the absence of exercise to see if there's any effect? I'd seen it mentioned that sugary sports drinks are no-no with adrenal fatigue, thus the inquiry.

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Old 08-02-18, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreww10 View Post
Been a little over a week since my OP and still no sign of improvement. I've deliberately slowed down and ridden only on flats to keep my intensity in-check. My HR for a given pace (about 16 mph) is elevated around 10-12 bpm, and seems to experience a greater increase over normal as I up the effort (ie holding 20 mph might be more along the lines of 20 bpm high). I've ridden at this pace for two hours this week without any fatigue, but there's no sense of being able to go harder or go uphill without running into fatigue and bonking.

Looking back, I can certainly recall ignoring some fatigue I had on the bike in the weeks leading into this episode that perhaps I shouldn't have. And beyond the elevated, rather than suppressed HR, the symptoms do adhere to adrenal fatigue to some degree: tiredness despite good sleep, restless sleep at times, more awake and alert at night, perhaps tinge of lower back discomfort around the adrenals, albeit far less than I've experienced in the past when under stress.

Might it be in my interest to dry adding a little sodium to my diet, or consuming electrolytes (Gatorade) even in the absence of exercise to see if there's any effect? I'd seen it mentioned that sugary sports drinks are no-no with adrenal fatigue, thus the inquiry.
With adrenal fatigue one experiences much reduced HR, not elevated. I.e., not that, definitely. When I'm really cooked, I can't raise a HR over 105 no matter what I do. You are not cooked. My guess is a dietary deficiency, I would say carbs. "Sugary sports drinks" are good for you. 20 bananas a day isn't entirely stupid. Do a dietary analysis, look for say, 20% fat, 25% protein, the rest carbs. Or, carbs the size of your fist, protein the size of your palm, the other half of the plate vegetables. That's real simple. No worries about electrolytes if half your plate is vegetables.
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Old 08-03-18, 11:14 AM
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Only 24 hour week I have ever done was Rock Island Line Trail / Katy Trail. But at touring speeds and I recovered ok. I couldn’t imagine doing that 5 months straight. If I over do it I lose appetite, my heart rate is higher and I can’t sleep.
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Old 08-03-18, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by SimonRider View Post
Only 24 hour week I have ever done was Rock Island Line Trail / Katy Trail. But at touring speeds and I recovered ok. I couldn’t imagine doing that 5 months straight. If I over do it I lose appetite, my heart rate is higher and I can’t sleep.
Your resting HR is higher, but not your cycling HR, which is reduced. Trying to resolve discrepancies between HR and how I felt is the reason I started using HRV as another source of data.
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Old 08-09-18, 03:13 PM
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So I've noticed some definitive improvement in the last few days, but certainly have a long way to go. What struck me as particularly odd, and I understand this wasn't the best of ideas, but I did a brief uphill sprint yesterday, sat down, and saw my heart rate was 205bpm. The highest I've ever seen mine in all my years of riding, even at the pass-out threshold, has been 195. Fairly confident my HRM is accurate, so is that even possible? My blood pressure is in the normal range, albeit on the high end of normal, but otherwise have seen no signs of heart-related issues.

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Old 08-09-18, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreww10 View Post
So I've noticed some definitive improvement in the last few days, but certainly have a long way to go. What struck me as particularly odd, and I understand this wasn't the best of ideas, but I did a brief uphill sprint yesterday, sat down, and saw my heart rate was 205bpm. The highest I've ever seen mine in all my years of riding, even at the pass-out threshold, has been 195. Fairly confident my HRM is accurate, so is that even possible? My blood pressure is in the normal range, albeit on the high end of normal, but otherwise have seen no signs of heart-related issues.
IME that just means you're well rested. Really well rested. Fibrillation is really noticeable as a completely different thing. HR goes way up, usually on a climb, doesn't come back down when you stop. And you feel like crap, weak and dizzy. That's how it's been with friends who've had that happen on rides with me.
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Old 08-14-18, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
...but want to say that these are two super interesting posts.
Yep. So overtraining is: gaining weight, depressed heart rate, neverending fatigue? Or this symptoms can be of something different?
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Old 08-14-18, 05:13 PM
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Add to that insomnia and (sometimes) depression. It's a bundle-o-fun.
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Old 08-16-18, 12:29 PM
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Our bodies can defend themselfs from ourselfs... What's not to like?!
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Old 08-22-18, 11:18 PM
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Having a full battery of tests run over the next few days, including testosterone, cortisol, Vit D, and others. Should help get to the bottom of it.

I feel as though I've read before of cases where people overtrained, their max HR went up or down and never returned back to normal. Is that really true/possible?
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Old 08-23-18, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by chelvel View Post
Yep. So overtraining is: gaining weight, depressed heart rate, neverending fatigue? Or this symptoms can be of something different?
The weight symptom is usually that of weight loss.
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Old 08-23-18, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Dreww10 View Post
Having a full battery of tests run over the next few days, including testosterone, cortisol, Vit D, and others. Should help get to the bottom of it.

I feel as though I've read before of cases where people overtrained, their max HR went up or down and never returned back to normal. Is that really true/possible?
I've heard of it taking a year or more to get back to normal, but I doubt that overtraining is your problem. MHR goes down in the overtrained, never up AFAIK.
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Old 08-24-18, 10:09 AM
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Discovered one alarming issue: my testosterone level is 308, nearly 400 points below average for a 35-year old and below the average of that for a 100-year old. But, it's still considered inside normal range of >300 (which is probably normal if you're around 105-110 years old)....

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Old 08-31-18, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Dreww10 View Post
Discovered one alarming issue: my testosterone level is 308, nearly 400 points below average for a 35-year old and below the average of that for a 100-year old. But, it's still considered inside normal range of >300 (which is probably normal if you're around 105-110 years old)....
Check with your doctor, of course, but you might consider the DHEA and pregnenolone supplements I mentioned earlier. You can buy 'em cheaper than the various magical male supplements advertised on TV, which are mostly DHEA, pregnenolone and unnecessary herbs and stimulants that may give some immediate sensation about like drinking a few cups of strong coffee.
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Old 09-17-18, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreww10 View Post
So eight weeks ago I headed out for a training ride to do some sweet spot work. Ten miles in, my body bonks in a way I've never experienced before. It legitimately felt like I had skipped eating for a month and went for a bike ride...just felt like death. I slow down and head home but struggle just to turn the pedals. I immediately take a rest week, cutting volume by 50% and keeping the effort no higher than recovery pace. Following that week off, I attempt two more rides (not anything high-intensity) and again my body crashes hard around 10 miles in. I continued to try riding every two or three days in the weeks following, and my legs and body would feel recovered with the rest between each attempt, but would crash out shortly after starting time and again.

My power was completely sapped, and I've had no endurance beyond about 20 miles. Usually a 20+ mph rider, it's been everything I want to average 17-flat, and the smallest of hills I Iack the power to pedal up. Even at a slow pace, there was a burning sensation in the legs like that of lactic acid build-up when you're really riding hard. Muscle soreness post-ride has been fairly high. My resting heart was and still is completely normal during this whole period, but my heart rate while riding has been highly elevated (around 15-20 bpm high for a given output, and reaching near my max heart rate is easily attainable). Tuesday will mark eight weeks since this began - I've logged no more than four hours of riding in any week since, and most weeks are about 2.5 hours (two rides at 20 miles each, 15-16 mph). For the most part I've kept the output low, with some moderate effort to gauge where I'm at, and I've noticed a slight improvement the last couple of weeks, but I'm a long, long way from normal.

My mileage and intensity early in the year wasn't out of my conditioned norm by any means, and I generally was taking three completely off-the-bike rest days a week up until this occurred, with on average about 8.5 hours a week of training. That said, I was encountering some consistent fatigue/power loss during the spring that I hadn't in years past and would brush off and just rest for a day or two. At the time of the initial bonk that set this off, I had rested up, felt and rode great in the days leading up to it, and was mentally motivated.

I saw a general practitioner a couple of weeks back whose initial suspicion is adrenal fatigue and referred me to a specialist, who I won't see for another month. In the meantime, I've been working to perhaps self-diagnose and treat, if indeed adrenal fatigue. It's my understanding that adrenal fatigue and overtraining are closely correlated, however, other than the complete and sudden inability to ride a bike, I've had no illness, elevated resting heart rate, sleep loss, or anything else generally associated with overtraining. Thoughts, similar experiences?
My husband has every one of your symptoms. They showed up after touring in the steep mountains of VA while he was ill. IMO this helped start his polyneuralgia. Better than the polymiolitis that I thought he had. He's being treated with Prednisone, a strong drug which has to be monitored carefully so it doesn't "shock" the adrenal gland. He's back on the bike now after about 2 months off. Ask your doctor what he thinks about it.
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Old 09-18-18, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by BadGrandma View Post
My husband has every one of your symptoms. They showed up after touring in the steep mountains of VA while he was ill. IMO this helped start his polyneuralgia. Better than the polymiolitis that I thought he had. He's being treated with Prednisone, a strong drug which has to be monitored carefully so it doesn't "shock" the adrenal gland. He's back on the bike now after about 2 months off. Ask your doctor what he thinks about it.
Hey, good for you for pointing that out. I'm getting over a mild case of Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR). According to my labs, it was a mild case. If that was a mild case, I sympathize with those who might get a bad case. My most noticeable symptom was an inability to raise my arms held out straight in front of me over my head without great pain. Prednisone cleared it up the first day I started my prescription, which is diagnostic for PMR.

This is a bit similar to your husband's and the OP's problem. Nothing to do with adrenal fatigue at all. My PMR (I beleive) started when I started taking a statin. I take my heart rate variability (HRV) every day, and could see my numbers getting steadily weirder after my statin start date. It took 4 months for the PMR symptoms to start, and 9 months to get it diagnosed and treated. The tests which showed the possibility of PMR were from a rheumatology panel.

I kept riding and working out almost the whole time even though it sucked, but my fitness still got really low. I'm starting to get it back now and am almost finished with the prednisone.

My testosterone was also low, bottom 5% for those my age. My doctor, like most doctors, refused to treat it, which was OK with me. I started taking 25mg DHEA every morning and 25mg prognenolone every evening, and have been feeling better. Hard to say if that will increase T, but for sure it will increase DHEA and prognenolone levels, all to the good.
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