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  1. #31
    Registered User MiddleAgedRick's Avatar
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    My experience and how I fixed (?) it

    Originally Posted by bluegettinit View Post
    Has anyone else felt flu like symptoms a day or two after working out? I hadn't worked out for a month because I caught the stomach flu and just seemed really weak for the month of Dec. So here I am in January and I did 3 sets of 12 deadlifts, barbell squats, leg presses, and at the end I did the stationary bike on low impact for 10 min. Very sore legs and now some feelings of flu. This isn't the first time this has happened. So how can I advance in my workouts if this keep happening? HELP
    Hi all,

    This is one of the few forums where I found people discussing this issue. I have been lifting weights since my 20s, and I'm now 52. When I was younger, I would experience flu-like symptoms (headaches, body aches, etc.) every so often after a workout. However, as I got older this issue became progressively worse, where I'd get sick more often, with greater severity, and for weeks at a time. I'd been to the doctor several times and had full workups over the years - blood, urine, chest x-rays, and even went to a cardiologist in case it was my heart. Nothing.

    I went along like this for years being extremely careful not to workout too heavy or for too long, and to wait several days between workouts. If I felt the slightest bit "off", I wouldn't chance it. Last year, this issue became so bad that I could no longer have a good, heavy workout without risking getting sick. Last fall, I messed up and worked out a little too hard and was sick for 3 weeks. Really sick. Congestion, sore throat, lost my voice for a couple of days, missed days of work, and was up for several nights battling my "cold." After going to the doc for another battery of tests, he found nothing.

    This was incredibly frustrating. However, over the years, I noticed that my allergies have also gotten worse. I feel it when everyone else does, mostly in the Spring, when I get a stuffy nose and sneeze a lot (but no flu-like symptoms). Could my "flu after workouts" somehow be related?

    Cut to the chase: Went to the allergist and got tested. I'm allergic to a bunch of "normal" things that our found in the environment. I went nuts cleaning my gym and bedroom - dusting, mopping, and removing anything that collects dust. I encased my mattress and pillows in dust covers, and put an air purifier next to my bed.

    Results: I've had 3 months of good, heavy (for me) workouts, 2 -3 times / week without getting sick. It's probably been a decade since I've done that.

    My thinking is that breathing heavy in a dusty gym triggered the allergy, while the heavy workouts may have lowered my immunity to make me susceptible to getting sick. Sleeping in a dusty room exasperated the problem. I've read suggestions from others who've experienced the same thing, and appreciate everyone who posted and offered advice. I hope that what has helped me can help someone else.
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  2. #32
    Registered User stinsonj's Avatar
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    I've been dealing with this for about a decade and have come to the following conclusions:

    -For me, its definitely related to allergies as the symptoms are worse during the spring when my allergies are bad. Antihistamines also seem to help.
    -Its not just working out that brings on symptoms, but just stress in general (mental or physical). Just suffering from sleep deprivation for multiple days is enough to make me sick.
    -If i maintain a high level of stress for multiple days in a row, I wont get sick until the stress subsides, which makes me think hormones play a roll in this ailment.
    -When I'm about to get sick, my urine will become foamy. All kidney tests, along with a urine protein test, have come back normal which is interesting.

    Here's what I do to maintain an active lifestyle while trying to limit the number of days I get sick.

    -Focus on recovery via supplementation with a good post workout. This is the number one thing that helps me continue to workout 4+ days a week.
    -Make every effort to get a decent amount of sleep each night. I use a whoop strap which helps me track my sleep along with what I do and don't do that affects my sleep.
    -Drink plenty of water when i notice my urine starts to get foamy or I start to feel off. I try to continue to drink water until my foamy urine subsides. This seems to cut the duration of the symptoms dramatically.
    -If i have multiple days of high strain, I don't just quit cold turkey. For example, if i have 3 days of hard workouts in a row, I will at a minimum go on a light run the day following the last workout to help my body taper off of the high stress.

    Its not overtraining and its not a bug that you picked up in the gym. Anyone that tells you such does not know what they are talking about. When I worked on a highly stressful project in Florida a couple of years ago, I was so mentally stressed that even 1 day of light working out would make me sick. On that job, i stopped working out entirely until it was over (about 6 months) with and then started back up once I got back home.

    Do everything you can to limit stress in your life and increase your recovery via supplementation and a good diet and you will notice a difference. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, think about getting on allergy shots.

    If you have any questions, reach out to me.
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