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  1. #1
    Registered User bluegettinit's Avatar
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    Question Feeling flu like symptoms after exercising

    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
    Bluegettinit
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    Registered User GenevaB's Avatar
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    when you workout,your immune system gets suppressed(waaaaaay too much to explain,but it has to do with hormones/adrenals/etc).

    this should help you out:

    -probiotics in the morning on an empty stomach (acidophilis/bifidum refrigerated live cultures preferred)
    -lots of vitamin c everyday.you can buy this cheap.take it in the morning and maybe again before you sleep.
    -get alcohol,antibacterial soap,and sanitizing wipes.when you leave the gym and get home,immediately wash your hands thoroughly before/after you touch anything,especially your food or face.you have to be serious about this,some people who have immune problems will get sick in the blink of an eye if they introduce the millions of pathogens that are on them from the gym into their body.take a shower immediately,put alcohol on your phone/keys/anything that you touched while at the gym and continuously touch at home.use sanitizing wipes/hand sanit/etc. cant stress this enough.
    -sleep 7-8 hours a day, this will do wonders for your immune system
    -try to stay warm
    -when you train,slowly ease your way into it.dont burn yourself out doing a TON of work.if you do an immense amount of training,you are more likely to get sick.


    hope this helps.
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    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
    If you take in some form of carbs right after your workout, it will help relieve the symptoms and give you better recovery. Also make sure you replace your electrolytes, even if it is just drinking a cup of chicken broth containing sodium, you might find it also helps.
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    building curves melodyjayne's Avatar
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    Try having a intrawork out supp eg xtend.. Helps with muscle recovery
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    Registered User bluegettinit's Avatar
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    Smile feeling flue symptoms after exercising

    Thanks you guys! Definately more hand sanitizing! I am having trouble sleeping for the past two years after giving birth to my last baby. I will try these tips.
    Bluegettinit
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    I know this sounds crazy but I have the same symptoms. Only after a heavy leg day. I'm going to try eating carbs like the one person said! I know it's not the flu. It's a reaction must be to leg day!!!
    Annie D.
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    Have the same problem

    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
    I have the same problem. Googled it. WOund up here. This happens to me often and it's frustrating. I feel sick today, and this is after a a VERY light spin class. I just stayed in the back of the room and pedaled slowly to ease into it. One doctor I went to said possibly I have asthma or allergies and with the heavy breathing during exercised, I am inhaling large amount so allergens. Another said it's that gyms are full of germs. But...

    I'm taking a controller inhaler for asthma. Also zertex for allergies. So, I just don't know what else I can do.

    Hate to be a troll, but I really don't need advice like "I think... Gee, maybe you should... (amateur guessing) " or some new age claptrap. Does anyone have a scientific or proven documented medical explanation that they could share?
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    pirate ninja kitteh rockangel's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Joe55 View Post
    I have the same problem. Googled it. WOund up here. This happens to me often and it's frustrating. I feel sick today, and this is after a a VERY light spin class. I just stayed in the back of the room and pedaled slowly to ease into it. One doctor I went to said possibly I have asthma or allergies and with the heavy breathing during exercised, I am inhaling large amount so allergens. Another said it's that gyms are full of germs. But...

    I'm taking a controller inhaler for asthma. Also zertex for allergies. So, I just don't know what else I can do.

    Hate to be a troll, but I really don't need advice like "I think... Gee, maybe you should... (amateur guessing) " or some new age claptrap. Does anyone have a scientific or proven documented medical explanation that they could share?
    If your doctors didnt have a "medical explanation" that was scientifically proven and documented, what makes you think anyone on an internet forum would have that information.

    Since I teach spin 5xs a week, and have students who have asthma.... i doubt your issue is due to asthma or allergies and your docs dont have a clue and are "amateur guessing" at what the issue is.
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    I'm feeling the same - and I did get sick but after 4 weeks of intense lifting (more than I have EVER done). Now I just feel lousy..
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    Flu like feeling is due to inflammation which is the main tool of fighting that your immune system uses to fend off diseases etc. the immune system also uses inflammation to heal wounds.

    A heavy full body workout or leg workout will cause a great volume of muscle tissue breakdown that needs to get healed thus triggering the immune system to use alot of inflammation giving us that popular "flu-like" feeling that makes us feel all weak and achy.

    The quicker u recover the quicker it goes away.

    Advil and tylenol are anti inflammatory so it will make u feel better however it will stop the natural process and slow/hinder your gains

    Tough it out it aint the flu. Heavy doses of vitamin C is good with alot of water and deep tissue massages.
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    Answered the question before realizing....this is a very old thread.
    Last edited by TrainBetter; 09-21-2014 at 10:22 AM.
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    I know this thread started awhile ago, but I definitely suffer from the same thing. Flu-like symptoms a few days after a heavy/intense workout. It seems that no one person has the same answer as to why this is happening, but it definitely isn't due to an actual illness (i.e. the flu, a cold, etc.). I believe its more along the lines of inflammation as zrage said. I cant find any clinical evidence to back it up, although yesterday when I was feeling sick I took a couple ibuprofen as an experiment and it did seem to make me feel better validating his idea. Its a very frustrating ordeal as I definitely have the drive and energy to work out 5+ days a week, but I always end up getting "sick" if I push it even remotely hard for more than a couple days in a row. Not only do I get these symptoms after a string of intense workouts, but also if I don't get enough sleep for a few days straight which is odd.
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    i used to get flulike symptoms after a heavy workout or after a less intense workout when i didn't have enough sleep. then i started using a mix of super c and water (super c is a juice blend with added vitamin c) with my longer workouts and stopped feeling weak and ill. i don't claim to know why, but any heavy amount of vitamin c or vitamin a seems to keep that sick feeling away. could be something to do with inflammation - i don't know - but it works for me.

    i know this is an old thread, but people will still be finding it when doing a search, so maybe this will help someone.
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    interesting reading ladies. I have put myself into the "flu like symptoms" a couple times after heavy work outs. mostly heavy leg days. turns out I got the full effects of Rhabdomyolysis. My doctor knew what it was the minute I mentioned lifting heavy. she is a sports med specialist and said it happens way to often and people dismiss it and it goes without treatment. the easiest thing I found for treating a pre-emptive attack is to take a couple Tums/Rolaids before your work out. the sodium bicarb helps flush out the effects after you lift. drink lots of water if you even suspect it could be the effects of it. seek treatment if your urine discolors.

    http://www.joe-cannon.com/rhabdomyol...ness-bootcamp/
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    Doesn't even lift cirion0000's Avatar
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    Might just be overdoing it. 3 sets of 12 deadlifts? If I do that at about 70% of my max (which is probably where I could pull off 3x12) I'd probably also have flu like symptoms. Also probably throw up amongst other things. Personally I would highly recommend doing deadlifts with a lot less reps, but a lot heavier weight, not only does it tend to result in better gains (in DL, at least), but it won't kill you either lol

    For lots of other exercises, 3 set of 12 is definitely okay and even recommended, but not deadlift IMHO.

    *edit* bah for old thread bumps, didn't realize it until too late.... ehhhh oh well
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    Will try Vit C

    Originally Posted by pcake View Post
    i used to get flulike symptoms after a heavy workout or after a less intense workout when i didn't have enough sleep. then i started using a mix of super c and water (super c is a juice blend with added vitamin c) with my longer workouts and stopped feeling weak and ill. i don't claim to know why, but any heavy amount of vitamin c or vitamin a seems to keep that sick feeling away. could be something to do with inflammation - i don't know - but it works for me.

    i know this is an old thread, but people will still be finding it when doing a search, so maybe this will help someone.
    I am glad you did reply . I will try Vit C, I also read on another forum that probiotics may help? Does anyone know any thing about that? It is comforting to know that this is happening to others even though it really has not been brought to light. It is so frustrating to commit to a workout program and to fail because you are laid up in bed. Thank you again and if anyone else has more inspiration on this topic please post! Thanks again!
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    Lightbulb answers

    It's baffling how little people know about this. I was trying to get set up with a Person Trainer. I'd tried it before and lasted only 15 minutes with rests before i felt so broken and embarrassed I gave up. So, this time, I decided that since I've been dormant for such a long time bed rest with pregnancy plus working from home full time now. I would pregame myself. So I briskly walked 5.5 miles in 1hr 33min. up varied terrain outside. Felt great. Less than 24 hours later I was dizzy and felt off. that night I had a 103.7 fever. Nausea. Extreme Chills. Took Tylenol. Then I Sweat soo much it drenched everything. My pillow was heavy with the added sweat weight. 3 hours from each dose of Tylenol I am fine as can be. Zero issues. And then 6 hours the chills and fever come back. I have repeated this Tylenol dance going on 3 days now. I know I don't ever drink enough water. I don't eat enough nor consistent. I have asked that PT that I was going to see and she told me that it's impossible and I caught a bug. So I sent her this link:
    rmaxinternational.com/flowcoach/?p=33
    ...and she wasn't so matter of fact anymore. I am not sick. I've had the flu ever times. I've had stomach bugs and gastroenteristis. I've worked in hospitals and clinics. This is a really problem that people need to be aware of. I have 3 kids to take care of. If i had known I wouldn't have gone to fast or so far to start. I am 200 lbs 5'6". I had a baby 6 months ago and walking doesn't do this to most people but most people do not exercise at all for 15 months solid (complex pregnancy plus new baby).
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    Registered User dyeabolical's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by britanywho View Post
    It's baffling how little people know about this. I was trying to get set up with a Person Trainer. I'd tried it before and lasted only 15 minutes with rests before i felt so broken and embarrassed I gave up. So, this time, I decided that since I've been dormant for such a long time bed rest with pregnancy plus working from home full time now. I would pregame myself. So I briskly walked 5.5 miles in 1hr 33min. up varied terrain outside. Felt great. Less than 24 hours later I was dizzy and felt off. that night I had a 103.7 fever. Nausea. Extreme Chills. Took Tylenol. Then I Sweat soo much it drenched everything. My pillow was heavy with the added sweat weight. 3 hours from each dose of Tylenol I am fine as can be. Zero issues. And then 6 hours the chills and fever come back. I have repeated this Tylenol dance going on 3 days now. I know I don't ever drink enough water. I don't eat enough nor consistent. I have asked that PT that I was going to see and she told me that it's impossible and I caught a bug. So I sent her this link:
    rmaxinternational.com/flowcoach/?p=33
    ...and she wasn't so matter of fact anymore. I am not sick. I've had the flu ever times. I've had stomach bugs and gastroenteristis. I've worked in hospitals and clinics. This is a really problem that people need to be aware of. I have 3 kids to take care of. If i had known I wouldn't have gone to fast or so far to start. I am 200 lbs 5'6". I had a baby 6 months ago and walking doesn't do this to most people but most people do not exercise at all for 15 months solid (complex pregnancy plus new baby).
    I'm am very glad I found this post. Your link explains exactly what I have on the go.
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    I know this thread is old, but it's obviously still being read. I have the same issues with flu like symptoms, with no rhyme or reason. But as an avid bike rider I know the old trick of taking a dose of sodium bicarbonate (aka: baking soda) flushes out gunk in the system. While Tums/Rolaids may work, baking soda may be the healthier way to go for some who take certain medications. Also in regard to dealing with inflammation (from other thread), I take Quercetin for allergies, it reduces inflammation and is way healthier than motrin or other pharmaceutical.
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    Same thing here, was starting to think I'm crazy. Had the Flu shot this year, but did start to feel a little buggy in December. Took it easy (no workouts) for a week before going on vacation. When I returned from vacation in January, started to work out and got sick again. Head cold, congestion, coughing, had to stay home from work for two days. Then took it easy, no workouts for 2 weeks. Started working out again lite (eliptical and some weights). Day 5 I did a 1.5 hour bike ride and the next day started getting sick again. Was out start of February for 3 days from work. Ok, started to think I have EBV, mono, TB or some chronic illness, but my wife has the same type of thing. Also I was complaining about it and a friend had it too. He gets better, then goes jogging and gets sick all over again. Last week I went on the elliptical, so lite I didn't even sweat and 2 days later I'm sick again.
    Called the doc, got blood work done. Turns out I'm super healthy: "test results show that your white blood cell count is normal, meaning that it is very unlikely that you have an infection like mononucleosis, or an immune deficiency provoking your fatigue. You are also not anemic, and your thyroid and B12 levels are normal."

    So I have no idea what it is. My guess is that in 20 years they'll figure out its some sort of retrovirus that activates epigenomically. The standard understanding of H1N1 and RhinoViruses doesn't account for this widespread phenomenon. Until then I'm sitting on the couch getting fat hoping some day soon I can get back to riding 20 miles a day....
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    Following

    I am experiencing flu like symptoms after hard training too! Going to try vitamin c and electrolytes after training. Does anyone have any updates?
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    Originally Posted by GenevaB View Post
    when you workout,your immune system gets suppressed(waaaaaay too much to explain,but it has to do with hormones/adrenals/etc).

    this should help you out:

    -probiotics in the morning on an empty stomach (acidophilis/bifidum refrigerated live cultures preferred)
    -lots of vitamin c everyday.you can buy this cheap.take it in the morning and maybe again before you sleep.
    -get alcohol,antibacterial soap,and sanitizing wipes.when you leave the gym and get home,immediately wash your hands thoroughly before/after you touch anything,especially your food or face.you have to be serious about this,some people who have immune problems will get sick in the blink of an eye if they introduce the millions of pathogens that are on them from the gym into their body.take a shower immediately,put alcohol on your phone/keys/anything that you touched while at the gym and continuously touch at home.use sanitizing wipes/hand sanit/etc. cant stress this enough.
    -sleep 7-8 hours a day, this will do wonders for your immune system
    -try to stay warm
    -when you train,slowly ease your way into it.dont burn yourself out doing a TON of work.if you do an immense amount of training,you are more likely to get sick.


    hope this helps.
    This. This is very helpful.

    When I first joined a gym during my anorexia recovery (after being weight-recovered), I got sick three times in two months, with the last time being the flu.
    I wish I had this advice back then!
    5'4" Korean girl, getting back into weightlifting~
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    I had an all-out leg workout last Friday and have been down with flu ever since. I was left trying to catch my breath after the workout for almost 45 minutes and I knew that my immune system was compromised, allowing the flu strain to hit me. Now, I'm reeling under the effects of Influenza.

    This is my 8th day with the flu and things have only slightly improved. Still got a throat infection, stuffed nose, low-grade fever, and fatigue. What the f**k is this?

    Can anybody give me advice on how to make sure this doesn't happen again?

    P.S: I didn't have my protein shake immediately after workout. I lost all breath and was laid waste on the floor for 45 mins before recovering and crawling my way to a protein shake.

    Man, flu sucks!
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  24. #24
    Registered User Naima89's Avatar
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    I have the same flu like symptoms everytime i start to workout. Its been going on for 3 years now and its very depressing and frustrating. For me it usually starts the second week of my workout schedule, I get flu like symptoms, body aches, and very bad insomnia. So I have to stop working out. And I cant seem to get out of this, I will try the Vit. C and baking soda.

    Its nice to read that I am not the only one.
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  25. #25
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    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
    just was curious if you found anything in the posts helpful. i know how your feeling. when i exert myself either by gym work outs or yard work. especially if i do it a couple of days in a row. i get flu like symptoms. but i also have lots of pain. deep pain like someone is twisting your bones. i have had muscle pain before and its nothing like that. and if i ignore it and just keep pushing myself i end up sick like i have pneumonia. i haven't found anyway to fix it. doctors say i am fine and that its just allergies. but you just feel like the healthiest dead man walking. i am going to try one or two things here i saw and see if it helps. but if you see this and you found something that helped i would appreciate some info from you
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  26. #26
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    Talking Its not just bodybuilders

    Hi All and firstly I hope you don't mind my jumping in on this thread - I'm not a bodybuilder but I found this site after searching flu symptoms / physical exertion.

    I worked in an office job for 35 years, got made redundant, and since then have been engaged in work which is much more physically demanding. What I'm finding is that I can't work a 5 day week without getting mild flu symptoms by the second week! I'm convinced it is the same condition described in this forum. I was a regular gym-goer a few years ago and gave up after experiencing the same problems. I thought it might just be old age creeping in (I'm in my 50s) but I could also quote quite a few occasions in the distant past where either physical exertion or lack of sleep (perhaps a couple of very late nights) has triggered this.

    One of the posts says that this isn't the flu but if I ignore it when I first feel the symptoms and just carry on with my routine then I get very ill very quickly and can be out of action for weeks. I don't know what this illness is but it certainly mimics the flu very well.

    I've had a daily cycling routine going for many years but I've all but quit just so that I can save my energy for work.

    Anyway thanks all for letting me butt in and for reading my post and thank you for the information and tips. I'm going to try the vit c / bicarb idea.

    Best wishes
    D.
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  27. #27
    Registered User 2028640's Avatar
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    This is an old post but recently replied to and obviously still an issue.

    I have been experiencing the same issues recently, last winter I got the flu, bounced back fine and continued routines of strengthening Pilates, weights and yoga. Nothing super extreme, but still fairly rigorous routine that left me sore but feeling stronger and refreshed. As of recently, every time I've worked out I feel like I have the flu all over again. I haven't changed anything diet or lifestyle wise, so it is a very frustrating issue. I experience shortness of breath, increased body aches (more so than I get from a good workout), fatigue, but my biggest issue by far is the lack of appetite from feeling so sick to my stomach. All my blood work and tests came back normal, so no underlying issue there. Being 18, (even though my account defaulted my age to 48??) I usually never have issues and am able to bounce back quickly from sickness, injury, etc. quickly. I can't seem to shake this, but from what I've seen there may be a few causes.

    HGH (Human Growth Hormone) - Something the body releases after working out to stimulate muscle healing, can cause extreme feelings of being sick to your stomach. This paired with dehydration, poor nutrition and workout technique can create an awful cocktail of flu like symptoms. That being said, some can be good in all those areas and still experience this. My doctor admits there's not enough solid study done, and trial and error with diet, routine, and vitamin intake is really the only way to find relief, if it doesn't go away on it's own.

    For me, it could be triggered by hormone interactions via growth spurt. The symptoms also get worse around my monthly cycle. The same can apply for others, it can come from other hormonal changes that come with age (decrease in testosterone), menopause, pregnancy, growth spurt, diet change, and stress especially. Stay in tune with your body and sometimes it comes down to a waiting game and some perseverance. The body is built to adapt, and is usually able to shed symptoms eventually by keeping a steady routine, as frustrating as it can be.

    I hope this helps some, and I'm with you all in regards to the frustration that comes with these symptoms.
    Last edited by 2028640; 12-03-2018 at 07:40 PM.
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  29. #29
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    Originally Posted by Naima89 View Post
    I have the same flu like symptoms everytime i start to workout. Its been going on for 3 years now and its very depressing and frustrating. For me it usually starts the second week of my workout schedule, I get flu like symptoms, body aches, and very bad insomnia. So I have to stop working out. And I cant seem to get out of this, I will try the Vit. C and baking soda.

    Its nice to read that I am not the only one.
    Originally Posted by 2028640 View Post
    This is an old post but recently replied to and obviously still an issue.

    I have been experiencing the same issues recently, last winter I got the flu, bounced back fine and continued routines of strengthening Pilates, weights and yoga. Nothing super extreme, but still fairly rigorous routine that left me sore but feeling stronger and refreshed. As of recently, every time I've worked out I feel like I have the flu all over again. I haven't changed anything diet or lifestyle wise, so it is a very frustrating issue. I experience shortness of breath, increased body aches (more so than I get from a good workout), fatigue, but my biggest issue by far is the lack of appetite from feeling so sick to my stomach. All my blood work and tests came back normal, so no underlying issue there. Being 18, (even though my account defaulted my age to 48??) I usually never have issues and am able to bounce back quickly from sickness, injury, etc. quickly. I can't seem to shake this, but from what I've seen there may be a few causes.

    HGH (Human Growth Hormone) - Something the body releases after working out to stimulate muscle healing, can cause extreme feelings of being sick to your stomach. This paired with dehydration, poor nutrition and workout technique can create an awful cocktail of flu like symptoms. That being said, some can be good in all those areas and still experience this. My doctor admits there's not enough solid study done, and trial and error with diet, routine, and vitamin intake is really the only way to find relief, if it doesn't go away on it's own.

    For me, it could be triggered by hormone interactions via growth spurt. The symptoms also get worse around my monthly cycle. The same can apply for others, it can come from other hormonal changes that come with age (decrease in testosterone), menopause, pregnancy, growth spurt, diet change, and stress especially. Stay in tune with your body and sometimes it comes down to a waiting game and some perseverance. The body is built to adapt, and is usually able to shed symptoms eventually by keeping a steady routine, as frustrating as it can be.

    I hope this helps some, and I'm with you all in regards to the frustration that comes with these symptoms.
    I take prescription medications which lower my immunity, so I find this to be extremely frustrating as well. I will use my care with my wipes, etc.
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  30. #30
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    If only there were a site on the Web where an MD would answer medically-related questions instead of random posters on a bodybuilding forum.
    OMG. I just fell out of my chair LOL.
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