Why is Exercise Making Me Sick?

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2018
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/8/2018 12:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Since my full story is very long, I am going to break it down to save you some time. You may ask questions if you need more details to make educated guesses or suggestions.

Brief story:

I'm a man in my early 30's and I have been sick on and off for about 12 years, extremely so the last 8 months. I am pretty fit as I have been exercising regularly and eating extremely healthy for as long as I can remember.

I have done probably all tests doctors would ever recommend without finding anything special.

After being very ill for the last few months, I haven't been doing any exercise. The last month I was actually starting to feel real good again. I started working out in the gym and after just 2 weeks, I crashed. After everything I've tried changing in my life, I would never have guessed that exercise was the culprit that made me sick.

Here's the list of my todays main symptoms:

- Extreme mental and physical fatigue/lethargy for days/weeks/months.
- Having the need to take naps during the day despite of having long good sleep.
- Massive brainfog and cognitive impairment
- Very sore muscles (especially legs) 2-3 days after working out.
- Shortness of breath
- Constant Bradycardia (47-55 beats/minute).
- Occasional arrythmia (quick beats followed by pause).
- Stiff muscles and joints in the morning.
- Constant stiff and painful neck.
- Low libido for weeks.
- Occasional blurry vision, especially in the evening (washing eyes won't help).

Here most of the tests I have done that all showed normal with few minor exceptions:

- Electrolytes
- Testosterone (total/free)
- Albumin
- Estrogen
- Ferritin/iron
- Cortisol (blood): showed elevated
- Cortisol (24h urine): showed normal
- ECG (showed bradycardia)
- Thyroid (TSH, T3, T4)
- Blood Culture
- ANA Immunoflourescent
- All diabetes tests
- C-reactive protein
- Spirometry and anti-astma medicine
- Lung and heart x-ray
- Yeah, even brain CT...

My latest doctor recommended me to try the Stress Test and I am waiting to be scheduled for this.


1) What diseases can make you sick long term when you exercse, even as little as 3h/week?
2) Are there any other tests left that you would suggest me ticking off?
3) Other thoughts/suggestions?

I am of course willing to give up exercise to live a normal life, but it would truly blow to not be able to keep the weight, and I also tend to get very stiff without exercise.

I am extremely thankful for any help I can get. I know time is valuable and I therefore consider those helping out on forums true heroes. I am even willing to donate money somewhere if I could be pointed in the right direction and figure it out. I plan to do a lot of charity in the future and help others who are trying to find their "health culprit".

Thank you for listening.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2018
Total Posts : 313
   Posted 3/8/2018 2:55 AM (GMT -6)   
I wonder if you may have a vitamin deficiency? Being low on vitamins can cause problems like some of the ones you described. I saw they tested your iron but maybe check all the others too like magnesium, potassium, b12 , and folic acid, those are a few that some people lack causing some of the symptoms you describe.
Diagnosed at 7, in the gray area between crohns and UC. Surgery on Jan 27, 2018 #nocolonstillrollin

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2018
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/8/2018 4:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mak,

Thanks for suggesting this. I've been checked for the electrolytes (Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, etc).
All of my symptoms could be B12 deficiency, however, my ANA was negative and trying big loads of beef combined with 5000mcg B12 (methylcobalamin) for a month did not help either.

I eat loads of vegetables daily as well together with supplements (Omega 3, Vitamin C, Zinc, and more).

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16787
   Posted 3/8/2018 10:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello SelfImprovement, sorry to read about what you have going on. You are definitely headed in the right direction by having the stress test scheduled. I would not worry about having to give up exercise. Two things heart drs tell patients all the time exercise & a healthy diet. This includes folks that have had various heart surgeries. Most of them 6 weeks after surgery are sent to cardiac rehab. You have a variety of symptoms listed & I honestly cannot say if any or all are related to a cardiac issue. The biggest problem is so many different conditions have symptoms that overlap each other, so knowing this I won't comment.

In the meantime, try not to stress over all of this. I know easier said than done. Please let us know how your stress test goes. Take care.
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2017
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 3/14/2018 7:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Have you thought about testing for Lyme? Lyme, babesia, and/or bartonella could cause these symptoms (babesia and bartonella are co-infections). Bartonella can cause exercise intolerance. You might want to go to a lyme-literate medical doctor who can evaluate your symptoms. The tests for babesia and bartonella are very inaccurate, so sometimes your doctor will treat by symptoms.
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