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Chronic Fatigue and Exercise Intolerance

Sleeping when studying - Nakhon Sawan, Thailand

Sleeping when studying – Nakhon Sawan, Thailand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Exercise Intolerance is exactly the thing that people blame themselves (and others for).  Stop being lazy, push yourself harder, nauseous?  here have a half a stick of gum, now don’t give up!

Maybe all these things are valid at one level to get one out of a rut, or complacency, but when you have chronic fatigue these behaviors maybe fairly dangerous.  One young man who pushed himself despite his Exercise Intolerance, died from his efforts.

The Test

Using the same stress tests as used by doctors and sports professionals 8 minutes on an exercise bike, add in a mask to test for oxygen levels, the system tests several systems, cardiac, pulmonary, and metabolic.  Normal people after having this type of stress should recover and have the same performance the next day.   CFS people do not. If you have CFS you know that it takes several days to recover.

The test can give you your “anaerobic threshhold”.  This is the activity level where CFS patients now lose strenth and stamina in a way that is difficult to recover from.  Less than your threshhold you can still “bounce back” from your activities.  That threshold can be referred by heart rate, so theoretically you can exercise as long as you remain below that threshhold.

Disability

Unfortunately some people meet this threshhold while taking a shower, or other daily activities.  Luckily Social Security has been accepting the results from this test as an independent marker of disability.

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Categories: Bodywork, Fatigue, POTS, Stress
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