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Old 11-29-2010, 02:06 PM   #1
Emily Mattes
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Default Ideas on why I keep developing chronic health conditions?

This is a long shot, but I'm getting pretty sick of this phenomenon so I'm turning to a more holistic approach. I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions on what the heck is going on with my body.

I rarely get sick, even colds. I have only gotten injured from training once in two years of high-volume training. I've been overtrained once, but it took a lot to get there and in general my health and recovery is very good.

However, for the past four years, about every 6-12 months I have a relatively serious health crisis. I get afflicited with some painful, annoying, uncommon but not super-rare (affects maybe 10% of the population at most) condition that doesn't really have any preventative measures, requires multiple months and often hospital visits to deal with, and then rarely bothers me again. Chronic UTIs for half a year, an ovarian cyst, kidney stones, hardcore job-related respiratory illness, trigemnial neuralgia. Now I've got another stupid health crisis on my hands and it'll probably require surgery.

These conditions are all disparate. No family history. They're not tied to major life events. There doesn't seem to be anything relating them. They just keep popping up. I'm going to take care of this latest crisis and then start counting down the days until the next one comes around, whatever it may be.

I feel like this is abnormal, but maybe I'm just frustrated. Has this ever happened to anyone else? Am I just unlucky?
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:09 AM   #2
Garrett Smith
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It's likely not bad luck. Thoughts off the top of my head:

Vitamin D deficiency

Chronic dehydration

Adrenal fatigue (if you want to call it that) that was never recovered from

Lack of properly executed deload weeks

Food intolerance (gluten would be likely)

Zinc deficiency
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:41 AM   #3
Steven Low
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IMO this is why high volume training is not good for most of the population, especially for those who have not done at least 7-10+ years as a base before moving into it.
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:30 AM   #4
Garrett Smith
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Emily, you need to pay attention to what you said here:
Quote:
I rarely get sick, even colds. I have only gotten injured from training once in two years of high-volume training. I've been overtrained once, but it took a lot to get there and in general my health and recovery is very good.
You are getting "sick" quite often now, it seems. This means that in general, your health and recovery are NOT good now.

Recovering from overtraining, especially that done from heavy, high volume training, is not as easy or simple as people make it out to be. Once is all it takes for some people to really begin a downward spiral that they never take the time to fully recover from. The fact that you say it "took a lot" to get to overtraining also means the converse is likely true--that it will "take a lot" to truly get out of it.

The saying I use for situations like yours: "My car was working FINE...until it BROKE." Everyone's health was better before it got worse. The things you have chosen to do (or chosen not to do) are not supporting your body in moving back to a better state of health, that's the reality of what is happening in your situation.

Last thing. I have people come into my office with things like rheumatoid arthritis or cancer, who say, "my health is great, I never get colds", and yet they are sitting in front of me not realizing that they have massive dysfunction in their immune system. Don't be one of those people. Deal with this early and correctly or it will dog you for years to come.

I'd suggest you find an ND in your area or I can help you run some labs that will help to give us an idea of where to pursue first. PM me if you are interested.
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:41 AM   #5
Garrett Smith
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Just did a little Googling on a hunch.

Many of your health issues--ovarian cyst, kidney stone, UTIs, trigeminal neuralgia--can have a connection to caffeine in some people (combined with chronic dehydration, this could get nasty).

You might consider eliminating caffeine completely, especially if you have a long-standing habit that has grown stronger in recent years.

Trigeminal neuralgia: case study of pain cessation with a low-caffeine diet.
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:57 AM   #6
Emily Mattes
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The chronic health problems started years before I ever started training--started around 2005/2006 and I didn't start working out regularly until late 2008, and now that I think of it didn't start higher volume work (or what people tell me is higher volume work, anyway) until later 2009. So "two years of high volume training" should really be "one year of high volume training."

Except for the past month or two, I've never been a regular coffee or tea drinker, as in maybe a two cups of coffee on average across a month.

The gluten though, taken on average across any year my diet is, uh, definitely not majority Paleo. And I am super-lax about Vitamin D supplementation and am a bit of a sunscreen fanatic to boot. I also tend to forget to I need fluids.

I had not considered those, as I thought stuff like gluten and Vit D tended to manifest in more chronic conditions like allergies, inflammation, celiac, etc, rather than my body happy chugging along before switching abruptly into some random shut-down. Is that not the case?

(I dropped a workout day from my week at the beginning of the month--moving from five workouts to four. This was going to be temporary but I guess I could see how I feel on it and maybe make it permanent)
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:12 AM   #7
Garrett Smith
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I hear the "everything was fine until..." all the time. Cysts and stones don't appear overnight, they take time to develop, thus they are chronic. Chronic UTIs are just that, chronic. Respiratory illness due to work, but could have been exacerbated by a weakened immune system. Trigeminal neuralgia IS inflammation.

Note that I said gluten, not Paleo necessarily.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:17 AM   #8
Jarod Barker
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Where do you live and what's your water like? You don't have to answer that question here, but just something to think about. I'm no doc, and I'm not trying to diagnose you, but my is from steel towns. My uncle did zinc welding. The basements of the houses all have high radon levels. Perhaps you're being exposed to environmental toxins over time that finally accumulated into an amount that's causing problems. You mention a job related respiratory illness, perhaps you're also being exposed to something in the water that may be contributing to your UTIs. All the mill workers in my family have kidney stones, UTIs, bladder cancer, lung problems, etc. It could be your workplace, and if that's the case.... no job is really worth your health.

Good luck, and I hope you start feeling better soon!
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Old 11-30-2010, 04:48 PM   #9
Garrett Smith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Cilli View Post
Where do you live and what's your water like? You don't have to answer that question here, but just something to think about. I'm no doc, and I'm not trying to diagnose you, but my is from steel towns. My uncle did zinc welding. The basements of the houses all have high radon levels. Perhaps you're being exposed to environmental toxins over time that finally accumulated into an amount that's causing problems. You mention a job related respiratory illness, perhaps you're also being exposed to something in the water that may be contributing to your UTIs. All the mill workers in my family have kidney stones, UTIs, bladder cancer, lung problems, etc. It could be your workplace, and if that's the case.... no job is really worth your health.

Good luck, and I hope you start feeling better soon!
Chad makes an excellent point here, and this can be exactly the reason one can benefit immensely from seeing a local practitioner who is more familiar with "local" patterns and issues.
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:40 PM   #10
Emily Mattes
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I've lived in three different states since these issues started, so my inclination is the cause is not locational.

(hopefully that did not sound too flippant)
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