Tag Archives: Exercise

THE DOCTORS 101 CHRONIC SYMPTOMS & CONDITIONS #39: Chronic Fatigue (CFS)

Fatigue is a common symptom and I have discussed it previously; look for “energy and fatigue”. Certain individuals, usually in their 30s and 40s, develop severe fatigue that is unrefreshed by sleep, and interferes with their normal activity.

Sometimes CFS is accompanied by sore throat, swollen glands, and Headache. The doctor usually finds no physical,laboratory or clinical abnormalities. If This fatigue continues on for many months, and is life-changing it has been called chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS.

There is another similar chronic problem that is called fibromyalgia, and some authorities think of them as the same problem. To be diagnosed as CFS, The patient needs to have difficulties with memory, focus and concentration, or dizziness that worsens with moving from laying or sitting to standing.

I had had two such patients when I was in practice, Who were sent to me to rule out allergies. I found no such allergies and tried to encourage a healthy lifestyle including good sleep, diet, and exercise. My patients seem to get better with some exercise, although exercise often causes more fatigue according to the literature.

I have heard many causes postulated for this condition such as hormonal difficulties, immune system problems, or psychological factors. Infections particularly have been suspected such as cytomegalovirus, herpesviruses, or Epstein-Barr virus, but nothing consistent has shown up.

Since sleep does not restore energy, consulting a sleep center to rule out sleep apnea is reasonable. Such a condition following in the wake of COVID-19 would probably be attributed to that condition. Perhaps CFS is indeed due to an as yet undiscovered viral infection. Please check out the accompanying Mayo clinic summary.

—Dr. C.

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DOCTORS PODCAST: MEDICAL & TELEHEALTH NEWS (MAR 2)

A bi-weekly podcast on the latest medical, science and telehealth news.

INFOGRAPHIC: ‘STAY ACTIVE TO LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE’

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  • High blood pressure is one of the most common modifiable risk factors for heart disease and stroke in women.
  • Approximately, 1 in 2 adult women in the US has elevated blood pressure (>120/80).
  • Physical activity can help to prevent and control blood pressure by strengthening the heart, contributing to a healthy weight, and reducing stress. 

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EXERCISE: BENEFITS OF HIIT (HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING) – MAYO CLINIC

Mayo Clinic Division of Preventive Cardiology will be preparing a series of recordings focusing on Cardiovascular Disease states. This is the Exercise Series and this particular one focuses on HIIT and its benefits. Results in physiological adaptations linked to improved health (even with a very small volume of exercise).

THE DOCTORS 101 CHRONIC SYMPTOMS & CONDITIONS #35: HIP FRACTURES

Hip fracture is an iconic bugaboo of old age. It is a chronic condition in the sense that its complications, such as Depression, blood clots and pneumonia often extend long beyond the healing process.

Predisposing factors include old age and associated risk factors like osteoporosis, sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass and strength), poor vision, poor balance and hazards in the home.

FALLING is the usual agency that produces the fracture. At the risk of being ostracized, I will point out that thousands of injuries sustained by walking or tripping over dogs (and cats) occur every year.

In my small “hilltop” group of friends, there was 1 fatality, 1 shoulder fracture-dislocation, 1 hip fracture, and 0 acknowledgements of animal causation. Members of the family are immune to blame.

Treatment of hip fracture involves surgery with pins, or the more cost-effective Hip replacement. PREVENTION is critical. Osteoporosis must be prevented by exercise, Calcium, vitamin D, and avoidance of certain medication like Corticosteroids.

Balance should be developed by exercises. Vision problems, such as cataracts,should be corrected. Muscle mass should be preserved by diet and exercise, and the home cleared of throw-rugs and obstacles removed.

Just yesterday, a friend wearing socks (reducing friction?) fell down some stairs after stepping over a dog-gate. She is scheduled to have her elbow pinned. Have I mentioned SLEEP, DIET and EXERCISE RECENTLY?

–Dr. C.

DR. C’S MEDICINE CABINET: BENEFITS & RISKS OF ‘STATINS’

The STATIN medications are one of medicine’s greatest achievements, in my opinion. They REDUCE blood CHOLESTEROL and HEART ATTACKS in very low doses and have a good safety profile. They truly deserve to be the Best Selling class of drugs. 13 Nobel prizes have been awarded during the centuries of cholesterol research.

I have never had a heart attack, but do have some calcification in my Coronaries. Moreover, I have an untreated serum cholesterol level of 220 mg/dL. This is above the recommended level of 200 mg/dL, so I read up on the statins. The only concerning side effect from my viewpoint was MUSCLE PAIN.

I already have some muscle soreness from my exercise program, and did not want more, so I started at ½ of the 5 mg. dose of the statin suggested by my family doctor. This tiny dose of Rosuvastatin produced a dramatic 40 mg. Drop in my Cholesterol, and I am still hovering around the recommended level of 200 mg./dL. Instead of breaking the 5 mg. tablet in half, I now take 5 mg. every other day, since Rosuvastatin has a long half life.

One of my friends took a higher dose, and drove his cholesterol down to 100 Mg./dL. Apparently there is no serum level of cholesterol where further reduction fails to help.

Total cholesterol is divided into HDL and LDL components. My HDL, the “good” cholesterol, is thought to offset some of the cholesterol-plaque-causing effects of the LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. This makes me less than eager to raise my cholesterol and risk muscle pain.

My HIGH HDL is probably due to a combination of EXERCISE, FISH OIL and Genetics. Many of my friends “don’t tolerate” the statins, meaning that they developed muscle pain. Since they were taking the drug on faith, and not because of already-developed heart problems, they just don’t take the medication any more.

If your doctor has recommended one of the Statin drugs because of an elevated cholesterol, you might ask her to start at a lower dose. You can always work up to a higher dose if necessary. If you develop muscle pain at the higher dose, you can drop back to the dose you tolerated. Enjoy “Personalized” Medicine.

–Dr. C.

THE DOCTORS 101 CHRONIC SYMPTOMS AND CONDITIONS #24: CONSTIPATION

One of my previous posts, “bad breath”, was so well received that I am emboldened to deal briefly with another important, if politically incorrect, topic; Constipation.

I have anemia, and take regular IRON, which produces constipation. A high fiber diet solved it. My bones have also been thinning over the years into Osteopenia, a deficiency of Calcium. I Increased my calcium intake with some CALCIUM citrate powder, and developed one of the worst episodes of Constipation I have ever had, in spite of my high fiber diet.

Stopping the Calcium leaves me with the osteopenia worry, but was a great relief. Many other medications can cause constipation. Ask your Pharmacist for a list.` Hypothyroidism, and a variety of autoimmune, intestinal and neurological conditions have constipation as a symptom.

As I struggled with something that should be automatic, I worried about possibly pushing out a hernia, ballooning out one of my colonic diverticula, or developing hemorrhoids. These are all complications of constipation, not to mention the big waste of time. Regularity is much to be desired.

If you have regular SLEEP and EXERCISE a low Calorie density, high fiber diet, and are not taking a lot of drugs and supplements, you most likely don’t have constipation. If you have constipation, you might consider examining your sleep, diet, exercise and medications. If you don’t want to change your habits and medication, try METAMUCIL and drink lots of WATER.

–Dr. C.

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THE DOCTORS 101 CHRONIC SYMPTOMS And CONDITIONS #23: OLD AGE / GROWING OLD

Old age is an inevitable condition if you are lucky enough to live a long life. Middle aged people say it begins at 70 years of age. According to an Elysium survey of people 40 and older, the average American FEELS old for the first time at age 47 years.

In the distant past, 50 was CONSIDERED to be old. The generally better conditions and Medicine of modern times keeps extending LIFESPAN, if not always HEALTHSPAN. Old age is certainly a Condition, and it is for sure Chronic, thereby qualifying for inclusion, but is it a Disease?

It is not considered a disease by the authorities, and so it doesn’t gather research funds like it should. What exactly IS old age? Being 88 Years old, and a physician, I feel qualified to comment. Old age is a collection of past accidents and sports injuries plus complications of past illnesses engrafted on a gradually deteriorating body.

Where does Obesity and Metabolic syndrome fit in this rubric? The Plague of our time fits in the disease category. It is definitely preventable, although with difficulty. Please search past postings for more information on this topic.

In what way does the body gradually deteriorate? Any organized, non-random high information structure gradually becomes more disordered, and “worn away” with the passage of TIME, the destroyer. Entropy (disorder) gradually increases, in the absence of corrective energy input.

Even rocks and mountains eventually erode, given enough time. One of the most interesting characteristics of life is that it maintains its integrity for an inordinate amount of time, given its complexity and furious dynamism.

Every day our DNA sustains thousands of molecular ruptures from high energy radiation and other stressors. Proofreading and repair mechanisms are employed, at high energy cost, to repair these breaks. This corrective is especially efficient when we are young and vigorous; In our youth, our reproductive years, growth and repair predominate. Gradually, growth ceases, repair mechanisms age, and we become old.

Our Darwinian “warranty” expires. We are left with an aging body, unimportant to evolution. We are long on experience and short on future. But we still have a marvelous metabolism at our disposal, depending on our lifestyle. There are a number of metabolic pathways which affect aging, 2 of which have been more studied.

The mTOR pathway is most attuned to youth, senses nutrients and gears up for ANABOLISM, or growth. If you have not been careful to tailor your food intake to suit your decreasing requirements, your efficient metabolism stores it away for a rainy day, around your belly and in your arteries, a bad effect from an essential mechanism. Antagonistic Pleiotropy is the name for a body mechanism that can be good for one function (or age) and bad for another.

The Sirtuin system is also important in aging, and has a variety of housekeeping functions, including mitochondrial maintenance. It is activated by exercise. The cells of our bodies change with aging. In old tissues, there are less stem cells and other young, functional units. There are more damaged, dysfunctional “zombie” cells that don’t do much but promote inflammation, and hence more inflammatory cells accumulate.

Controlling the mTOR System and promoting the sirtuins help increase apoptosis and get rid of dysfunctional cells, including cancer. DOCTORS SHOULD PRESCRIBE EXERCISE, as well as SLEEP AND DIET, like they do medicine, and maybe we wouldn’t need so many pills. We might also feel better into old age.

–Dr. C.

Disease, Metabolic syndrome, Entropy, DNA, Metabolism, Apoptosis, Zombie cells

INFOGRAPHIC: EXERCISE FOR ‘CLAUDICATION’ (BMJ STUDY)

Exercise training is a safe, effective and low-cost intervention for improving walking ability in patients with IC. Additional benefits may include improvements in QoL, muscle strength and cardiorespiratory fitness. Clinical guidelines advocate supervised exercise training as a primary therapy for IC, with walking as the primary modality.

However, evidence is emerging for the role of various other modes of exercise including cycling and progressive resistance training to supplement walking training. In addition, there is emerging evidence for home-based exercise programmes. Revascularisation or drug treatment options should only be considered in patients if exercise training provides insufficient symptomatic relief.

Abstract

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is caused by atherosclerotic narrowing of the arteries supplying the lower limbs often resulting in intermittent claudication, evident as pain or cramping while walking. Supervised exercise training elicits clinically meaningful benefits in walking ability and quality of life. Walking is the modality of exercise with the strongest evidence and is recommended in several national and international guidelines. Alternate forms of exercise such as upper- or lower-body cycling may be used, if required by certain patients, although there is less evidence for these types of programmes. The evidence for progressive resistance training is growing and patients can also engage in strength-based training alongside a walking programme. For those unable to attend a supervised class (strongest evidence), home-based or ‘self-facilitated’ exercise programmes are known to improve walking distance when compared to simple advice. All exercise programmes, independent of the mode of delivery, should be progressive and individually prescribed where possible, considering disease severity, comorbidities and initial exercise capacity. All patients should aim to accumulate at least 30 min of aerobic activity, at least three times a week, for at least 3 months, ideally in the form of walking exercise to near-maximal claudication pain.

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