Endurance issues and flu-like symptoms after exercise?


Does anyone suffer from endurance Issues and exercise intolerance? I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease 4 years ago, and follow a strict gluten free diet, but each time I go through a day or two of heavy activity, my joints become swollen and inflamed, and I feel like I have a severe bout of the flu for about 48 hours.

I'm feeling like this today, after a big house move over the weekend - swollen muscles, fatigue - it's even exhausting to type, and even taking a shower leaves me feeling exhausted and frustrated. I take adrenal and iron supplments, and have been tested for Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthiritis, Fybromalgia and more, all with negative results.

I take zinc and magnesium at night to help my body repair a bit better while I sleep, but still feel shocking. I used to be so active, doing half marathons and the like before diagnosis, but now need at least 1 day downtime after a day's activity.

I'd really appreciate any advice. Does anyone have any more tips on how to help healing, or what other tests I should get done?



10 Replies

  • Mind me to ask how strenuous is your training? It appeared to be as if it is adrenal burnout that manifests itself usually with an array of symptoms post exercise. Strenuous workout puts lots of stress on healthy systems let alone those with some vulnerability. It also reduces T3 levels; hence, you see swelling.

  • Melanie - sorry, I wasn't talking about real 'training' per se, but just general exercise, like a 15 minute walk to the bus stop, or walking around for an hour grocery shopping. Moving house this past weekend did require a lot of cleaning and walking about, though I feel like I've been thrice run over by a truck. I've been taking the Jarrow Formula, Adrenal Optimizer to see if this will help boost my adrenals over th last few months, but this episode seems to have really knocked me for six. Do you have any other recommendations for improving T3 levels?

  • Got confused then as you have mentioned endurance etc..If this is not the case, Have you had your thyroid function checked? TSH, T4 and insist to have T3 levels checked and thyroid antibodies. Often coeliac patients suffer with Hashimoto's, an autoimmune disorder that attack the thyroid. Thyroid cells are very similar to gluten and are often mistaken for the enemy in the same way gluten is. Add to the test, Vitamin D, B12, Ferritin, all are very low in coeliac's.

    Iron and T3 hold onto each other.

    Take some good b-complex while waiting for the test. This should give you some boost. Continue with Magnesium and zinc. Add vitamin D 1000 IU. Almost everyone who is not supplementing with D is deficient and those who are deficient are struggling to boost it with anything lower than 5000 IU. Better to wait for results before going higher. Take some vitamin C about 1000 - 2000 mg, this will help with inflammation and healing.

    Finally, you might want to consider giving up all grains, too, not just wheat. They all have a protein similar to gluten in addition to gliadin. This Makes your immune system on alert and attack mode all the time and Causes leaky gut. Give it a go for 4 weeks and see how it goes. I am confident you'd see some improvement that will make you want to stick to it and not look back. I have been grain free, sugar free, and dairy free for over 4 months now. Huge improvements on all fronts although i had tested negative on coeliac and gluten intolerance/sensitivity equally.

    I hope this helps!

  • Yes, I have this kind of thing – I was just thinking of posting about it! – but have never really got to the bottom of it. However, I have pernicious anaemia rather than being a diagnosed coeliac, though most of my PA symptoms have receded since going gluten free. It could be worth getting your B12 levels checked.

    Mine has been going on for a few years, since I was diagnosed with PA – at first I put on a lot of weight and was too tired/breathless to exercise. Gradually, since having B12 injections and giving up gluten, I've got better and fitter until pretty much the only thing that remains is the exercise intolerance, which manifests in an energy crash if I go beyond a certain intensity of activity. I feel fine while I'm doing it, but if I do too much (mostly day to day fast walking/lifting things/a long walk, not hard sports training) I just go floppy and weak for a couple of days.

    After that I'm back to normal, but as I can't really tell where this boundary is I get very anxious about overdoing it. It's getting better and better and I'm trying to build up gently to greater exercise, but it's really frustrating: I'm overweight and want to get fit. I noticed this year I felt dramatically better after a sun and sea holiday, so wondered if it might have something to do with vitamin D. I'd welcome any suggestions too!

  • You don't say whether you've ever been checked for thyroid problems? Exercise intolerance is a symptom and I and many other suffer from it. I'm fine with gentle steady exercise - but if I do something like run for a bus I know about it very quickly and will feel ill with flu-like symptoms for several days after.

  • The sun and sea are wonderful, but the bit D made on the skin gets washed away in the tub! Many people have the VDR Taq genetic variation that makes it extra hard to get the D to where you need it. I take the Rx D2+K2 and Rx Omega 3, and we aim to keep my D at 90!! That's just BC most of it doesn't get absorbed or "hit the target" you know? Bit D is a pre-hormone. Don't let anyone scare you with "vitamin D poisoning" nonsense. There is only ONE known case.

  • Hi Sam,

    I agree with the others - that you should look into getting your thyroid tested.

    Have you also ever had your B12, vitamin D and cortisol levels checked? As a coeliac it would be a good idea. Anyone of these can cause fatigue similar to what you have described. I know because I've had issues with all three! (and I'm a coeliac like you). In the case of B12 and Vit D, it was due to gut absorption issues. Adrenal wise, I think that being an undiagnosed coeliac for several decades put too much stress on my adrenals and caused the insufficiency issue. If your cortisol levels come back as outside of the 'normal' range, then I would recommend totally giving up caffeine and getting to bed before 10.30pm. These 2 things seem to be helping me.

    Strangely, meditation sometimes helps me as well. I'm wondering if it's because it somehow supports the parasympathetic nervous system. If I'm honest, I'm really not sure how it works - I just know i've found it helpful on more than one occasion recently.

    I do still get fatigued, although it's not quite as bad now. Cutting out Soya and dairy has also improved things for me; so maybe you could also have other food intolerances?

    Btw, I so recognised what you said about the shower. Sometimes I still feel I need to have a rest between showering and dressing.

    Good luck figuring it out.

  • I so relate to that; joints hurting with the simplest exercise. Lack of stamina. I eat healthily and was such an active person when I was younger(now 61) but now I damage easily and do not repair easily or quickly.

  • why is it medical staff look so bemused when i complain of being knackered? i get the diet i don't eat oats or codex, still get tired too easy, exercise they say i walk i have heel issues too iiih i could scream but don't want to scare the cat!

  • I hear yah it's a fine line between overdoing it and getting the energy out. I have a thyroid condition that I'm treating. I feel great but fear I over did it at the gym. I just want to lay in bed. 

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