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escaping Chronic Fatigue Syndrom by riding bike(11 posts)

escaping Chronic Fatigue Syndrom by riding bikeJackie Chan
Sep 20, 2002 3:18 PM
I am a sufferer of a misterious desease called Chronic Fatigue Syndrom and Immune dissorder since 4 years. In the past year it became so bad that most of my wake time (which was maybe 4 or 5 hours a day)I spent immovable in bed barely gathering strenght to do even a simple thing such is going to the bathroom. I was only 32 and I thought it's over, never again I will be able to live like before. Or will be I be able to live at all?
Then...friend of mine pulled me out of that ignorant state saying that I must do some outdoor exercise. I protested as I was so week but agreed, and we went to walmart and bought a dual suspension bike. My first "ride" lasted 4 min. But then in due course of some 3-4 months I became stronger and stronger and now after 8 months of biking I ride about 200 miles a week. Of course I bought better bike and clothing.
I just wandered if there is any other similar case out there who was saved by biking?
(of course we know Lance;s story)
Excellent! I know of another rider who did the sameTig
Sep 20, 2002 3:33 PM
First, let me congratulate your accomplishment. I don't know if that will work for everyone who suffers CFS, but it's worth a dedicated try. Nice to have your life back, huh? I have a feeling that character and determination are among your best allies.

A friend I ride with suffered the same thing about 8 or 9 years ago. He was already a very accomplished Cat 1 racer and former jr champion of England. For the first year he suffered quite a bit. He tried to ride but just couldn't make it work. Something must have changed because he was later able to do what you have done. Now, he is just as strong as a 45+ master can be. He once again punishes us with his power!
something similarrufus
Sep 20, 2002 4:00 PM
my previous job was an overnight shift, and when winter came, i rarely saw the light of day. as such, i suffered from a bit of seasonal affective disorder and a mild case of depression. couple that with a balky knee that basically limited me to about 300 miles on the bike over three years, and i was always tired, not happy, and frequently sick.

had knee surgery two years ago, and last year i rode about 800 miles. not a lot by the standards of most of the people on this board, but quite a bit for me. last winter i had more energy, didn't feel as tired, was rarely sick, and just enjoyed life more. it probably helped that the winter was fairly mild, with many days downright warm.

well, i lost that job, but this year have gotten in over 2000 miles, and despite still being unemployed, i've never felt better. let's see what this winter brings.
re: escaping Chronic Fatigue Syndrom by riding bikemoabbiker
Sep 20, 2002 5:24 PM
Not quite the same, but I suffered from a lot of stress related illness in the past when I never exercised (too boring and hot). But now that I've been seriously riding for nearly two years, I haven't had as much as a runny nose. Keeps my weight down too.
re: escaping Chronic Fatigue Syndrom by riding bikealiensporebomb
Sep 21, 2002 11:46 AM
I didn't escape disease but it did probably save my life.

I used to ride all the time in my childhood and into my
late twenties. Then I got a sedentary desk job, a car,
and no more riding. For eight years.

Almost five years ago my wife and I had some horrible things

She miscarried what would have been our first child and
then a few months later my mom died (my sole remaining
parent). I had just started a stressful new job and the
combination of the miscarriage, my mothers passing and
the job was enough to basically make me withdraw and I ate
everything in sight.

Towards spring at one of those tent bike sales my wife
bought me a hardtail mountain bike and it was as if a
switch got flipped on after being shut off for eight

Now I have three bikes (road racer, mountain bike, commuter
bike) and I ride all the time. I'm a lot happier and
centered now that I'm riding again. I even got my wife into
biking and this from a woman who rode 5 miles on a comfort
bike now rides hundreds of miles on a recumbent. Bizzarre.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome doesn't existLazywriter
Sep 21, 2002 2:44 PM
At best it is purely a psychological disorder but more likely simple depression. They call it the "Yuppie Flu" if you didn't know that. Only in a country like ours would someone even coin a syndrome as this. (Meaning we are so fortunate and spoiled to worry about what others in poorer coiuntries would think as trivial). There is no physiological etiology or proof that this exists. Pure speculation and just another pseudo-psychological bs like repressed memory.
With CFS, people's vital signs are normal, labs are within normal range and there is no sign of infection etc etc. Get where I am going?
Re: Chronic Fatigue Syndro..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzSpunout
Sep 21, 2002 4:53 PM
Just in your mind? Still sucks thoughwolfereeno
Sep 21, 2002 11:03 PM
Just because they haven't found an indicator yet doesn't mean it's not a real problem. I do think it's pretty ambiguous however - and even lean slightly towards believing its mostly mental. I know some people where I'd guess it was depression and others where it really seems like something was physically wrong. Some Dr's think it's BS. Others recognize it as a real disease.

Either way pain and fatigue are real to the sufferer. It doesn't matter if its mental or not. It still sucks.

Lance might have had great doctors but those same Dr's have also lost a lot of patients. Why he lived and others died could boil down to a perfect regimen of drugs and such, luck, or it could have something to do with his will/dedication/mental fortitude. He may of had good doctors but I think he gets all the credit for going from survivor to champ. The mind has a lot to do with it even when it's a physical, detectable problem.

Unfortunately despite this obvious connection, people usually prefer to concentrate on the external part of the cure. Whether it's Dr's, psychics, vitamins, colonics, religion, or rabbits feet.

I think if you've got some illness for which there's no test or cure, all you can really do is work on your attitude, mental health, and lifestyle. For some that might mean Prozac - others: Colnago!
According to the CDC, it doesTrent in WA
Sep 22, 2002 11:12 AM
See According to the website, the latest evidence suggests that "CFS affects all racial and ethnic groups and both sexes," and that CFS-like diseases are most prevalent among people earning less than $40K a year, women, and blacks. Further, while it's correct that no single cause for CFS has been identified, "another possibility is that CFS represents a common endpoint of disease resulting from multiple precipitating causes," again to quote the CDC website. It has a specific set of symptoms associated with it. So it hardly sounds like "Yuppie flu."

Here's some heavy sh*t (with a good ending:-)wolfereeno
Sep 21, 2002 10:17 PM
I have an autoimmune nerve disorder called CIDP that's kind of similar to MS. Basically my peripheral nerves loose their ability to properly conduct electrical impulses - the net effect is that I get weak, numb hands and legs. At its worst, I'd have a very hard time walking and climbing stairs. And my hands would be pretty weak too. I couldn't open a jar, tie my shoes, or button a pair of jeans. I had almost no reflexes. There'd also be a lot of phantom pains. To make it all the more depressing I've played drums most of my life - not something one can do with weak, numb hands. All of this started about 12 years ago.

I was lucky and found a good neurologist who recommended a treatment of something called gamma globulin (aka IVIG) which is basically purified human antibodies. That would work for about 3 months and then I'd get weak again. So I'd go back for a refill every 4 months. (BTW, I've read that they sometimes use IVIG for CFS - with very mixed results)

All through this I was in a really terrible relationship. Eventually I hit rock bottom, couldn't take it anymore, and left her. Getting out of that relationship hugely reduced my stress level. Around the same time a friend gave me a bike. During the periods when I was strong, I'd ride. Eventually I started going for the gamma globulin less often. Almost 4 years ago I stopped completely.

My feeling is that stress reduction and regular exercise have made all the difference for me. I'm back to playing my drums as well and am better than I ever was.

I ride like crazy now - if I have the time, 200+ mi a week like you. I'm not super fast but I pass more than I'm passed. And I always leave my 'healthy' friends panting on long rides. I also just started running.

The numbess and pain still come and go. Every day there's various small reminders that I'm not 'normal'. But I kind of welcome them since they continually remind me of how sweet it can be to feel 'good'

I know a thing or two about CFS and have friends who have had it. But I honestly can't say whether I believe its hypochondria or real. Experts don't agree either. Either way it doesn't matter since there's no cure. But if my experience has taught me anything it's that the mind can be the most powerful healer.

So the formula I live by is 1) to be true to yourself and not make the kinds of compromises that make it impossible to look yourself in the mirror and 2) ride a bike!

You might want to check out the following website. There are others I can find for you if necessary: American Autoimmune Association (MS, CIDP, CFS, Lupus, etc)

Kind regards and good luck.

....(with a good ending:-)Spunout
Sep 22, 2002 1:40 PM
Looks like there is good in a highly repititious exercise. Your neurons must fire while you are spinning, and it must strengthen their response across the board. Good for you!!

I do not have such a condition, but cycling is definitely soothing and provides focus in my life.