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Chest infections

pbracingpbracing Posts: 231
edited February 2009 in Training, fitness and health
Hi All, like many I started the year off full of excitement for a new year of cycling challenges ahead. Just when I'm starting back on the bike after a knee op, I'm thwarted by a chest infection. Not a big deal in itself, except for two things. Firstly, I never (normally) get them, and secondly after being put on some drugs for my arthritis in September, this is my 3rd chest infection.

Had antibiotics for first one in October, cleared it up. 4 weeks later I had another, antibiotics cleared it up again- or so I thought. I've never had them before and after 4 days of 7 they were shifting it.

When I got this infection, I hadn't really been around anyone else for days- it seemed out of the blue. I also got the distinct impression that what was coming up off my chest instantly, had been sitting there a long time.

The question is, do I go to the docs for more antibiotics? Also has anyone else got experience of repeated infections? What can I do to clear ir once and for all? I don't want it to establish itself as my 'achilies heel'.

Sorry for the long post. Thanks for taking the time to read it. I don't intend on becoming a sickly person- please help. :)
Why not? My bikes.
Summer & dry days
http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp47 ... /Trek1.jpg

Wet winter days & going the shops runaround
http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp47 ... rello1.jpg

Posts

  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    Cant help with chest infection but can recommend vicks first defence as a preventative measure.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • scapaslowscapaslow Posts: 305
    How can you be sure you have a chest infection? Better to see the GP and discuss.

    Chest infections can be a serious issue and many underestimate the time it takes your body to recover completely - this can be up to around 10 weeks.

    My example is this - bad cold before Xmas led to pneumonia. Anti B's plus 2 chest X-Rays show that "the situation is improving" but not completely gone 5 weeks later. The GP reckons another 4 weeks to get rid of it. He will reluctantly let me do low intensity work but that's it.

    The antiB's don't necessarily kill off the infection completely but reduce it to a level where your immune system can handle the rest of it and kill it off.

    So unfortunately, patience is the keyword. In the long run, proper rest and recovery will be worth it even if you have to suffer the frustration now. Always take the full course of AntiB's - don't stop when you feel better.

    Hope things improve for you soon. Best wishes.
  • pbracingpbracing Posts: 231
    Thanks for that scapa. Hope your situation keeps improving.

    Def chest infection, been coughing non-stop for a week bringing up thick, green gunk. Same as last 2 times when doc said it was infection. Had bad shivvers first night, constant headache 7 days, but no cold.

    Just wondered if it's same infection from before and if anti-b's are worth it? Ta.
    Why not? My bikes.
    Summer & dry days
    http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp47 ... /Trek1.jpg

    Wet winter days & going the shops runaround
    http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp47 ... rello1.jpg
  • binlinusbinlinus Posts: 305
    It sounds like you have been in and out of hospital recently and that is where you probably picked up an infection. This winter has also been particularly bad for colds flu and chest bugs. I've had a dodgy chest for months. Also is the arthritis drug known for dropping your immune system. Ask your GP.

    If you haven't had a chest xray, then get one just to get a proper diagnosis. But even then it can be difficult to tell from an xray. You could ask your GP to get some blood tests done and check you're not deficient in something.

    If you can tough it out for a while and do some moderate exercise and try to eat as healthily as possible and get lots of rest then you could get through it.

    I've had a terrible winter so far. Good luck.

    Bin
  • I'd say make sure you rest fully before making a come back. I like you never get chest infections but last year was just the pits, went into the winter at my best level of fitness ever but got 4 chest infections which rendered me useless over the winter, to be honest I can honestly say that I am jus about at the point where I am back to somewhere near were I was, infection follow infection and the dis motivation and just didn't want to ride / couldn't be bothered.

    The mistake that I made was to presume that because I felt better I was better, give it some time .. read the mags and keep the interest, ample recovery time will go a lot further than getting back on the bike to soon
  • I had a series of sinus and chest infections last year over the winter, followed by a bout of pneumonia in April. I had a course of antibiotics for every one, for a total of five trips to the doctor. The AB worked great for the sinus but did nothing for the pneumonia. All in all, I was unable to train for three and a half months.
    It got worse, the ABs kill all of the flora in your gut, apart from C. Diff. which when unhindered by competition goes crazy and messes you up badly. This is the super-bug that kills old people.
    My advice is to go to the doctor regularly but avoid the ABs when possible.
    A regime of vitamins along with regular trips to the sauna (if you can) may be your best bet for keeping it at bay. Rest is the best medicine.

    Get well.
  • pbracingpbracing Posts: 231
    Thanks for all the advice fellas. Frustrating times for anyone being kept off the bike. I will be patient and rest- seems all I do. Also going to avoid anti-bs if I can. btw, I think reaching 40 and never having this stuff before makes it perhaps more confusing than it might/should be. (out of character). Ho hum.

    Speedy good health to all :)
    Why not? My bikes.
    Summer & dry days
    http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp47 ... /Trek1.jpg

    Wet winter days & going the shops runaround
    http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp47 ... rello1.jpg
  • scapaslowscapaslow Posts: 305
    pbracing wrote:
    Def chest infection, been coughing non-stop for a week bringing up thick, green gunk. Same as last 2 times when doc said it was infection. Had bad shivvers first night, constant headache 7 days, but no cold.

    Get ye hence to the GP :!: - this may well be a bacterial infection for which AB's will help. You need to get checked out or things may get worse. It sounds very much like my symptoms. Shivering and high temps is a sign your body is fighting something - the body raises temperature to try and fight off the invader.

    You can take Yakult or similar drinks with beneficial gut flora while taking AB's and afterwards to help restore the balance.

    Viral infections do not usually respond so well to AB's but are usually less severe - but you can get a pneumoccocal vaccine jab from your health centre if you ask.
  • da gooseda goose Posts: 284
    Hi...
    Interested in this as i sufferred end of 07 and again 08 plus another bout last few weeks must be the damp Cornish air...seriously though getting older, shifts ,plenty of others with the bug..its true you just can`t fight it off as you did years ago.
    Having said that the population as a whole (normal fitness then) have also taken a hammering...some think the wet summers help many viruses
    Still I`m knackered know with piriformis issues ....this is a nightmare to shift...rather have another chest infection!
    J
  • pbracingpbracing Posts: 231
    How time flies- not. I was just reading around the forum and saw this post again. I cannot believe it's only a week since I wrote it!!! Still got the chest infection, coughing guts up as much as ever. Saw doc week ago who said no point in taking anti-bs, I agreed.

    But, fer f**ks sake is time dragging. I'm gagging to get back on the bike. Feels like it's been forever.
    Sympathies to anyone else suffering and being kept off the bike. Keep focused on the joy you'll have riding in the summer, completing an event or something. If you don't have a specific event to focus on, why not enter one- anything will do. Then you can spend this down time doing a training plan for it to start when you're better. Just a thought.
    Why not? My bikes.
    Summer & dry days
    http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp47 ... /Trek1.jpg

    Wet winter days & going the shops runaround
    http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp47 ... rello1.jpg
  • binlinusbinlinus Posts: 305
    Then get on the bike and do just 30 mins at an easy pace spinning a low gear everyday. That's not going to do any harm as long as your are wrapped up warm and really taking it easy. Max 30 mins. The moderate effort will actually stimulate your immune system, and the psychological effect will be good. And it'll keep your censored and hands used to the bike.

    Bin
  • Know what you're going through, I am in exactly the same situation. Went on a 60mile ride up a mountain in rain and 7degC on a work trip in the 1st week of January, probably should have called it off, but thought "What the hell, I'm here, I'm wrapped up and got a rain jacket" Then a few days after returning home got what I thought was just a cold. 1 week later I thought the symptoms were abating as I went away on my second honeymoon to Thailand (after getting dengue fever and being bed-ridden on my first last April!). Went to the gym a couple of times there for a 1 hour session on a bike, then it came back with a vengeance. Antibiotics, and a load of other drugs from the hospital in Thailand that knocked me out for about 10 days. Back yesterday and still coughing...

    I had the same thing last year and the only thing that shifted it was getting back on my bike. I know this goes against all good advice though, but I also hate antibiotics.

    I share your frustration...
  • pbracing wrote:
    Hi All, like many I started the year off full of excitement for a new year of cycling challenges ahead. Just when I'm starting back on the bike after a knee op, I'm thwarted by a chest infection. Not a big deal in itself, except for two things. Firstly, I never (normally) get them, and secondly after being put on some drugs for my arthritis in September, this is my 3rd chest infection.

    What drugs are you on for the Arthritis? I'm on Methotrexate for mine and although it seems to work it does leave me open to constant infection over the winter. I only started these back in summer 2008 and have never had such a bad winter in regards to colds etc. I'm like you...I may normally get the odd sniffle through winter but no persistent infections like this year. I guess we just have to try harder to look after ourselves than "normal" people.
    17 Stone down to 12.5 now raring to get back on the bike!
  • pbracingpbracing Posts: 231
    I was on sulfasalazine for a month in the summer. First time on drug therapy. I took myself off them because I have never felt so bad, hard to describe the feeling but I felt like death warmed up. I was too late though, they'd already had the effect of shutting down my immune system.......and here we are.

    I've come to agree about going for short rides on the bike. Good for morale if nothing else. I've put flats on my winter bike so that I don't have to get fully kitted up. Warm tracksuit bottoms and trainers with thick socks- toasty :)

    Good luck to all trying to get on the bike against any odds. Maintaining the interest through this forum is a positive thing. 3 cheers for the forum :roll: too much? :lol:
    Why not? My bikes.
    Summer & dry days
    http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp47 ... /Trek1.jpg

    Wet winter days & going the shops runaround
    http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp47 ... rello1.jpg
  • pbracing wrote:
    I was on sulfasalazine for a month in the summer. First time on drug therapy. I took myself off them because I have never felt so bad, hard to describe the feeling but I felt like death warmed up. I was too late though, they'd already had the effect of shutting down my immune system.......and here we are.

    LOL. I've done the sulphasalazine thing too....the orange wee is fun! I felt fine on them but then I have a bit of an iron gut!
    17 Stone down to 12.5 now raring to get back on the bike!
  • Been following this thread, I decided against my better judgement to go out for a ride yesterday afternoon, as the sun was shining. Well I knew within 3-4 minutes that all was not well, my heart rate over 150 just gently spinning along at 18mph, and over 185 on the only climb on the route, and I was in the granny gear. Did 1 lap of my local loop and went home, HR still elevated the next day... It's really frustrating because the biggest worry is that I will lose all of the fitness I had built up in the previous 8 months. Some say base aerobic fitness falls off very quickly, others say not so, just peak fitness falls off quickly. What's the consensus?

    Perhaps gentle roller training is a good idea, at least it keeps the legs turning but is warm and you can manage the intensity easily to not exhaust yourself...
  • pbracingpbracing Posts: 231
    Derek, you can be your own Gunea Pig. Your fitness will either drop right off, or it won't. When you get back to good health you'll be able to tell us how it's changed. Either way there's nothing to be done about it. I think rollers or turbo is a good idea just to keep moving, and you're not forced into fighting the wind which you have to even on a gentle ride sometimes. Good luck.
    I'm now into week 3 of my chest infection, and have now got a cold. Woo-hoo :lol:
    Why not? My bikes.
    Summer & dry days
    http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp47 ... /Trek1.jpg

    Wet winter days & going the shops runaround
    http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp47 ... rello1.jpg
  • derekwatts wrote:
    Been following this thread, I decided against my better judgement to go out for a ride yesterday afternoon, as the sun was shining. Well I knew within 3-4 minutes that all was not well, my heart rate over 150 just gently spinning along at 18mph, and over 185 on the only climb on the route, and I was in the granny gear. Did 1 lap of my local loop and went home, HR still elevated the next day... It's really frustrating because the biggest worry is that I will lose all of the fitness I had built up in the previous 8 months. Some say base aerobic fitness falls off very quickly, others say not so, just peak fitness falls off quickly. What's the consensus?

    Perhaps gentle roller training is a good idea, at least it keeps the legs turning but is warm and you can manage the intensity easily to not exhaust yourself...

    varies from person to person IME

    I lost the lot after getting totalled by a car last spring... starting over I have re-engineered a few bad habits which is a good thing

    assume your going to lose everything and start from scratch its not all negative
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I think it depends on how long you're off the bike.
    After a knee injury / referral / surgery / recuperation / physio etc I'd been off the thing for nearly three months altogether, and really noticed a loss of muscle mass and base fitness. Took a couple of months to feel nearly normal again.
    This Christmas I was taken out by a respiratory viral infection which confined me to the house for a fortnight and stopped me riding for another week, but when I started riding again I just felt I'd lost a bit of climbing ability which I'm now working on. Just wish it wasn't quite so bloody cold at the moment!
  • woody-somwoody-som Posts: 1,001
    I find that taking a brake due to illness can actually be a good thing. When you come back, you notice that you are not as fit, but last year after an accident when i came back, i was weaker, but noticed i was spinning the pedals faster than I use to to compensate, and that has stuck, so sometimes something good can come from taking a rest and recover.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    derekwatts wrote:
    It's really frustrating because the biggest worry is that I will lose all of the fitness I had built up in the previous 8 months.
    You certainly won't lose "all of it" - some de-training is inevitable though, but we all suffer infections / injuries that keep us off the bike for a time - you just have to accept these as a given in any season and make sure you are fully recovered before resuming training otherwise you are setting yourself up for a fall.
    derekwatts wrote:
    Some say base aerobic fitness falls off very quickly, others say not so, just peak fitness falls off quickly. What's the consensus?
    There was an article in the Jan09 CyclingPlus that gave the following stats following 2-4 weeks without training:
    VO2 Max: down 3-14%
    Blood Volume: down 5-10%
    Heart rate: up 5-10%
    Stroke volume: down 6-12%
    Cardiac output: down 8-10%
    Lactate threshold: down 4-17%
    Muscle glycogen levels: down 20-40%
    Body fat: up 0-4%
    Muscle strength: no change
    Proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibres: no change
    Overall endurance performance: down 5-20%

    I would guess (but don't know for sure) that the "top end" fitness is the easiest to lose.
  • I've tried riding through what felt like a mild chest infection. 2.5 weeks on and I'm coughing like ive got whooping cough, runy nose and sore throat. I think it was a mistake to be honest, but its so damn hard to lay off.
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