A trip to the doctor today definitely shed some light as to why I feel like I got hit by a mack truck today. I saw my osteopath, Dr. Mary, at the Kaplan Clinic, who I've been seeing for over 2 years now. I originally saw her to treat my whiplash injury from a car accident 3 years ago after 9 months of physical therapy failed me. She also kept my spine straight while recovering from my ACL surgery 2 years ago. So, many many spinal adjustments and acupuncture sessions later, I see her for occasional checkups. Since she treats you holistically with both eastern and western medical practices, she is aware of a multitude of my "issues". Last time I was in, she ordered my annual blood work to check things like Vitiamin D, hormones, proteins, iron, etc. More than your general doc. Today I got the results....
(1) Significantly low DHEA levels. DHEA is a chemical produced by your adrenal glands. My body is producing the same amount as what you would expect from a 70 yr old woman. Yes, its supplements are banned by the international cycling groups, and Congress wants it to be categorized as a controlled substance (steroid!) So, now I get to take DHEA supplements (steroids!) That said, there is no scientific link between DHEA supplements and performance in athletes. But, in my case, with broken adrendals right now, this explains a ton in terms of performance in the box for met-cons and in my recent races. No adrenaline--the last two races I ran I could not even sprint the final 100m. No juice. Now I know why. Oh, and what causes this you ask? Stress, depression... My response to her was - but I'm not stressed! She said, "Well, remember that job you used to have? You're still recovering." Big sigh.
(2) Increased C-Reactive Protein levels. What is this you ask? "C-reactive protein is produced by the liver. The level of CRP rises when there is inflammation throughout the body. " Great...my levels are double what they should be. This explains some of the pain I've been having, but also the extra five pounds and difficulty losing weight. Excess levels of the protein does cause you to retain water. I'm fighting my bodies natural reactions to be 'puffy'. This explains the couple of pound weight gain and why the waist of all my pants are tight!
(3) Hormones are slightly out of whack. Not terribly significant, but not great either. But again, not surprising. Adding the DHEA supplements should help get closer to the normal range.
I'm glad we discovered these few things--we will check them again in 6 weeks to see where we are at. I'm happy to know that my poor met-con performances are not due to me being weak, but rather fighting the odds. Believe it or not, neither of these is affected by your diet! All external stessors. I hope the DEHA supplements start working fast. I would love to feel the adrenaline again and KILL a met con before I move.
Imagine the fire-breather I would be if my body worked properly.