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"Exercising makes an infection go deeper into the tissues and makes you sicker" - is this true?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Dolphin, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    Somebody sent me the following:
    "[A doctor told her mum before] exercising with any infection makes it go deeper into the tissues and makes you sicker."

    Anyone ever hear that before? Is there any evidence for it? If this was widely accepted or there was evidence for it, it could be very useful to quote.
    Enid likes this.
  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    I don't know that this is accurate. However if the infection is focal due to a cut or tear then it might further tear and leave more damaged tissue to be infected. Also if the infection is serious then the energy is better spent fighting the infection. There are reasons why our immune system makes us feel like lying down and taking it easy during severe infections. If the exercise intensity is great enough then the cytokines etc. may respond in a way that weakens immunity temporarily.

    Of course my explanation is based on otherwise healthy people ... its hard to figure out what this means for people with ME or CFS.

    Generally speaking doctors often advise that if the infection is not serious, and you don't have a fever, then exercise is probably safe provided you don't aggravate any injuries. With our immune systems I do not know how this translates.

    So far as I am aware much of the research on this comes from fit healthy athletes. I have a cousin who is an expert on this but I have not talked to her in nearly two decades.
    Katherine and Allyson like this.
  3. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

    Yes I think this probably is true. In my early days though not well I went (with docs sort of agreement) to an Osteopath to try and loosen "frozen" muscles and walked (exercised) more. It felt reasonably good for a while with all the manipulation and then a sudden crash even worse than the situation before. Back to bed and very ill with all the well known ME symptoms. My Osteopath declined to treat further.

    It crossed my mind that this was precisely what was happening.
    PNR2008, Mij and Allyson like this.

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