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Stopping exercise for 10 days can decrease brain blood flow

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by TrixieStix, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. TrixieStix

    TrixieStix Senior Member

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    "Using MRI brain imaging techniques, researchers found that after the athletes stopped exercising, blood flow decreased 20% to 30% in eight brain regions, including the left and right hippocampus. The hippocampus is responsible for learning and memory...."

    http://www.health.harvard.edu/exerc...ocialmedia&utm_campaign=011017&utm_content=nl

    While this study is very small/short, and did not show cognitive defects, it doesn't seem much of a stretch to think that the constant lack of exercise many with ME/CFS experience over long spans of time could in turn affect cognitive function to some degree.
     
  2. hixxy

    hixxy Senior Member

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    Except when exercise causes the blood flow to the brain to drop even more significantly like it does in many people with ME/CFS ...
     
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  3. TrixieStix

    TrixieStix Senior Member

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    I could see both things being at play at the same time.

    This is from 2013 but is new to me. The paper points out all sorts of studies done on CBF in ppl with ME/CFS. Lots to read for me one of these nights when I am bored.

    "Caught in the thickness of brain fog: exploring the cognitive symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome"

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3617392/
     
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  4. HowToEscape?

    HowToEscape? Senior Member

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    In my humble opinion, what we call exercise is just the normal function in the body was designed for. For 99.8% of human history if you wanted water you had to go get it then pick it up and carry it. (Yeah the top x% of Rome had plumbing but most of the world did not, and that still quite recent). Your body was designed to move, and if you don't move everything rots.

    Unfortunately for us, trying to do normal healthy things can/will kick us down into a worse disease state. Doesn't change the plain fact that we are designed to eat vegetables not be them.
     
  5. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    Extremely good point ! In our case it's the opposite. What little blood flow left we have is even more restricted after exercising. I still think exercise can be of benefit to us, but it needs to be in very little amount and personnalized to each patient. For some, exercise might be lifting an arm or a leg while for others, a 20 minute walk might be ok.
     
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  6. Webdog

    Webdog Senior Member

    What a great article. Thank you for posting this.

    ETA: Finished reading. It's a mixed bag. Still, some parts are informative. Recommends GET and CBT, however.

    "To date, treatment of CFS has been focused on improving the physical fatigued state rather than the cognitive impairment. Meta-analyses demonstrate that cognitive behavioral therapy and graded exercise therapy effectively treat CFS in many individuals (Edmonds et al., 2004; Price et al., 2008). It would not be surprising if mental fatigue also is improved with such therapies, but future studies are necessary to formally determine this."
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
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  7. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    From my own personal experience (M.E for 26 years) is that I never experienced cognitive function problems for the first 7 years of illness- I didn't do any sort of exercise during this time.

    It was when I improved and started to exercise is when the cognitive problems started.
     
  8. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    Why? There hasn't been any research showing that it is, and large patient surveys rather drown out the few anecdotal reports claiming benefit.

    Or we can be smart, and do something useful with that limited energy. Instead of lifting arms and legs, I take a shower every 5 days. Instead of 20 minute walks, I cook dinner, do laundry, or work in my garden for 5-10 minutes at a time.

    I still can't understand the fixation on structured exercise, when there's a million productive uses for that energy we could be spending it on instead.
     
  9. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge plodder

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    Ive got mild/moderate ME when I am better/worse When I retire from working part time in a few months time I will have 15 hours worth of energy to spend each week. I wont be spending any on exercise for the sake of exercising, I will be going to my local ME group's gentle yoga sessions = socialising/quality of life, I will be gradually de cluttering my bedroom so I can get it refurbished= chores/quality of life. taking a walk round the block as well meaning people keep suggesting to me as a good way of exercising is a complete waste of energy

    Whenever I get physically exhaused such as having to stand for any time in a queue thats when I get worse cognitive problems
     
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  10. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    Many, many reasons. You need to understand what I mean by exercise. In my case, it's 15 seconds followed by 3-4 minutes of rest and repeated for a maximum of 4 minutes total. Twice a week (Dr Cheney's technique). That's my exercise: 8 minutes per week. And a walk or two if and when I can.

    First of all, exercise produces endorphines in the brain, which is very good for moral and to keep away depression.

    Exercising will also help keeping a minimal muscle mass, which will in return help you with keeping a stable upright posture, avoid falling, lifting objects when you have to, ect.

    Exercising also produces new motochondria, which help in the energy production cycle. And it will help alleviate postural problems and the pain associated with it.

    Our bodies needs movement in order to be optimally functioning. There are no benefits to not exercising. None. Except when you're ill. But then again, it is better to find a medium between not moving and moving, than to settle and do nothing.

    So I'll repeat, exercise is a relative concept. For someone very severy ill, of course there won't be any exercise at all. For someone severely ill, lifting an arm twice a day might be it. And I am not saying you should increase either. I don't believe in GET. I have been at the same level of exercise for 1 year. I can't increase, as a matter of fact I am doing less, and only on the weeks that I can.
     
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  11. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    You still meant pointless repetitive movements instead of normal activities which accomplish something useful.

    Why do you believe that pointless repetitive movements will do this, but not normal activities which accomplish something useful?

    He have a certain amount of use we can get out of our muscles without triggering a crash. If we waste that on arm raises, that's less for doing something fun or useful. And the fun and useful activities provide the same physiological benefit as the pointless repetitive movements.

    It just doesn't make sense to use limited on energy on movements which don't accomplish anything. If I was bed bound and arm lifts were all I could manage, I'd use that energy to use a laptop instead. Or brush my hair. Or brush my teeth. Or get to the bathroom.
     
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  12. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    What you are writing seems to be based on assumptions

    I've never had a "runners" high or any sign before I got ill that my brain was producing endorphins. Even if we assume that this is correct and all or most brains do this there will be a starting or production point. There's no evidence that all or many PWCFS or ME can get to this point. There is no evidence that PWCFS or ME can get to that point without triggering PEM.

    When I was first ill and tried non-aerobic exercise I was able to increase my muscle mass but it did nothing to improve my ME symptoms. These muscles were still weak and I was still shaky and still couldn't lift up things. The more repetitions I did the weaker I became.

    Producing new mitochondria did nothing to improve any energy cycle or anything useful for me. I got worse.

    The greatest benefit that I have personally is through not exercising. Rest for me produces more improvement. Dr Ramsay who wrote about ME was quite clear on the benefits of rest for his ME patients.

    By all means share your personal experience but please don't make assumptions about CFS and ME based on them.
     
  13. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    I am not trying to convince you. By any means, if exercise is detrimental to you, don't do it !
     
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  14. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    No assumptions at all in anything I've written here. All based on scientifically based and documented information. I don't have the energy to find every article on the matter, so look it up for yourself it you care.

    I am not talking about a runner's high, here, you seem to take pleasure in deforming what I am trying to convey.

    And by the way, you come out very condescending, so I am done here.
     
  15. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    that's because these articles in relation to CFS and ME simply don't exist in the way you are implying.

    I'm sorry. It was not my intention to come across as either condescending or trying to deform that you were trying to say.

    It's an important topic to me as my health was made much worse by exercise and I don't want to see anyone else reading this thread to make the same mistakes that I did.
     
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  16. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    I'm not so sure this applies to us though. I've been at the same 'energy production' level for the last 17 years. Stretching or some form of movement (gardening, cleaning the counter, sweeping) is better to prevent us from stiffening up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
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  17. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    I am also not improving with exercise. I do it because it still helps me, even if very little. There is no mention of mitochondrias here, but this is the protocol that has worked for me from Dr Cheney.

    http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=8023
     
  18. Basilico

    Basilico Florida

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    This is actually not true for me. I have never once in my life experienced an "endorphine rush" from running or other aerobic or anaerobic exercise. Not once. I was convinced that the endorphin rush thing was made up until I understood that others do genuinely experience it, I just don't. Perhaps my receptors are fried, I don't know. This would explain why taking LDN for me was like taking sugar pills.

    I have also learned that exercise exacerbates my depression. I read countless articles about how good exercise was supposed to be for mood and depression. However, after more times than I can count, I discovered that if I'm feeling at all negative or depressed, if I take a 20 minute walk, but the end I will be in a bottomless pit of despair or raging and so irritable that no one can come near me for the rest of the day. So while this may be a 'cure' for some, for me it is like poison.

    I believe that exercise (or general physical activity) is really important, so don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that avoiding it should be everyone's purpose. But when it comes to CFS/ME, it seems like it is often actually counterproductive. I do agree with you that it can look different for everyone depending on their disability levels, and perhaps what you are thinking of as 'exercise' is really just some general movement that others wouldn't label as 'exercise'. Maybe this is what is causing the confusion?


    I think this is something that could possibly hold true as a general rule for healthy people. One of the hypothesis of CFS/ME is that mitochondria aren't produced the way they should be.

    I don't doubt that movement/exercise is important for the spine, for relieving posture and general blood/lymph flow. But I haven't heard of a single person on this forum who had an increase in energy as a result of exercise.

    I agree with @Valentijn that for me, the choice is to either: (1) do some strength training at the gym and then be completely unable to do anything for the rest of the day and possibly days afterward, or (2) not go to the gym but be able to go grocery shopping, cook some meals, do a little laundry, and generally take care of myself.

    For the longest time, I prioritized the gym because I thought exercise was really important. Now I'm seeing that I need to be more selective with how I expend my energy, because that energy is NOT getting replenished anytime soon.


    Raising and lowering your arms a few times is not going to preserve muscle mass. I agree that if a person can do a small amount of movement, then that is better than no movement. But in order to maintain muscle mass, have a good posture, avoid falling, etc... you need to do specific exercises on a regular basis to specifically target those things, and those exercises are not easy if you are ill. I know because I'm currently doing them!

    I've had horrible balance and weak ankles my whole life, even though for most of my life I was an avid walker. It's only by doing a specific program designed by my chiropractor (walking lunges, balance board, etc...) that I'm slowly strengthening my wobbly ankles and improving my balance. I had to modify the exercises I was given because I couldn't tolerate what would be fine for a 'normal' person to do, and after getting several weeks of really intense muscle spasms that left me in pain and soreness, I had to suspend everything and now I'm back to square one.

    I still think it's worth it for me, since (1) I've seen improvement as a result of doing these exercises, and (2) as long as I'm careful, I can usually tolerate them. However, for someone who is more limited than me, I think the focus should be using whatever energy/ability to move is available to perform self-care tasks, which will double as being 'exercise' because they will involve movement of some kind.

    I don't want you to feel like I'm attacking you, I think we may be all loosely saying the same thing with different words.
     
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  19. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    @Basilico As a matter of fact, yes, we are saying the same thing. All I am saying is : do what you can, no matter what it is, it's better than nothing. And if nothing is better for you, than do nothing.

    And I didn't feel attacked at all, thanks ;-)
     
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  20. stridor

    stridor Senior Member

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    Circulation to the brain is blood in, blood out - just like other parts of the body. Circulation then can be decreased by less blood flow in or less out. The latter creates a back pressure that impedes oxygen delivery, removal of garbage and potentially effects the transport systems at the BBB. Naturally, this could create symptoms.

    One tiny study suggested that most of us have some degree of CCSVI. This is where blood flows the wrong way in the neck veins. It was proposed that it may be due to a mitochondrial problem in the heart that affects the tricuspid valve. I was tested and have (or had) this on the left side when sitting and at rest.

    If any of this is right then it would follow that standing might make things worse. The heart needs to work harder and in doing so may tire, and in tiring allow for more blood congestion in the neck. Given the opportunity to sit the relief would be almost immediate as this pressure would be to some degree relieved.

    To be clear, I do not think that CCSVI causes CFS. I think CFS may cause CCSVI which in turn adds to the symptoms. Has anyone else ever been tested for this?
     

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