Olympic Swimmer

Dainty

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Cate Campbell, an 18-year old two time olympic bronze medalist in swimming has announced she is taking a year off of competition due to CFS.

Campbell is unsure when she will return to full training again due to a "mild form" of chronic fatigue syndrome...."The doctor has told me that in the best interests of my short term health and my long term swimming future that I don't compete this year," Campbell told AAP.

"It has been very frustrating, but I have accepted it now...The hardest thing is that I am fighting with inaction rather than action.

"As an athlete I am used to powering through situations - now I have to sit back and stop and not do anything."
Full article here.

Edit: HAHA I figured I'd finish the title after writing my post, but then forgot to. If a mod wants to change the title to be a little more descriptive then please do. :p
 

dsdmom

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Interesting. It does, however, make me wonder if this swimmer's 'mild chronic fatigue' is really cfs/me or something else. Someone recently told me about a condition called "overtraining syndrome."
From: http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/overtraining.html

If sufficient rest is not included in a training program then regeneration cannot occur and performance plateaus. If this imbalance between excess training and inadequate rest persists then performance will decline. Overtraining can best be defined as the state where the athlete has been repeatedly stressed by training to the point where rest is no longer adequate to allow for recovery. The "overtraining syndrome" is the name given to the collection of emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms due to overtraining that has persisted for weeks to months. Athletes and coaches also know it as "burnout" or "staleness." This is different from the day to day variation in performance and post exercise tiredness that is common in conditioned athletes. Overtraining is marked by cumulative exhaustion that persists even after recovery periods.

The most common symptom is fatigue. This may limit workouts and may be present at rest. The athlete may also become moody, easily irritated, have altered sleep patterns, become depressed, or lose the competitive desire and enthusiasm for the sport. Some will report decreased appetite and weight loss. Physical symptoms include persistent muscular soreness, increased frequency of viral illnesses, and increased incidence of injuries.

There have been several clinical studies done on athletes with the overtraining syndrome. Exercise physiologic, psychological, and biochemical laboratory testing have been done. Findings in these studies have shown decreased performance in exercise testing, decreased mood state, and, in some, increased cortisol levels -- the body's "stress" hormone. A decrease in testosterone, altered immune status, and an increase in muscular break down products have also been identified. Medically, the overtraining syndrome is classified as a neuro-endocrine disorder. The normal fine balance in the interaction between the autonomic nervous system and the hormonal system is disturbed and athletic "jet lag" results. The body now has a decreased ability to repair itself during rest. Heaping more workouts onto this unbalanced system only worsens the situation. Additional stress in the form of difficulties at work or personal life also contributes.


On another note, yesterday I was talking to an old neighbor of mine and filling her in on my health and xmrv and chronic fatigue syndrome. She confided in me that when her youngest was born (15 years ago) she was told she had cfs. She suffered for 2 years but it sounds like it was mainly fatigue. And that 6 months of acupuncture 3x week really helped. I didn't say anything to her but I had a hard time thinking she had cfs/me, more like chronic fatigue.
 

Dainty

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I'm not saying she does or doesn't have CFS...just posted the story because I thought it would be of interest.
 
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And, at the same time, I think some of these new illnesses, such as this one that is "overtraining" or chronic fatigue and cognitive problems years after chemotherapy might actually be our illness, but they are associating it with physical things they know is unusual about the person. Maybe they get that, but all of us who live normal lives have the same illness, but we get the CFS label.

Maybe XMRV will clear some of this up.

If only our pee were blue.

Tina
 

SOC

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And, at the same time, I think some of these new illnesses, such as this one that is "overtraining" or chronic fatigue and cognitive problems years after chemotherapy might actually be our illness, but they are associating it with physical things they know is unusual about the person. Maybe they get that, but all of us who live normal lives have the same illness, but we get the CFS label.

Maybe XMRV will clear some of this up.

If only our pee were blue.

Tina
<snigger> [Imagining 1500 PWCs sneaking blue food coloring into their samples at their next PCP visit -- what would they make of that?]

Okay, okay, I'm up too late and getting punchy -- but really, Tina, what a vision to leave me with as I head off to bed. ;)
 

taniaaust1

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This isn't a career-ending illness. It is just a little hiccup on what will be a long and mainly healthy career." Campbell was considered the next big thing when she grabbed 50m freestyle Beijing bronze on Olympic debut at just 16.

But alarm bells were ringing when she spectacularly underachieved at March's Commonwealth Games trials in Sydney.

She finished a distant third in the 50m freestyle and failed to make the 100m final - now Campbell knows why.

"After my disappointing performance (at trials) I had a whole heap of tests done and it came back positive for glandular fever," she said.

"I didn't realise at the time, I just kept powering through expecting to get better - that's what had to happen for me to make it on the team.

"So now I have ended up with ... an extremely mild form of chronic fatigue syndrome - if I push through this then I am almost guaranteed to get chronic fatigue." Campbell said she would have to take "baby steps" just to get into a regular training regime again.

"I have tried to take things slower, pushed it (at training) in a bid to compete this year and it has all gone backwards," she said.

"I will try to put one training session together without feeling sick, then a week, a month - just baby steps and I will be back to normal.
umm "it's not a carer ending illness" :rolleyes: shows the public perception of it.

Sounds like the real deal and she may actually have "mild" CFS at this point or post viral syndrome.
 

Dainty

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One thing I'm trying to keep in mind is the fact that when I first became ill, I kept thinking that I would get better if I only rested enough. I think she's in that place right now, especially as an athlete--speaking as a former athlete myself, there's this mindset that your body can bounce back from whatever you throw at it, if given the chance to. If she gets well by taking it easy, then she obviously never had CFS. But I cannot help but wonder if she's just in denial about how serious it is....again, classic response of an athlete, not to mention it's exactly the response the media, her teamates, and her country want to hear. She wants to believe she can compete in the next Olympics, and I think she'd be saying the same whether she really does have CFS or it's something else.

Nevertheless, it'll be ineresting to see how the story unfolds.
 

dsdmom

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I'm not saying she does or doesn't have CFS...just posted the story because I thought it would be of interest.
Dainty - I was just trying to add info - maybe another perspective - please don't think I was attacking you!

One thing I'm trying to keep in mind is the fact that when I first became ill, I kept thinking that I would get better if I only rested enough. I think she's in that place right now, especially as an athlete--speaking as a former athlete myself, there's this mindset that your body can bounce back from whatever you throw at it, if given the chance to. If she gets well by taking it easy, then she obviously never had CFS. But I cannot help but wonder if she's just in denial about how serious it is....again, classic response of an athlete, not to mention it's exactly the response the media, her teamates, and her country want to hear. She wants to believe she can compete in the next Olympics, and I think she'd be saying the same whether she really does have CFS or it's something else.

Nevertheless, it'll be ineresting to see how the story unfolds.
I 100% agree - it's been almost 4 years for me since I got sick and I was sure that I would eventually get better. Why wouldn't my body bounce back from all of the horrible things that happened to it? I figured it would take time...but it's taken me a long time to come to terms with the idea that this is how things are. And it's not going away on it's own (unfortunately).

I wonder if we'll continue to hear about this girl (young woman) or if she will disappear into oblivion...or maybe show up on PR!
 

taniaaust1

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If she gets well by taking it easy, then she obviously never had CFS. .
Im personally not too sure if that is always the case.. who knows if someone has slow onset CFS and if its still at a very mild level, whether they can recover or not.

My CFS developed over about 8? mths.. very off and on .. crashing and then completely ok.. only to crash again 2-3 weeks later, this was a reincurring cycle. I thou didnt listen to my body at all as there was things i just had to get done, so ended up then having a crash which just didnt go away from there (till a remission years later.. only to come back again).

Who really knows if one is slow onset, if there is a point with not making the illness worst, if it can be more easily recovered from.

I dont think there is enough currently known about this illness to really know.
 

BEG

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Who is her doctor? Obviously, he/she's told this young swimmer exactly what she wants to hear. Although not an athlete, nothing stopped me either when in pursuit of a goal. Nothing, that is until I got CFS. I certainly hope she doesn't have my "career ending illness."
 

Rafael

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Something like this happened to Roger Federer (Tennis) also. A few years back where he lost his #1 ranking for about a whole year. His Doctor actually said he had CFS.
I wondered what his Doctor did for him. Obviously more than ours.
Coincidentally, I think I went much lower and longer into CFS because of overtraining (and the usual denial described earlier).
Now that I'm 70% I'm probably overtraining again.
 

RustyJ

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Something like this happened to Roger Federer (Tennis) also. A few years back where he lost his #1 ranking for about a whole year. His Doctor actually said he had CFS.
I wondered what his Doctor did for him. Obviously more than ours.
Rafael, no one has ever been cured of XMRV. It is a retrovirus which writes itself into the body's DNA. Antiretrovirals may restrict replication. ME patients may experience periods of recovery which may be caused by XMRV going into remission. However most people in remission still experience some physical or mental limitations, and all can be triggered active by opportunistic viruses and other immune system stressors. Hence Roger Federer either did not have ME or still has it and is in remission.

Other than ARVs, I am not sure what sends XRMR into remission. It may simply be that replication through immune system activation goes into a negative state ie the immune system is able to get on top of the concurrent trigger thus depriving XMRV of its means of replication.
 

ixchelkali

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I don't know, it sounds like maybe her doctor is telling her the right thing. ""So now I have ended up with ... an extremely mild form of chronic fatigue syndrome - if I push through this then I am almost guaranteed to get chronic fatigue." and "The hardest thing is that I am fighting with inaction rather than action. As an athlete I am used to powering through situations - now I have to sit back and stop and not do anything."
Plus, she tests positive for glandular fever (EBV).

Maybe some of us wouldn't still be sick if we hadn't tried to push through it. There may have been earlier triggers that we didn't identify as such until one pushed us over the edge. Besides, Campbell is young, still a teenager, and it appears that teenagers have a better chance of recovering. Especially since she's stopped trying to push through it.

Dr Ros Vallings is a New Zealand ME/CFS doctor. She was in England during the Royal Free Hospital epidemic and then in New Zealand during the Tapanui epidemic, so she's been working with ME/CFS for a long time and has had to work out ways to help her patients on her own. What she teaches them is basically healthy living (with some twists, like high salt), but also learning to accomodate the ME/CFS rather than trying to push past it. She doesn't claim to cure ME/CFS, but it seems like her patients do comparatively well.

So maybe if Campbell, with her athlete's fitness, catching it early, and doing aggressive rest therapy, will be one of the ones who can recover. I hope so.
 
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I don't think it's fair of us to second-guess what this young woman has- I spend years with a mild(ish) form of ME/ CFS, and tried to push through it because I was advised by doctors to keep working and exercise, no matter what kind of pain I was in! Eventually of course, my body broke down and I could barely function at all. I often wonder whether I would have recovered much earlier if I had been given a chance to rest. Perhaps less damage would have been done. I hope for her sake though she has something treatable.
Professional athletes have a team of people monitoring them constantly, the slightest dip in health/ performance will be noted immediately, and we all know that early diagnosis and rest is crucial for the best chance of recovery. They also have access the best medical teams and treatments, unlike us mere mortals.

XMRV research is still in the early stages. We don't know for sure how it will pan out, and it may well turn out to be a subgroup of patients rather than a defining characteristic of ME/ CFS. Or even a completely false dawn.

My argument is not with celebrities/ althetes who have been told they have CFS, it is with the vague definitions of the illness, ignorant doctors, and lack of proper biomedical research. Chances are there are several, if not dozens of pieces of the ME/ CFS jigsaw, and at the moment there are very few researchers trying to put the pieces together.
 

anciendaze

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Remember that preliminary results on prevalence in the general population put the number of people infected with XMRV at 3%, which is a lot more than those actually reporting CFS/ME. It would not be unusual for large numbers of people to be infected with a virus without major symptoms. This even happened with something as devastating as polio.

At present, I'm toying with the idea that the initial infection with XMRV, by itself, might never produce reported symptoms. This would mean those varying reports of onset are actually due to either later coinfections which produce significant symptoms, or to reactivation of latent viral infections. If true, this would explain one big source of confusion.

Once we have a relatively cheap and reliable test for the virus, this is one hypothesis which can be tested.

A second insight from this report is that we all may have some kind of over-training problem, we just have an extremely low threshold because of a previous infection. It could also be that neurological problems lead to a perception of pain from exertion which masks actual physical thresholds. If you ignore what your body is telling you, you are in exactly the situation of an athlete who has pushed too close to absolute limits, where permanent damage occurs. If you pay attention to your perceptions of exertion, you are stuck at a ridiculously low level of performance. We get advice on carefully pacing ourselves. Why doesn't the rest of the world have to be as careful?

It is hardly new to hear that competitive athletes are vulnerable to CFS/ME, there were some in the Incline Village cluster. Check the section in Osler's Web.
 

Tammie

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I don't think it's fair of us to second-guess what this young woman has- I spend years with a mild(ish) form of ME/ CFS, and tried to push through it because I was advised by doctors to keep working and exercise, no matter what kind of pain I was in! Eventually of course, my body broke down and I could barely function at all. I often wonder whether I would have recovered much earlier if I had been given a chance to rest. Perhaps less damage would have been done. I hope for her sake though she has something treatable.
Professional athletes have a team of people monitoring them constantly, the slightest dip in health/ performance will be noted immediately, and we all know that early diagnosis and rest is crucial for the best chance of recovery. They also have access the best medical teams and treatments, unlike us mere mortals.

XMRV research is still in the early stages. We don't know for sure how it will pan out, and it may well turn out to be a subgroup of patients rather than a defining characteristic of ME/ CFS. Or even a completely false dawn.

My argument is not with celebrities/ althetes who have been told they have CFS, it is with the vague definitions of the illness, ignorant doctors, and lack of proper biomedical research. Chances are there are several, if not dozens of pieces of the ME/ CFS jigsaw, and at the moment there are very few researchers trying to put the pieces together.
I absolutely agree with what you wrote here......and I can relate, too