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Avatar universal

Exercise During Treatment

I am not sure if anyone has heard this before but I was speaking with a physician friend who has a PhD in biochemistry and complaining I hadnt felt much like exercising since I started treatment a few days ago.  Well, I just had a very interesting discussion with a physician friend of mine who has a PhD in biochemistry.  She said that it is better if I dont exercise except easy walking for detox purposes and sleep is good since the liver has more oxygenated blood available to it without having to share it with the muscles. Oxygen is used only for basic metaboic functions.  As well, the occasional exerciser like me might have lactic acid buildup and other metabolites to be processed by the liver giving it more work to do at this critical time.  She says better to rest and allow liver to process the drug uninterfered with by demands from other organs.   Also the kidneys work better in a horizontal position for the purposes of detox.  Also there have been studies she said that show liver enzymes are increased with deep tissue massage!  Wah!  Boo hoo!!! Never thought of it that way.  And I got a massage the day after treatment start.  Back to meditation and prayer methinks.  What does everyone think of this information?

48 Responses
1735424 tn?1357437158
you were given good info.....walking is great and does not compete with strenuous excercise and muscle/blood overload.....gentle is best, Tai-Chi, restorative yoga(laying down) and walking or easy zumba..:)

alkaline diet is great....i do as best as I can for the same reasons.....wean yourself slowly...your body may freak out.....it is alkaline versus acid....best to consume between 65-70-80% alkaline foods and 35-30-20% acid foods.....you'll be amazed at what is acid, and what is alkaline.....it took some time, but I like it.....gluten-free mostly....and it's very delish...:)  surprise.  if you look online you can find lists of foods, or if you send me your email, i can scan mine and send it to you  :)  
374652 tn?1494815035
I loved my bed during treatment and I made it as comfortable and cozy as possible, except for the occasional projectile vomiting.  even that was consoled by my cozy bed, cool wash cloth compress and fruit treat before going into my bed.
I think my bed was pretty much my consolation Oh and Netflix., oh and hot baths with sea salt and lavender
I couldn't imagine exercising. but I'm not a big exerciser anymore anyway.
Avatar universal
She also told me to get on a mostly alkaline diet.  What the heck is that?  I am sure it is the opposite of what I eat ordinarily LOL.
1752451 tn?1313411562
i went out of work after week 2 tx having hard time with fatuige,short breath now riba rash all over stop meds by doc felt great next day std peg needle fri no rash starting riba up mon .i want to go back to work but i do heavy labor anybody try to work and how you make out    mike
446474 tn?1446351282
What does everyone think of this information?
Patently false. Reality tells a different story.

Feeling like exercising and exercise its self are to different things. I have never heard that not exercising being good for your health. Too many Americans don't exercise which creates it own health issues and complicates health issues they already have. I would think that is widely known especially in the medical community were they deal with this on a regular basis. Because someone has a PhD in biochemistry and is a physician doesn't make them an expert on viruses and the digestive system. I would differ to gastroenterologist and hepatologists who understand hepatitis and liver disease.

If it were true that not being active and exercising is good for a person than why do hospitals do everything possible to get patients to get out of bed and be active? The sickest patients with liver disease are told to be as active as possible both before transplant and after. The body atrophies when the muscles are not being used when a person is bed ridden. Patients that have been in hospitals for extended periods often have to go to physical therapy to learn to walk again after being sedentary for some time. Liver transplant patients must get out of bed and try to walk with a walker the day they are back in the hospital bed. In order to get the digestive system working again walking is mandatory. Patients must show that they are able to walk a certain distance before they will be released to go home.

That the liver is not able to function fully ("occasional exerciser like me might have lactic acid buildup and other metabolites to be processed by the liver giving it more work to do at this critical time") is not correct. If the liver was not able to function its functions because of treatment all patients treatment would show sign of decompensation and have all types of complications due to liver failure.Obviously this doesn't happen.

Resting has nothing to due with how the liver processes drugs. As long as the liver is not decompensated it is able to perform all of it functions - sitting, standing, lying down or any other position makes no difference in its functioning. As far as the kidney working better in a horizontal position that too is not true. Talk to a patient who are on dialysis.

"studies she said that show liver enzymes are increased with deep tissue massage!" Even if that were true, why would anyone want increased liver enzymes? Liver enzymes indicate inflammation or damage to cells in the liver.

Many of these issues are basic anatomy and as basic understanding of how the digestive system works. I hope it doc is no involved in treating and hepatitis or liver patients are their theories have no basis in fact. As long as they stay in their lab I am sure they are doing good work but to give out such false information about hcv treatment, the liver and kidneys is irresponsible at best.


Avatar universal
I too would disagree with the suggestion not to exercise.   It makes no sense, though it sure does sound (pseudo)scientific.

One other thing to note is that if it were true, you can bet it would be common knowledge and we'll all be advised not to exercise intensely, get massages, or even stand up.  ;-)
Avatar universal
Her message mainly was to take it easy and to address my concern about feeling fatigued.  She was really saying not to worry about sleeping or wanting to sleep right now.  I am sure she did not mean for me to go through life in a prone position LOL.  As far as "exercise" the discussion was about intense aerobic activity for someone who is basically sedentary.  And yes, my regular hep doctor said I didn't need to change anything and I would check everything with her first whether it was diet, exercise, supplements etc.  This was a friend and I don't follow much friendly advice when it comes to my body.  But I do feel I have to defend her a bit.  Hector, her point was that it may NOT be a good idea o have deep tissue massage right now because of the potential for increased inflammation.  I could not find the study on line and have not canceled by massage yet :)
223152 tn?1346981971
Well, I was a little disturbed by this post and glad to see hector post.  

During my first treatment I lost a lot of muscle mass.  I walked 3 miles a day 4x a week at least thru the first 6 months of treatment and less after that.  I feel excercise is critically important for us when we treat.  This time I am still walking and intend to do it as long as I can.  I also go to a woman's fitness center and intend to keep that up as long as possible.  I forsee myself moving slower, but continuing.

Yes, sleep is good and restoritive, but what your friend said seemed a little off base.  It is not that we are **** this to let the liver heal although that is the intended effect, but we are trying to get rid of a virus.
This link is from Hepatitis Central and the focus is excercise and hep C - not particularly during treatment


A Chemically Sound Reason to Exercise with HCV
One of the biochemical consequences of physical activity helps those with Hepatitis C maintain their liver's health.

Sometimes referred to as the king of antioxidants, glutathione is a vital, potent substance for maintaining liver health. It differs from other antioxidants in that it is actually resides inside cells, so it is in the best position to neutralize free radicals. Clinical studies have demonstrated that many with Hepatitis C have alarmingly low levels of glutathione. This could be because:

1. The continual damage by Hepatitis C consumes glutathione, thus increasing demand for it.

2. Hepatitis C leads to a deficiency of raw materials needed to synthesize glutathione.

3. The Hepatitis C virus could interfere with glutathione formation.

Any combination of the above three reasons could be the cause of low glutathione in the presence of chronic Hepatitis C. Regardless of how it occurs, insufficient glutathione levels reduce the liver's ability to protect itself, enhancing the probability of liver damage.

Why Exercise Boosts Glutathione
Armed with the understanding that people with Hepatitis C have a lot to gain from greater amounts of glutathione, our attention turns to making that happen. Because glutathione is produced in the body, it is not easily absorbed when taken orally. Instead, supplementing with glutathione precursors like N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC) can be used by the body to increase production of glutathione.

Another way to boost glutathione levels is to get plenty of exercise. This is because exercise exponentially increases the amount of adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) in the body's cells. Known by scholars as the chemical basis for energy and chemical reactions in the body, ATP is needed to produce glutathione.

Aerobic exercise involves repeated, rhythmic movement of the body's large muscle groups and maximizes the amount of oxygen in the blood. Muscle activity longer than 90 seconds depends on aerobic cellular respiration. As it turns out, aerobic exercise is the most efficient way (via aerobic cellular respiration) for the body to manufacture ATP. Thus, aerobic activity indirectly boosts the body's glutathione levels, improving a liver's resilience against free radicals and Hepatitis C damage.

Understanding the science behind a physician's seemingly standard recommendation can change a patient's perspective. With renewed appreciation of the chemistry behind rigorous physical activity, hopefully those with Hepatitis C will view exercise more as a prescription than a mere suggestion.

190885 tn?1333029491
i was up on a roof  working on an overhang the first week of tx...after a couple minutes i almost passed out...just could make back down the ladder...tried a few times and almost got into real trouble...that was it at work...i also do quite a bit of heart rate exercise when not on tx....run ...bike...all that stuff...i have since i was very young...none of that for me...i just got to the point that i can take a walk for a mile....there was a few weeks i couldn't even talk to tell people what to do...couldn't drive for a few weeks..was in bed all day...now i can drive a ways...i'm much better now...still have lots of sx but nothing i can't deal with.... not ready for any intense cardio yet..everyone is different..and tx is so up and down...i wouldn't push it..my 7th week has been my best yet.....good luck.....billy
446474 tn?1446351282
CL1 thanks for the corrections. Maybe I missed the point of the post. Obviously missed the point on "deep tissue massage". I didn't know where that came from.

"go through life in a prone position LOL" We all know what organs are involved in the "prone position" and they have nothing to do with the liver, kidneys or viruses (as long as we practice safe sex). But is does have something to do with biochemistry...
Very curious indeed!  ;-)

1726450 tn?1316286111
For me light to moderate exercise is good.

I exercised for last 5-6 years though.

I am on week 4. I exercise 2-3 days a week, I try to keep it moderate - but I am so used to going full blast, I check my heart rate frequently, and back off a little.

In week one, my viral load went from over 20 million to just 40. In 3 weeks my AST/ALT went from 104/255 down to 28/37, and my Dr told me to just keep doing whatever I am doing.

My opinion:

If you haven't been exercising before treatment try just walking.
If you already have an exercise program in place, modify it.
I always feel better after I exercise.


Rarely do I ever say " what I want to do today is exercise " Same with work.
Add fatigue and its even harder, but if I just do a little something I feel better.
And so far (fingers crossed) my blood work is backing up my personal decision.
Avatar universal
This is all a moot point and I apologize for not thinking of it myself.  Unlike others on the forum, I am in an experimental treatment.  My study docs advice was to change nothing.  Of course, likely due to anxiety, I want to help matters along.  But I have to resist that temptation.  I agreed to participate in this experiment of my own free will and I am very well aware that it is important to keep extraneous and confounding variables to a minimum to ensure that it is the study variable, the independent variable, the DRUG, that is causing the effect (whether it is reduced or increased VL or side effect or whatever).  Given all this I will likely exercise moderately as before, try to eat sanely but not obsessively, sleep when I feel like it and I probably will cancel my second deep tissue massage because massages are not part of my usual pattern and I really did feel very out of it for the rest of that day.  I still can't find the study she was referring to with liver enzymes and massage but there are some web footprints cautioning about cirrhosis and massage.  
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