Hepatitis C Community
13.3k Members
928729 tn?1244222005

Exercise and treatments

A quick question, I started treatments 2 weeks ago, the first week was alright, and now the 2nd week> I'm experiencing extreme fatigue while swimming my laps in the pool. I WAS swimming a mile a day or more (62-94 laps) I feel as though I'm swimming thru mud, I'm slow, winded, heart rate seems off?? I managed to do 25 laps yesterday and quit. I took today off, and will allow a few days a week off to allow my body to heal a little!
Am I over doing it?? My family says I'm nuts!! But I firmly believe in a healthy fit body.
Can anyone tell me whats going on?? Why am I so sluggish and slow?? Why am I panting like I just did a Marathon??
10 Responses
148588 tn?1465782409
Anemia/low red blood cell count caused by the ribavirin. Mild exercise can play an important role in preventing depression while on tx, but please don't overdo it or try to continue with an established pre-tx exercise routine.
717272 tn?1277594380
Hemoglobin is the red blood cell that carries oxygen to the cells. You feel the worst as your hemoglobin begins to drop at the beginning (side effect of ribavirin).  It's the reason everyone complains of fatigue.  You may want to look for an activity that requires less oxygen than swimming laps, say speed-walking.

Avatar universal
Since starting treatment, I have not been able to do any of my regular exercise routines.  I was hit with fatigue and racing heart rate (even without exertion) from day one.  I do try to take walks but no more running, bicycling, swimming or hiking...just can't do it for now.  I'm on week 39 of my 48 week treatment and I hope to get back to all my normal activities after I'm finished.  

Some people manage to carry on fairly well with their regular routines but it's pretty common to have to slow way down during treatment.  Main thing is to do what you can but not overdo!
Avatar universal
I wanted to maintain my excercise patterns also, but had to compromise.  I almost immediately noticed about a 15-20% decrease in my performance. (ie. biking at 15mph vs 18mph), and also anything requiring strength was difficult.  Hills that I used to run and bike over became very hard, with very high heart rates.

I had to just realize that I would still be able to work out, but that my level of intensity had to decrease.

I am in week 22 now, and still able to go on 40+ mile bike rides, albeit at a slower pace, and try to avoid big hills :-)

Avatar universal
Its not a good idea to work out at your normal pace before you started TX....just do light work outs...you may kill you self....if you over excert your heart   take it from me...i tryed moving 500 lb barrels around and almost collasped on the job
928729 tn?1244222005
Okay now it all makes sense!! It was ridiculious I was in the middle of the pool panting and struggling, almost funny :)  I will not stop my excercise patterns either, however Larry you advice will be taken, I will slow it down to 31 laps in a 25 meter pool which is a 1/2 a mile, maybe 5 days a week instead of going 7 days a week. I'm doing this for personal fitness and also to aid the treatments along. Also I think the excercise increases your appetite and aid in sleeping.
Thankyou for all the posts and help here!
751342 tn?1534363621
I cut out cardio altogether.  No breath whatsoever.  I am trying to work in some light weight training and stretching. Walking is OK, too, but the non power kind is all I can do right now!
Avatar universal
Everyone is different.
I continued to exercise through my 30 weeks of unsuccessful treatment, although as time went on I was much less able to keep up.

I remember twice bike riding with my wife and I just could not make it up a steep hill that I normally do not have a problem with. I fell over laughing and unbelievably out of breadth!!
After I stopped tx, my fitness came back in a month or two.

There is a theory that if the riba is working you will have more serious sides and maybe some truth to that. dont be afraid to cut back if you have to.
Avatar universal
A fellow I know is doing 72 weeks of treatment and swimming is his sanity although he sure isn't doing a mile in the pool.  Swimming is one of those low intensity things that is okay to do in moderation while on treatment however your very best energy needs to be reserved for your body to fight.  If you believe in a healthy body then let the treatment drugs do their job to get your body healthy, which it isn't if you have Hep C.  You'll be able to get back to it when you're done treatment.  Usually when you do a physical endeavour like that, you push your body to work hard.  However, on treatment, you need to give your body enough rest and not push it too hard because the lower hemoglobin is depriving your blood of oxygen.  You'll find your balance.
Avatar universal
In my post above I said "dont be afraid to cut back".

I meant "dont be afraid to cut back on the work outs".

do not cut back on the Riba!!
Have an Answer?
Top Hepatitis Answerers
317787 tn?1473362051
683231 tn?1467326617
Auburn, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Answer a few simple questions about your Hep C treatment journey.

Those who qualify may receive up to $100 for their time.
Explore More In Our Hep C Learning Center
image description
Learn about this treatable virus.
image description
Getting tested for this viral infection.
image description
3 key steps to getting on treatment.
image description
4 steps to getting on therapy.
image description
What you need to know about Hep C drugs.
image description
How the drugs might affect you.
image description
These tips may up your chances of a cure.
Popular Resources
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child
This article will tell you more about strength training at home, giving you some options that require little to no equipment.
In You Can Prevent a Stroke, Dr. Joshua Yamamoto and Dr. Kristin Thomas help us understand what we can do to prevent a stroke.
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.