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So many links about exercise and so many different answers for the same thing.
Feb 16, 2012

Dear Mr. Vergel: I will try to be as brief as possible. But forgive me if I seem like I am babbling (because I am not.) I am 55. I have been the same weight (150 lbs) since I was 20. Working out in a gym 5-7 days per week for my entire adult life has always been the norm for me. Fortunately, I come from very healthy stock and the most illness I have ever had was a short cold, not even the flu. I assume I have always shared with my family an excellent immune system. I was diagnosed in Feb 1995 as HIV+. Then I knew it was only 3 months. I immediately got on a trial Ritonovir which immediately started to waste my body, but still maintained outstanding energy and endurance. I stopped the med in 2000 with the advice of my doctor because my T cells were over 1000 a VL was undetectable. We monitored for 10 years and my numbers remained completely stable. All the while, I maintained my rigorous daily work out routine and I still felt like a million bucks. In Nov 2010, suddenly my VL hit 105,000 and my T-cells fell to a nerve racking 66! I still felt like I was 20 years old, full of energy and normal. However, I did with the doctor's advice start Atripla and Insentress at that point. I have had absolutely no side effects and my VL within 1 month dropped to undetectable and my T-cells rose to 80. 2 months later T-cells rose to 166 and today they are closing in at 200. I have changed my diet completely, cutting out the junk foods, etc. but have been on an amazing "high" on working out. My BP is steady at 120/78, Triglycerides 180, Chol (working on cutting them down to 285 from a peak of 400, though.) The issue I have is that I cannot stop running 6-7 days per week, which I love, 2-4 miles per day, then 1 hour lifting and I feel like I have the energy of a teenager and I just can't stop because of it's beneficial mental and physical effects on me. No one believes I am 55, most think I am in my 30's. My body is solid, no pains, no strains, no aches and I virtually do this routine 6-7 days per week. Now you are probably asking "Why are you telling me this, get to the point." My point is, I noticed so many questions all over this site "The Body" from people regarding their low energy levels, aches, pains, etc. and asking if exercise is hurting them. So I clicked on MANY of the links to find out what the answers were and I am getting so many different responses such as, they are over-exercising, body shape changes are unsatisfactory, too much cardio, weight too heavy, should rest more, etc. etc. etc. These answers seem a mystery to me. I feel great all the time (I am not gloating), I love working out, love the fact that I am in perfect health, can eat anything under the sun and my heart is excellent. My doctor has said to me, Don, just keep doing whatever it is you are doing. I don't take supplements, just fish oil. I am curious on your thoughts. Am I exercising too much? I don;t feel like I am because I feel great doing it 6-7 days per week at 2-3 hours per day, yet all I see is responses to other peoples questions that they must slow down, rest more, etc. I am not ready to slow down and get old. In fact, I think I feel better than I did 20 years ago. Am I hurting my HIV health by working out and being active so much? Remember, since I started on the HAART over a year ago, I feel the same high level of energy but I feel definitely more motivated than ever. So, am I working out too much? I am more inclined to believe that I may be a rarity, combined with the reality that it is truly a matter of individual "luck" or something like that. I don't know, just curious about your thoughts. Thanks so much. Don.

Response from Mr. Vergel

Don

Everyone is different, and you are definitely not a common case in HIV. You are lucky to have all that energy!

I would not worry much about "overtraining" unless your CPK blood levels are high ( read more about CPK here )

By the way, I have never seen anyone use a combination of Atripla plus Isentress but I am sure your physician must have a good reason to use this combination that has not been studied at all.

Nelson


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