Friday, July 27, 2012

Over-Doing It

P90X. Insanity. Tae Bo. Running.

There are so many ways to work out, and everybody has THEIR niche. Tae Bo is mine. But something I have noticed way too much lately are the posts on my Facebook from others. Now I am all for weight loss and weight loss support, but we as a society only support these things when done in a healthy manner. 

I never thought over doing it when you work out would be deemed acceptable, yet I see it all the time. Posts about working out so hard, so long that they're throwing up, and they hold it almost as if it's a badge of honor. Why!? If you want to be healthy, fine, but do not sacrifice one aspect of health for another, more visual aspect of it.

The process of regurgitating food is a sign of illness or over-doing it. Vomiting involves the acid of the stomach to come up with the ingested foods and liquids, and in that process these gastric juices can irritate and burn the esophagus. Frequent throwing up can cause tears and burns in the esophagus and, over time, can result in an esophageal rupture. Symptoms of an esophageal rupture is pain, burning, chest pain, and difficulty breathing.

Fast breathing, fever, low blood pressure and a rapid heart rate may also occur. Other possibilities include neck pain and bubbles under the skin. According to a health article in the NY Times, treatment varies on the location of the rupture. Here's a quote:

Treatment may include:
  • Administering fluids through a vein (IV)
  • Administering IV antibiotics to prevent or treat infection
  • Draining fluid that has collected around the lungs with a chest tube
  • Mediastinoscopy to remove fluid that has collected in the area behind the breastbone and between the lungs (mediastinum)
If little or no fluid has leaked, a stent may be placed in the esophagus. This may help you avoid surgery.
Sometimes a perforation in the uppermost (neck region) part of the esophagus may heal by itself if you do not eat or drink for a period of time. In this case, you must get nutrition from another source, such as a stomach feeding tube.
Surgery is usually needed to repair a perforation in the middle or bottom portions of the esophagus. Depending on the size and location of the perforation, the leak may be treated by simple repair or by removing the esophagus.

Learn your limits. If you are throwing up because of your workout, listen to your body and stop before you over exert yourself. If, no matter what you do, this happens, seek the advice and possible treatment from your doctor. It's great to be proud of your accomplishments in working out, but you should never be proud that you make yourself sick. 

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