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Old 01-03-2012, 04:23 PM   #1
David Byrne
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Location: Boca Raton  FL
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Dizzy and Light headed during cardio

Hey All. Ive been involved in Crossfit for a little over a year and a half now. While i love the workouts and the difference between working out solo at a globo-gym versus the support and encouragement at my CF, Im having issues with my performance. Im getting to the point where i'm considering quitting because its not fun anymore due to this.

For pretty much my entire life, anytime I attempt any cardio-type exercise, I quickly lose my breath, my heart rate jumps through the roof, and I feel like i am unable to continue. I dont have a problem simply lifting weights, but add any sort of cardio to that, and I am on the floor. (eg. running a mile is very difficult for me. I can do about 1/2 mile max, but then I need to sit for about 5 mins to catch my breath.)

I find that during most CF workouts, im crouched down catching my breath within the first three minutes. For longer workouts, i usually get fairly light headed and dizzy a little longer into the workout (depends on the intensity). Sometimes I will get tunnel vision and lose some vision if i stand up too quickly. If i make it through the workout, im usually nauseous and light headed for some time after the workout. I will often try to pace myself and take little breaks after each set or cycle, but that doesnt seem to help too much.

About me.. I consider myself to be in pretty good shape... 28 years old, 5'9", 180lbs, recent blood tests for life insurance shows all (that they tested for) in the normal range. My diet is clean, but not paleo. Over the past year, Ive tried eating more/less/cleaner/dirtier and nothing seemed to make a drastic change.
Maybe related -- i have a ridiculous sensitivity to caffeine. A sip of redbull is enough to keep me going for hours. slightly too much and im jittery, nauseous, and feel terrible. I use caffeine very sparingly as it makes me more jittery than it does alert.

So, Im not expecting some kind of e-diagnosis. But, Im guessing that I should see a doctor for a checkup to make sure everything is OK. Maybe everything is fine and Im just not in as good of shape athletically as i feel.
Should I go to a regular Doc? specialist?
How do i word this to a doc so they take it serious without discharging it as just over exertion?

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Old 01-03-2012, 04:37 PM   #2
Katherine Derbyshire
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Location: Seattle  WA
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Re: Dizzy and Light headed during cardio

Probably a good idea to get a stress test and a lung capacity test done, if only for peace of mind. Tell your GP exactly what you told us -- "intense exercise makes me lightheaded, and I want to make sure there's no need to worry," -- and he should be able to set you up.

(If your doctor dismisses a concern about lightheadedness during exercise, get a new doctor. That's not the kind of symptom that should be ignored.)

Assuming the exam comes out okay, then it's a matter of learning to pace yourself, developing your cardio capacity, and (sorry) developing your tolerance for pain and suffering.

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Old 01-05-2012, 07:49 AM   #3
Michael Ko
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Manhattan  Kansas
Posts: 34
Re: Dizzy and Light headed during cardio

sounds like it could be cardio or pulmonary. it could be related to cranial nerves or autonomic nervous system. it would be a crap shoot of which specialist to see. you're better off seeing a general practicioner and having them decide if it's something a specialist needs to see or if they can do something.
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:57 PM   #4
Blair Robert Lowe
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Location: Sacramento  CA
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Re: Dizzy and Light headed during cardio

Barring any medical issue, consider building an AEROBIC base in there somewhere.

Anaerobic exercise is very difficult without an aerobic case.

Bloodsugar or lack of hydration are other things that come to mind.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:40 PM   #5
Shane Cox
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Location: Surry  ME
Posts: 13
Re: Dizzy and Light headed during cardio

I have what the Dr described as exercise induced asthma. Whenever I do some of the things you described without taking my puffer I get some of the same symptoms. If I take a hit off the albuterol before I start it's 100% better. Maybe ask the Dr to check that if you haven't ruled it out already?
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