Medical Biofeedback For Overtraining Syndrome

Medical Biofeedback For Overtraining Syndrome

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Overtraining syndrome can have various signs and symptoms, depending on the individual. The overtraining syndrome is an imbalance in the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) and in a simple equation: Training = Workout + Nutrition +Recovery. The imbalance in both workout intensities and inadequate recovery along with food sensitivities leads to the following overtraining/medical symptoms:

  • Orthostatic intolerance
  • Tachycardia
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blurry vision
  • Tingling in the legs
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Tremors
  • Brain fog
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures/convulsions
  • Light/noise sensitivity
  • Bradycardia
  • Fatigue/ exhaustion
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Insomnia
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Feelings of heat
  • Muscle weakness
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Thermoregulatory issues
  • Low mood
  • Frequent urination
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Adrenaline rush

Overtraining is a serious medical problem, and one that can be successfully remedied by institution of multiple treatment modalities here at the Institute in our 2 week Program to Recovery.

The full spectrum of overtraining can result in hormonal, nutritional, emotional, muscular, neurologic, and others imbalances. These in turn can cause any and all of the symptoms above plus injuries and poor athletic performance.

Prevention and correction of the overtraining syndrome begins with a comprehensive medical assessment, something that should be an ongoing process for every athlete.

The spectrum of overtraining syndrome can be described as having three stages:

Stage 1: Also called functional overtraining. The onset and earliest stage where very subtle signs and symptoms can indicate you are starting overtraining.

Stage 2: Also called sympathetic overtraining. A more obvious stage associated with specific nervous, hormonal and mechanical imbalances causing a variety of signs and symptoms.

Stage 3: Also called parasympathetic overtraining. A serious end-stage of overtraining associated with the exhaustion of neurological and hormonal factors, typically with serious physical, hormonal and psychological injuries.

The overtraining syndrome leads to poor athletic performance, structural injury secondary to muscle imbalance, and metabolic problems leading to fatigue, infection, bone loss, sexual dysfunction, HPA axis disorders, altered mood states and other individualized problems. These signs and symptoms not only affect training and competition, but all aspects of a person’s everyday life and quality of life.

While we think of overtraining as being sports related, other lifestyle factors may contribute to overtraining, such as increased work, family or job stress, social obligations, alcohol consumption, and poor sleep habits.

Stage 1: Functional Overtraining

The first stage of overtraining is not usually accompanied by debilitating symptoms but by very subtle or subclinical ones. This may include a seemingly minor plateau or slight regression in training performance. Interestingly, this stage is sometimes accompanied by a sudden or dramatic improvement in competitive performance that may convince the athlete that training is progressing well. This temporary improvement may be due in part to an abnormal overactive sympathetic nervous system. A common problem in Stage 1 overtraining is a developing imbalance between the aerobic and anaerobic systems.

Stage 1 overtraining may be synonymous with overreaching, which has been shown in studies to boost performance but often turns into more obvious overtraining. It is a fine line between optimization and the beginning of athletic decline.

Adrenal gland dysfunction is very common in overtraining and usually begins in Stage 1. In addition, it typically parallels the start of aerobic deficiency. As this stage progresses, athletes may begin to develop fatigue, sleep irregularities, orthostatic hypotension, and abnormal hunger or cravings for sweets. They may be unable to lose that extra body fat, get sleepy after meals, and have cravings for caffeine.

Nutritional problems may include excess consumption of refined carbohydrates at the expense of healthy fats and protein. Common problems in the first stage of overtraining include:

  • Back, knee, ankle, and foot injuries.
  • Hormone imbalance includes elevations of cortisol with secondary lowering of testosterone and DHEA levels.
  • Premenstrual syndrome and menopausal symptoms may be secondary complaints for women, but amenorrhea is a common problem.
  • Sexual dysfunction, decrease libido, and infertility.
  • Mental and emotional stress, including mild or clinical depression and anxiety is common.

When overtraining is not discovered and corrected, all these signs and symptoms merge into the second stage of the syndrome.

Stage 2: Sympathetic Overtraining

As overtraining progresses, the imbalances described above worsen. Specifically, the sympathetic part of the nervous system becomes dominant and overactive. This results in the classic sign of an increased resting heart rate. Often associated with this is restlessness and over-excitability.

Hormone dysfunction also progresses during sympathetic overtraining. Early detection and treatment of adrenal dysfunction is vital to the prevention of overtraining. Specific adrenal problems include various hormonal imbalances, most commonly cortisol, which rises to abnormal levels. The keen awareness and fine hand-to-eye coordination required in some sports are adversely affected by these hormone problems. High cortisol levels have a catabolic effect on the body. Exhaustion becomes more problematic and sleep less recuperative.

High cortisol can also increase insulin levels, two of the three hormones not desirable to have elevated in the body. Aerobic training usually suppresses insulin production during exercise, whereas studies show that maximal training intensities can increase the insulin response. This further raises the sympathetic nervous system activity and adds to the overtraining condition. In addition, elevated cortisol lowers testosterone and DHEA, both important for muscle recovery.

While in many ways the functions of testosterone and adrenaline don’t overlap significantly, research published in 1983 in the scientific journal “Experimental Clinical Endocrinology” suggests that high levels of adrenaline in the body can negatively impact testosterone levels in men. The mechanism is through reducing levels of LH, which subsequently reduces levels of testosterone. While short-term exposures to adrenaline are unlikely to cause effects, long-term stress and routine adrenaline exposure may downregulate testosterone production.

Fortunately, hormone imbalances and other problems are relatively easily remedied through nutrition, strategic supplementation and lifestyle changes, including one’s training. If serious and depending on age related factors and genetics hormone replacement may be necessary. If these corrections are not made, the athletes can enter the third stage of overtraining.

Stage 3: Parasympathetic Overtraining

Chronic overtraining can lead to more serious hormonal, neurological and mechanical imbalances, worsening aerobic function, athletic performance and other factors that impact overall health.

Eventually, the sympathetic nervous system becomes exhausted, and most if not all hormone levels; estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and T3 are significantly reduced, including cortisol.

Stage 3 is typically accompanied by the lack of desire to train, depression or anxiety, significant injury, fatigue, low blood pressure, neurologic, endocrine and immune compromise, and most notably exhaustion unrelieved by rest. Performance and training are not possible in this stage.

This condition is associated with abnormally low resting heart rates and low heart-rate recovery from interval training or competition if even possible. The hormonal problems may result in increased sodium loss due to reduced aldosterone and may increase the athlete’s vulnerability to hyponatremia, a serious condition of low sodium and hypotension.

Athletes who are in the third stage of overtraining are seriously unwell. Recovery and return to previous optimal levels of performance is a very difficult task.

Remedies for Overtraining

In order to remedy a problem, it must first be properly diagnosed and an appropriate recovery plan instituted. This includes comprehensive laboratory testing, hormone testing, intracellular nutrient testing, gluten sensitivity and reactivity testing, endothelial vascular testing and more.

Other important assessment tools are a comprehensive medical history and lifestyle questionnaire, nutritional questionnaire, profile of mood states questionnaire, growth hormone deficiency questionnaire that are accurately reviewed by a health care professional. All questionnaires must be answered completely and honestly to achieve rapid and effective resolution of symptoms.

Correcting overtraining begins by immediately restructuring the training schedule, modifying lifestyle factors including diet and nutrition, strategically optimizing supplementation and hormones, and addressing all levels of stress with structured biofeedback therapy.

Adjusting the training schedule is key in an athlete in any stage of overtraining. This should be based on the individual’s need. Some specific suggestions include:

  • Decrease training time by 50 to 80 percent, or more if necessary.
  • Immediately cease all anaerobic training and competition.
  • A helpful remedy for an over trained athlete is walking, which can gently stimulate circulation and aerobic muscle fiber activity, and offers mental benefits much like those of meditation. Walking also helps redevelop the aerobic system, the first phase of retraining.
  • Retraining, that is, building the aerobic base, should last three to six months and does not include any anaerobic training or competition.

Nutrition is an important factor in the overtraining syndrome. While individualized nutritional recommendations are ideal, some important suggestions should be considered:

  • Eliminate all high-glycemic foods, especially sugar and other refined flour. Moderating carbohydrate intake overall can also be helpful as high carbohydrate diets may further elevate cortisol levels.
  • After Gutenin/Gliadin investigation, removal of gluten and cross reactive foods.
  • Consume smaller, more frequent meals to help control blood sugar and cortisol, especially for those with symptoms of anxiety, depression, fatigue, hunger and poor sleep.
  • Adequate caloric intake is very important, never develop hypoglycemia. Include moderate amounts of protein and healthful fats like coconut oil.
  • Adequate daily hydration.
  • Overtraining may disrupt the normal balance of fats in the body, which help control inflammation, one reason why inflammatory-related injuries are common. Eliminate the intake of omega-6 vegetable oils (soy, peanut, safflower, canola, corn), which can promote inflammation. EPA/DHA supplements can help reduce inflammation.
  • Caffeine consumption is contraindicated for over trained athletes. Avoid stimulants such as coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate (beware of caffeine-containing, over-the-counter and prescription drugs).
  • Zinc may help control the abnormally high levels of cortisol and estrogen, but timing is important when supplementing with zinc. 24-hour cortisol should be measured to determine abnormal peak levels; then the zinc supplementation should be taken two to three hours prior to cortisol peaks.
  • Biofeedback Training to retrain the autonomic nervous system.
  • Hormone optimization to hasten recovery and reduce symptomology.

When committed, athletes can often recover rapidly from the overtraining syndrome. In the first stage, modifying the training schedule, and making appropriate nutritional and dietary adjustments often provide improvements of symptoms and even begin training within two weeks. Athletes in the first and second stages of overtraining also respond quickly to proper recovery. Most important is obtaining at least seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Those with upcoming competitions may be required to cancel those events to allow for a more complete recovery from overtraining. Building an acceptable aerobic base will take at least three to six months. Athletes who are chronically over trained generally respond much slower. They may need to cancel their next competitive season and spend time building the aerobic system, reducing stress, strategically supplementing, and improving their nutrition. These athletes will require six months or more, and sometimes a year or two, before resuming effective competition.

Overtraining is a serious medical problem, and one that can be successfully remedied by institution of multiple treatment modalities here at the Institute in our 2 week Program to Recovery.

The ReNue Health Program for Overtraining Syndrome Therapy includes:

  • Intensive 2 week Medical Biofeedback Therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory Nutrition
  • Strategic Supplementation Plan
  • Intracellular Nutrient Testing
  • Endothelial Vascular Testing
  • VO2 Max Testing
  • Exercise Tolerance Evaluation & Counseling
  • 6 Month Recovery Exercise Protocol
  • OMT Correction of  Viscerosomatic & Somatovisceral Reflexes
  • Gluten Free Nutrition Counseling and Plan
  • Prescription Medications as necessary
  • Ongoing support & treatment
  • At home biofeedback training software
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • Optional Gluten/Gliadin Proteome Reactivity/Autoimmunity & Cross-reactivity Testing*

*Additional Cost

Overtraining is a serious medical problem, and one that can be successfully remedied by institution of multiple treatment modalities here at the Institute in our 2 week Program to Recovery.  Call 937-350-5527 today to start your path to recovery and peak performance.

ReNue Health is located conveniently in Springboro, Ohio with easy access from Dayton International Airport, Cincinnati International Airport or the adjacent Wright Brothers Private Airport (MGY) for those travelling by private aviation. Click here for directions and contact information.

Only one visit is necessary to perform a comprehensive history, interview, and education. Follow up evaluations, adjustments and balancing of hormones are done by phone or written communications and a return visit to Dr. Rob is not necessary. Ongoing testing and adjustment is mandatory and performed through a laboratory convenient to your home.

In addition to the Ohio office, Dr. Rob sees new patients in Salt Lake City, Utah. Appointments for either location can be made by calling the main office number 937-350-5527 for information.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

INITIAL CONSULTATION

To schedule a consultation simply call 937.350.5527 and one of our team members will assist you. Please complete all Renue Health questionnaires, ordered laboratory and obtain any necessary old medical records before you arrive for your initial consultation. This will allow Dr. Rob and his staff time to compile your biomarkers effectively and efficiently. You will receive an email after you make a consultation appointment that contains a link to our online patient forms. You can then download all of the intake forms, Elite Lifestyle Questionnaire and Nutritional Questionnaire.  http://www.renuehealth.com/request-an-appointment/ Upon completion of your consultation, you will receive a copy of all your biomarkers, relevant data and recommendations on a flash drive. Should you need additional copies of your medical records, a $30 administrative fee will be charged for copies, handling, and postage.

FORMS OF PAYMENT

We require a credit card number at the time of scheduling your consultation. Our administrative team immediately begins creating your portfolio to gather your administrative data and biomarkers. We are already working behind the scene in preparation of your upcoming consultation. This credit card will be used to hold your appointment and will be kept on file and will be used to complete payment for services, unless otherwise specified by you at the time of check out. We accept cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.

INSURANCE COVERAGE

We do not accept insurance. We will provide you with an itemized bill that you can file with your insurance company. Patients who have out-of-network benefits may or may not be reimbursed. Our office cannot assist you with claim resolution. You may be able to use pre-tax dollars from a Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to pay for your fees related to your services from this office. Renue Health nor Dr. Rob nor any of his employees or affiliates is responsible for payment differences or amounts set by your insurance company. Payment amounts vary per insurance provider depending on your agreement with them and this office is not responsible for dictating or making you aware of the terms and agreements between your insurance company and yourself. Please contact your insurance company with any questions or concerns regarding covered amounts and deductibles. All of our services must be paid for at the time the services are delivered.

DISABILTY FORMS

Dr. Rob does not fill out medical disability forms for patients, and does not submit medical records to support disability claims.

CANCELLATION OR RESCHEDULING OF CONSULTATION

Your consultation must be cancelled or rescheduled at least 72 hours (3 business days) prior to your consultation time, or you will be charged $100.00 US for the visit. You may cancel your appointment by calling the office at 937-350-5527 or send us an email through our directions and contact information page. We currently have a waiting list for consultations and many of our clients are travelling from considerable distances. We ask that if you know that you need to cancel or reschedule, please let us know as soon as possible so that we may offer your consultation time to someone on the current waiting list.

EMERGENCIES AND URGENT CARE

In case of a serious medical emergency, call 911 or go directly to the nearest emergency room. Dr. Rob serves as a medical consultant. Unless we have accepted you as a primary care concierge patient by application and contractual arrangement, we require you have a primary care physician for your urgent care and problems that arise when Dr. Rob is not available. Our staff is available to take your message about your health Monday through Friday 10am-4pm. We are not available outside of these hours. Please allow up to 72 business hours for a return call. In many instances, we may be able to get back to you sooner than that. Another way to contact the Renue Health Team is by sending us an email through our directions and contact information page. If you are a concierge patient then you have Dr. Rob's private cell phone number and Team numbers and can feel free to contact him or any of the team members directly.

LABS

We have access to laboratories nationwide to accommodate your needs, whether you live locally or out of state. Some of the specialty labs that we recommend involve blood, stool, urine, or saliva samples and can be done by you in your home. You will be given all lab kits and step-by-step instructions for at-home tests at the time of your consult. Once all of the final lab results are received, we will review them with you at your visit. When we request laboratory tests, it is essential that they be performed promptly. Many tests can take up to 4 weeks to perform and for the results to be returned to us. Please do not delay in completing your tests. Some of the specialized tests may not be considered medically necessary by your insurance carrier, and therefore might not be covered. It is your responsibility to make a follow-up appointment to review your lab results with Dr. Rob. If you are unable to return to our office to review your labs, we are available by Skype, Face time, or telephone.

RETURNS

We do not accept returns of supplements or specialty labs. Specialty lab kits must be used within 3 months.

NUTRITIONAL THERAPY AND SUPPLEMENTS

Nutritional therapy and laboratory/diagnostic testing are integral components of your treatment plan. Test results are used to design your personal health care program as well as uncover the root causes of your medical condition. Nutritional supplements are often recommended and we will help you select and find the highest quality products. The supplements that we recommend at Renue Health are available for purchase from our office. It is possible to have your supplements automatically shipped to your home or office for your convenience.

REFILL POLICY

Refills are granted at the time of your consultation or follow up appointments. When you are running low on your medication, it is a REMINDER that you are probably due for your follow up appointment. I generally prescribe enough medication to last until your next follow up appointment. Supplements are immediately available to you by calling the office, visiting the office, or by ordering directly from the websites.

WEBSITE

Information about Dr. Rob, Renue Health and the focus areas of our practice is available on our website at http://www.renuehealth.com and you can learn more about Dr. Rob at http://www.renuehealth.com/about-renue-health/

HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS

These hotels are conveniently located nearby Renue Health. Hilton Garden Inn
12000 Innovation Way
Miamisburg, OH 45342
(937) 247-5850
Hampton Inn & Suites
25 Greenwood Ln
Springboro, OH 45066
(937) 743-2121
Comfort Inn
15 Sharts Rd
Springboro, OH 45066
(937) 746-0151

WHAT WE TREAT

While the focus of our practice is on the optimization of male performance and health we also do optimize the performance and health of women. Medical conditions we treat and testing we perform:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Allergies
  • Athletic Performance
  • Autoimmune Conditions
  • BioIdentical Hormone Replacement
  • Bell's Palsy
  • Carotid Ultrasound with CIMT
  • Cholesterol Management
  • Comprehensive Intracellular Nutrient Testing
  • Comprehensive Laboratory Testing
  • Detoxification Programs
  • DEXA Scan
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive Issues
  • Dysautonomia
  • Fitness Evaluations
  • Flexibility Testing
  • Food Sensitivity Testing
  • Gastric Inflammation
  • Gluten Sensitivities
  • Healthy Aging
  • Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention
  • Hormone Optimization for Men & Women
  • Leaky Gut
  • Low Testosterone (Low T)
  • Medical Body Composition Analysis (mBCA)
  • Men's Health
  • Mental Focus & Clarity
  • MTHFR gene mutations
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Neurocognitive Testing for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and ADD
  • Nutrition Counseling & Optimization
  • Natural Weight Loss
  • Parasympathetic Overtraining Syndrome
  • POTS Syndrome
  • Strength Testing
  • Sympathetic Overtraining Syndrome
  • Underactive Thyroid
  • VENDYS Vascular Endothelium Testing
  • VO2 Max Testing
  • Women's Health