What’s Going On?
So far 2016 has been rough. A lingering back issue prevented me from running the Davis Stampede half marathon, which is a race where I ran my first half and have run every year since. I did not want to miss it, so I opted for the 10k run. After my first half marathon of the year I experienced major cramping and vomiting after. This is something I have never experienced after a race before. Then it happened again at another race. I started looking for reasons.
Was I not training enough? Maybe it was something I ate the night before a race. Am I just getting old? Was it the fluid along the course? Maybe lack of sleep.
As if cramping and vomiting was not enough, my vision started to blur. According to the doctor’s office, my vision went from 20/20 to 20/30. Now that may not seem bad, but when you’re used to being able to see things and then everything becomes blurry overnight, it is a bit worrisome. I continued to run.
On top of cramping, vomiting, and blurry vision, I developed a great thirst for water and a quick drop in weight. I started drinking well over a gallon of water daily. I was not even trying; I was just thirsty. Over the course of about 2 months, about the same time I started drinking excessive water, I dropped 35 pounds. Whoa! Last year with all my running and races, I actually gained weight. I dropped 35 pounds.
Doctor After Doctor
I did not concern myself too much with the cramping and vomiting, so I never discussed it with my doctor. I figured I could eat better during a run and remedy the problem. I did make an appointment with my primary doctor immediately after realizing my vision was blurred. He referred me to an ophthalmologist. Between my initial appointment and the follow-up appointment, my vision corrected itself. No answers.
After running the San Luis Obispo Marathon half, I began brainstorming what could be causing my symptoms. That is when it hit me: WATER POISONING! Of course, that is just a scary generic term for hyponatremia. All the post-race symptoms fit. I scheduled an appointment for a consultation with a sports doctor.
I met with the sports doctor and explained everything. Her first thought about the thirst and blurred vision was diabetes. The ophthalmologist had suspected it too. Only the blood work I have had does not support a diabetes diagnosis. The sports doctor agreed my recent uptake in water could be diluting the electrolytes in my blood and causing my symptoms when I run long distance. My lack of training could also be contributing. She could not explain what might be triggering everything going on with my body, but suggested more blood work and meeting with a sports nutritionist.
After seeing multiple doctors, I still have no answers and headed right back to where I started with my primary physician. Hopefully soon I can figure out what is going on and I will be back on track.