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Out of shape, getting tired quickly, no thyroid problems, no myalgia. Do I have a metabolic disorder?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
I am a healthy (no medications) 25 Year Old Caucasian Male, 5'11'', 170lbs, 130/80 blood pressure, 55 bpm resting heart rate, and have mild 'pectus excavatum' - I have been doing cardiovascular exercise regularly (2 to 5 days per week) for over 2 years and am unable to 'get into shape'. My heart rate averages 180+bpm running at a 9 to 10 min/mile pace (maxing at high 190 bpm on hills). I eat well and get 7+ hours of sleep per night. MET test and stress-echo show no cardiovascular problems, blood test shows no thyroid problems/deficiencies. I was left in the dust on a run last night by my out-of-shape roomate who began a running program 3 weeks ago. I take longer to recover from vigorous exercise than most (several days), and have difficulty gaining or losing weight despite large changes in diet and exercise regimen. I'm beginning to think I have a metabolic disorder, though I do not suffer from intense pain (myalgia?). I am tired of being 'out of shape', tiring out so quickly playing basketball... where can I go to get help? My family doctor has not been much help...
Posted Sun, 6 May 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 45 minutes later


Thanks for posting your query.

I appreciate your concern for a healthy body and agree that you have put in many efforts to stay healthy.

I would like to remind that diet and exercise go hand in hand for a sculpted and healthy body. Also once you do regular cardio exercises your stamina should improve but toning of muscles and shaping of specific body parts need intense target muscle workouts.

If all your blood reports are normal, I assume your lipid profile to be normal, so I don’t know if diet changes will make much difference to you.

Some people do have genetic tendency to accumulate body fat in certain problem areas and in such case though they do not suffer from a metabolic syndrome, any weight changes are difficult in them.
Ideally such cases are best handled by an endocrinologist or MD physician from a reputed institute or hospital in your vicinity rather than a general practitioner.

You can search for such doctor through the find a doctor application of this website.

Another thing to be of help is to visit a gym with well trained nutritionists or dietitian and instructors available.

Please do not stress yourself or lose hope, it doesn't seem that you have a metabolic syndrome, though any specific deficiencies or hormonal imbalances can best be confirmed only by the doctors after thorough examination and investigation.

"So be positive and consult the specialists and don't give up. Your efforts would gradually help you in the long term".

Hope I have answered your query. I'll be available for any follow up queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Out of shape, getting tired quickly, no thyroid problems, no myalgia. Do I have a metabolic disorder? 1 hour later
Thanks for your reply. I had not thought about this being hormone related.

To put it in perspective, I've ridden my bike over 3000 miles this year at a low to moderate exertion level (with occasional sprints/ hills), and I run occasionally. I have a very low resting heart rate (i've measure it at 50 some mornings).

However, when I run/play sports like basketball or soccer my heart rate quickly jumps to over 90% of my XXXXXXX heart rate, I tire quickly, and my head gets cloudy (presumably from my elevated blood pressure). I cannot compete with peers who are overweight and hardly exercise.

I've strengthened my legs, adhered to a strict cycling/ running regimen... something seems seriously broken with my physiology and I can't put my finger on it. I cannot make athletic gains running or jogging.

All of my tests keep coming back normal, i feel like I'm losing my mind. I will consult an endocrinologist on your recommendation... Thanks
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 12 hours later

Thanks for the follow up.

Weight and blood pressure or rather cardiovascular issues are mostly related to and controlled by the endocrine system. So I would appreciate if you consult an endocrinologist for your problem.

A heart rate of 50, as seen in your case, is common for athletes who usually have bradycardia which is physiological.
Your exercise regime seems to be fine but remember stress is one of the major causes of hormonal imbalances and try to avoid worry and anxiety. If possible avoid comparisons and praise yourself for your efforts and achievements no matter what others say.

I wish you good health forever.

Please accept the reply if you have no further queries.

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