Friday, September 05, 2014

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Henceforth known as BPPV is a condition caused by calcium crystals that become dislodged from the utricle, one of the sensory organs of the inner ear.

I first experienced symptoms after being involved in a cycling/car collision in 2011. Having bounced my head of the pavement quite hard(Fyi - helmets do work to prevent more serious injuries- writing this post an example of that) I suspect the blunt force impact dislodged the otoconia.

What I attributed as post concussion like symptoms are probably actually BPPV related and a result of both my age(51) and concussion history. For most the onset is the result of aging or injury so I have the misfortune of possessing both factors.

Initially it was periodic vertigo episodes but has since progressed to constant dizzyness when standing suddenly,especially in the morning when getting out of bed. I have also begun to experience vertigo when laying prone on my right side or shifting from side to side.. I suspect my right ear is the issue and it makes sense as my 2011 fall saw my right upper forehead take the impact from the ground. I can also experience symptoms when I look down and to my right over my shoulder or if I stretch my arms over my head and move my head to the right. That particular maneuver illicits the strongest response. Not pleasant at all. Lying on my back doing ab crunches or on the bench doing chest presses also results in an " at sea" feeling.

Like classic BPPV the vertigo passes quickly but is still a nuisance at best and potentially troublesome at worse considering my active lifestyle and the sports I choose to play; cycling,ball hockey, weight training and softball. So far I have had no issues while cycling or playing hockey but usually feel worse with mild head ache and increased lightheadedness the following day.

I am comforted knowing that I am(probably) a classic case study of BPPV ( and nothing more serious) but will now seek an official diagnosis to put it to bed. I will also practice the Epley Maneuver to help reposition the loose crystals to a less sensitive part of the semicircular canal. No really cure for it other than retraining the brain to recognize the mixed signals received from the inner ear. Waking every morning with that hangover like vertigo induced "spinning" just really bites...... getting old. The body is aging but the ambitions are still 20 something. The brain is willing but the body is quickly becoming less forgiving.


Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Golden Milk

Having become a fan of ginger root and it's beneficial health properties I discovered (by association) turmeric. Another root indigenous to Southeast Asia it also has numerous wide ranging health benefits and is a staple in Indian cooking and Ayurveda practices.

The easiest way to incorporate turmeric into ones diet is Golden milk. Easy to prepare as a paste using water, turmeric and black pepper it can be stored in the fridge for quick preparations. Add a dollop to milk along with a little coconut oil or ghee, heat to just below the boiling point, add some honey and enjoy the 150 various theraputic qualities of this amazing rhizome and its active ingredient Curcumin.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Precious Little Saddle Time

At least in regards to the road bike.

Circumstances have changed that has had a profound effect upon my road cycling. Foremost among them was my dissatisfaction with the cycling club.I'm not liking the vibe nor the heavy handed dictatorial approach of the current executive. I have lost all inclination to participate in club rides, a sentiment I believe is shared by many club members.

The decision to cease racing has also had an impact. No longer does the competitive fire force me out to train so it is harder to motivate myself to allocate the time. Instead i have broadened my sporting opportunities to include other passions; archery, ball hockey and softball. I enjoyed racing but cost, age and the dangerous nature of road racing made the decision easier. A major crash in a race this month in the C pack certainly drove that point home. I would have probably been in the middle of the chaos.

Working most Saturdays has certainly cut into saddle time. I do bike commute as much as possible but Sundays are my only real opportunity to ride any distance. So I need to take advantage of the limited saddle time by maximizing the training benefits.

I achieve this goal by doing(for the most part) solo rides ( no drafting) and usually in a fasted state. Fasted training is a great way to become metabolically flexible and burn adipose fat for fuel. Once you adapt you can strike "bonk" from your vocabulary. Burn fat not carbs!

My second strategy is to add some sprinting to my cycling during the Summer and Fall.Either on my bike commutes home or on the end of a road bike ride I will stop at local sports fields and run some barefoot sprints. Fantastic alone sprinting can really add an exclamation point to any training ride. Kicks your chamois!