Brenda's great fatigue following workouts is partially related to the depletion of her glyco-gen reserves and extensive utilization of anaerobic respiration (with consequent production of lactic acid) for energy. Production of large amounts of lactic acid during exercise causes her need for extra oxygen to metabolize the lactic acid following exercise (the oxygen debt)—hence, her gasping and panting. Eating more carbohydrates would help Brenda to maintain the glycogen stores in her liver and muscles, and training more gradually could increase the ability of her muscles to obtain more of their energy through aerobic respiration, so that she would experience less pain and fatigue.
The pain in her arms and shoulders is probably the result of lactic acid production by the exercised skeletal muscles. However, the intense pain in her left pectoral region could be angina pectoris, caused by anaerobic respiration of the heart. If this is the case, it would indicate that the heart became ischemic because blood flow was inadequate for the demands placed upon it. Blood tests for particular enzymes released by damaged heart muscle (chapter 4) and an electrocardiogram (ECG) should be performed.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.