Cyclists & oversized hearts!

gbnz
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Cyclists & oversized hearts!

Postby gbnz » 9 Mar 2019, 9:28am

I know it's on the forum that I first heard mention of "oversized" hearts, though a search hasn't brought anything up.
(Nb. As in the heart is physically oversized)

Anyone affected by one and any idea why it may actually matter? (Nb. I'd hazard a guess that it could be due to valves or whatever being the normal size, while the muscles are oversized?) As far as I'm aware it's merely due to long term, extensive cardio exercise, but I'm simply wondering why ambulance men and their machines print it out in HUGE letters.

Or is it one of these issues where the person merely isn't "normal" I.e. I've heard/seen staff pointing out my "wrong" breaststroke style on any no. of occasions - given that I enjoy it, have clear physical benefits from it & am routinely the fastest in the pool it doesn't bother me, just as as when I overtake roadies with the shopping loaded on the back of the tourer

softlips
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Re: Cyclists & oversized hearts!

Postby softlips » 9 Mar 2019, 9:58am

AHS or Athletic Heart Syndrome occurs in anyone who excercise strenuously regularly and is a normal occurrence with no pathological consequences. As well as the enlarged heart the cardiac output will be increased, and resting heart rate lower than non athletes.

It’s basically the heart remodelling due to the regular work load. It’s usually picked up incidentally. The heart would return to normal within months of ceasing to cycle. Once discovered it’s important to rule out other causes of enlargement such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or hypertension. Once these are ruled out there is nothing to worry about.

EDIT. The reason ambulance personnel would be concerned is that in non athletes it could indicate prolonged excessive hypertension or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The latter is the condition which young athletes sometimes drop dead from.

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Re: Cyclists & oversized hearts!

Postby brynpoeth » 9 Mar 2019, 10:10am

When the heart gets bigger, does it squeeze adjacent organs?
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Cunobelin
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Re: Cyclists & oversized hearts!

Postby Cunobelin » 9 Mar 2019, 10:35am

brynpoeth wrote:When the heart gets bigger, does it squeeze adjacent organs?

Yes.... and NO

The problem is that most of the pathology associated with enlarged hearts is to do with pathilogy, and it can be difficult to determine which factor is causing a problem

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Paulatic
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Re: Cyclists & oversized hearts!

Postby Paulatic » 9 Mar 2019, 11:15am

Was it athletic heart thread you recall? viewtopic.php?t=62055&start=15
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gbnz
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Re: Cyclists & oversized hearts!

Postby gbnz » 9 Mar 2019, 7:52pm

Paulatic wrote:Was it athletic heart thread you recall? viewtopic.php?t=62055&start=15


Thanks, I'll have a good read through it. I was just wondering why the ambulance men at 04.18am the other day made such an issue of my "oversized heart" :wink:

Not least the CAPITALS on the report indicating it waas an issue :shock: (NB. I walked home without an issue, though may of overdone it at the gym yesterday (NB. Had to take the day off today, 20 mile walk instead!) - hadn't realized that some of the birds are now singing at 04.30am!)

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Re: Cyclists & oversized hearts!

Postby softlips » 9 Mar 2019, 8:27pm

gbnz wrote:
Paulatic wrote:Was it athletic heart thread you recall? viewtopic.php?t=62055&start=15


Thanks, I'll have a good read through it. I was just wondering why the ambulance men at 04.18am the other day made such an issue of my "oversized heart" :wink:

Not least the CAPITALS on the report indicating it waas an issue :shock: (NB. I walked home without an issue, though may of overdone it at the gym yesterday (NB. Had to take the day off today, 20 mile walk instead!) - hadn't realized that some of the birds are now singing at 04.30am!)


Because until another reason is excluded it needs to be taken seriously.

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Paulatic
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Re: Cyclists & oversized hearts!

Postby Paulatic » 10 Mar 2019, 8:39am

From where I’m sitting now I can see a house where a man in his thirties died leaving two orphaned children. Cause of death an enlarged heart. It was undiagnosed and people had been saying how well he was looking and going from a skinny shank to putting on weight.
At least you’ve the advantage of a diagnosis and yes ultimately what to do with that information is up to you. To bury your head in the sand does seem foolish though.

Edit: to add the post I was replying to has now totally gone. That’s amazing how does that work?
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cycleruk
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Re: Cyclists & oversized hearts!

Postby cycleruk » 10 Mar 2019, 12:26pm

If you have an athletic heart would that lead to high blood pressure ?
Read through the links but not found an answer.
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531colin
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Re: Cyclists & oversized hearts!

Postby 531colin » 10 Mar 2019, 12:58pm

cycleruk wrote:If you have an athletic heart would that lead to high blood pressure ?....

No, there are staggeringly complex systems for the control of blood pressure.
On the other hand, untreated high blood pressure can cause enlargement of the heart....because its working harder, pumping at increased pressure.

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foxyrider
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Re: Cyclists & oversized hearts!

Postby foxyrider » 10 Mar 2019, 4:00pm

cycleruk wrote:If you have an athletic heart would that lead to high blood pressure ?


Unless there are other issues to cause it, its more usually the opposite. Pretty sure I have AH and if anything I 'suffer' with low blood pressure and low pulse rates - been the same pretty much all my years. The only issue this has caused has been occasional problems when I've had to give blood samples and some odd numbers that the medics wanted to check when I injured myself at work.
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cycleruk
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Re: Cyclists & oversized hearts!

Postby cycleruk » 10 Mar 2019, 4:48pm

Oh well! Thanks for the replies.
Have to keep taking the tablets then. :(
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Re: Cyclists & oversized hearts!

Postby ambodach » 22 Mar 2019, 10:44am

Just had a chest X-ray since I mentioned to a GP that I had cough. Result “not much worse than last one and got an enlarged heart but we already knew about that so nothing serious”. I also have a dodgy valve which gets an ultrasound every year just to check on it but nobody seems bothered and it does not stop me cycling even up the pretty steep hill where I live at the top.

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Re: Cyclists & oversized hearts!

Postby Audax67 » 22 Mar 2019, 11:23am

softlips wrote:AHS or Athletic Heart Syndrome occurs in anyone who exercise strenuously regularly and is a normal occurrence with no pathological consequences. As well as the enlarged heart the cardiac output will be increased, and resting heart rate lower than non athletes.


It can also cause a change in the ECG curve that looks like artery disease. That happened to me years ago, when I had an ECG a couple of days after doing half a dozen cols in the Vosges mountains*. The cardiologist got quite alarmed and booked me in for a scintigraphy, telling me not to push my heart too hard in the meantime. There was a 2-month wait, which buggered up my whole summer.

*The day that Beloki broke his femur, come to think of it. Poor bloke.
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