Had heart attack whilst on bike - advice on getting back on the saddle

Alan O
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Re: Had heart attack whilst on bike - advice on getting back on the saddle

Postby Alan O » 16 Sep 2018, 10:07pm

Damo78 wrote:Unfortunately it seems the medications might be causing me other issues now as I went really light headed earlier this evening, ended up having to go to bed. Decided to call 111 for advice in case it's linked, turns out my blood pressure is low (I have a machine here so did a test before calling), when I listed the medications to the clinician that I spoke to she did say that it seems I've been given several medicines which all lower blood pressure. Possibly lowering it too far. So going in for a check, hopefully it's nothing and will be coming straight back out, don't fancy another stay.

That happened to me after I had a heart attack and bypass surgery, but it didn't take too long to get my dosages right.

althebike
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Re: Had heart attack whilst on bike - advice on getting back on the saddle

Postby althebike » 17 Sep 2018, 11:44am

A lot has been written about the effects , and how to still do what you want to do and manage the effects, but what about the cause.
It may be worth stepping back to see the bigger picture of how you are really living your life. I know genetics cannot be changed, but what about things like diet ? Too much fat, not enough anti oxidants are counter productive .
You come across as a very determined individual, how much recovery time do you allow yourself? how hard are you pushing yourself? How much anxiety do you give yourself when your goals are in view but still out of reach?
As has already been said, this is a cycling forum and not a medical forum so anything given here has to be seen in that light.
wishing you a speedy and full recovery

Damo78
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Re: Had heart attack whilst on bike - advice on getting back on the saddle

Postby Damo78 » 17 Sep 2018, 12:20pm

softlips wrote:I work in cardiology and you’d be amazed how many cardiologists cycle.


I suppose there must be many, it's just getting the advice passed down from them to those that you speak to at rehab (I've not been yet though so can't really comment :) ).

Alan O wrote:That happened to me after I had a heart attack and bypass surgery, but it didn't take too long to get my dosages right.


I've got an appointment with my GP this afternoon to go through the meds and also some other questions, so hopefully will get them adjusted if needed. One of my main concerns now is my Asthma - I'm taking my inhaler daily at the moment whereas before it was only at the start of a ride, I'm thinking it might be down to the Aspirin (which I've always said I'm allergic to due to the Asthma, but never taken, so they started me on them to see how I go).

althebike wrote:A lot has been written about the effects , and how to still do what you want to do and manage the effects, but what about the cause.
It may be worth stepping back to see the bigger picture of how you are really living your life. I know genetics cannot be changed, but what about things like diet ? Too much fat, not enough anti oxidants are counter productive .
You come across as a very determined individual, how much recovery time do you allow yourself? how hard are you pushing yourself? How much anxiety do you give yourself when your goals are in view but still out of reach?
As has already been said, this is a cycling forum and not a medical forum so anything given here has to be seen in that light.
wishing you a speedy and full recovery


Thanks.

I'm fairly certain that the cause is high cholesterol, and is fully down to myself and is my own fault. My diet hasn't been great, but had improved over the last couple of years. In the last couple of weeks before the attack I'd finally got the determination that my mates always complimented on to work with my diet, so was doing even better with it, I was having protein shakes for breakfast and also lunch some days, and had swapped unhealthy snacks in my work drawer for fruit. I was doing a 2-3 mile walk every day at lunchtime, and was commuting 13 miles each way to work and back on my bike many days. I wanted to lose as much weight as possible for the Lake District sportive that I was going to be doing this upcoming weekend. However, none of this made any difference to my cholesterol because I wasn't taking my statins - when I had them I would forget to take them, so I set a nightly alarm to remind me, but then I'd run out and not have time or would forget to go and get a repeat prescription. Therefore my cholesterol will have kept rising, and in my blood test after the heart attack it was up to 7.2 (it should ideally be 3.2 or below). So I'm now on 80mg statins to reduce this, and am taking them religiously.

With regards to the determination, as mentioned above my mates often talk about how determined I am, to get up hills, to keep up with them, to finish long sportives and other rides (including 200 miles in a day last year to fulfill a charity fundraising promise I'd made a year earlier to match miles for £'s donated). But I could just never carry that determination through to my diet - I'd still snack on chocolate and crisps at work and home, refused to have oven chips over fried. That changed a few weeks ago when on a ride with my mate, who is very fit and fast on the bike despite being 12 years older, he was actually struggling to get ahead of me on the flats, but would then shoot past me and leave me for dust on the hills - all down to the excess weight fighting against the climb, so I decided things had to change (oh, I also tried a new cycling shirt on and saw myself in a mirror :) ).

With regards recovery, I've not tried anything yet other than slow walks, with the maximum being half a mile to our local Tesco (and then walking around there for an hour or so). I felt quite under the weather afterwards, mostly my stomach which felt heavy and bloated (I'm assuming due to the lack of exercise recently). However, I have lost over 1/2 stone since being admitted to hospital a couple of weeks ago. I only had the stent a week ago, so I'm not going to attempt the bike until at least next week, at which point it will be a 1 mile maximum ride up the road and back - completely flat. I'll also have a heart monitor with chest strap by then (hopefully) which I'll hook up to my bike computer so I can monitor my heart rate constantly. I'm aware I won't be back up to even 10 mile rides for at least a month, possibly longer - although I'm determined to do it, I'm more determined to come home to my wife and kids afterwards, they'll always come first.

althebike
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Re: Had heart attack whilst on bike - advice on getting back on the saddle

Postby althebike » 18 Sep 2018, 11:52am

Thanks for your reply,
regards to determination, I was thinking more along the lines of pushing your body to achieve something faster than your body wants to adapt. You can think of determination as a stress factor which is helpful in achieving things but not always helpful in keeping healthy.
By recovery, I mean what do you do after a training ride?
The pros take recovery very seriously, Geraint Thomas says he will watch rubbish on the tv rather than waste energy reaching for the remote, Bradly Wiggings will not carry his shopping, his wife has to load it into the car. The saying goes, do not stand if you can sit , do not sit if you can lie down. We mortals cannot live like that because we have a life and family to deal with, but we can try to take recovery seriously and know when to back off.

Some people train back to back and this increases body stress, again causing it to adapt to the training, but the body stress can rise until it breaks down and you become ill. This balancing act will be different for everyone .Riding to many hard rides, too close together is like putting a quart in a pint bottle, it does not fit ,and the body will break down rather than build itself stronger.


Damo78
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Re: Had heart attack whilst on bike - advice on getting back on the saddle

Postby Damo78 » 18 Sep 2018, 3:00pm

althebike wrote:Thanks for your reply,
regards to determination, I was thinking more along the lines of pushing your body to achieve something faster than your body wants to adapt. You can think of determination as a stress factor which is helpful in achieving things but not always helpful in keeping healthy.
By recovery, I mean what do you do after a training ride?
The pros take recovery very seriously, Geraint Thomas says he will watch rubbish on the tv rather than waste energy reaching for the remote, Bradly Wiggings will not carry his shopping, his wife has to load it into the car. The saying goes, do not stand if you can sit , do not sit if you can lie down. We mortals cannot live like that because we have a life and family to deal with, but we can try to take recovery seriously and know when to back off.

Some people train back to back and this increases body stress, again causing it to adapt to the training, but the body stress can rise until it breaks down and you become ill. This balancing act will be different for everyone .Riding to many hard rides, too close together is like putting a quart in a pint bottle, it does not fit ,and the body will break down rather than build itself stronger.


Ah I see. I'm bad with both of those then :)

I do push my body too hard sometimes, but have been getting better. For a couple of years I'd get to a hill and would immediately start pushing myself hard to keep up with the others. I'd quickly burn out, change down to the lowest gear, then crawl. More recently I decided to stop doing that, I'd just take it at my own pace from the start - I could never keep up so I might as well keep a steady pace and fall behind rather than push, tire myself, and fall behind anyway. However, I was still I think trying to get better up the hills too quickly, and that has put additional strain on my heart.

Recovery after a training ride varied on how knackered I was. If it was a particularly tough ride I'd just collapse on the sofa and stay there for a couple of hours. Otherwise I'd just carry on as before, go shopping, or sometimes go back on the bike again for a very slow ride with the kids. My issue is that the wife usually wants to do stuff weekends, so if I'm going out cycling I make it early morning so I can be back by lunchtime to then do whatever it was the wife and kids wanted to do.

Again, the next ride usually depended on the toughness of the previous one - after a long sportive I'd give it a couple of days, then go on a shorter ride. I wouldn't usually commute for a couple of days. Anything up to 50 miles at the weekend though and I'd be back to commuting as early as the Monday, then me and a mate would go out for a 30-40 mile ride on the Wednesday evening.

Damo78
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Re: Had heart attack whilst on bike - advice on getting back on the saddle

Postby Damo78 » 18 Sep 2018, 3:07pm



Thanks, I'll have a proper read of it in a bit as I'm about to go out to pick my youngest up from school.

I think it very much does depend on the person and possibly type of cholesterol? My mum stopped taking hers for a while, she didn't like the side effects and was taken in by the Benecol etc. ads that claimed to reduce cholesterol. She then collapsed on two separate occasions in the street (luckily on one occasion her friend spotted her down an alley way whilst she was going past on the bus and got the driver to stop). She ended up having to have a mechanical valve, and was told it was down to the cholesterol. Apparently the reason the Benecol etc. didn't work is because hers (and mine) is genetic cholesterol rather than dietary, though to be honest I've never researched it more than what I was told so really should do.

My Dad however was given them after he had 4 stents, has always refused to take them, told the doctor he wouldn't take them, and although they said he really should they couldn't force him. He's still fine, but then that's what I thought about myself...

Alan O
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Re: Had heart attack whilst on bike - advice on getting back on the saddle

Postby Alan O » 18 Sep 2018, 6:23pm


The connection between cholesterol and heart disease is certainly becoming controversial, but I would absolutely not get my medical information from the Daily Mail.

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bigjim
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Re: Had heart attack whilst on bike - advice on getting back on the saddle

Postby bigjim » 18 Sep 2018, 7:38pm

Alan O wrote:

The connection between cholesterol and heart disease is certainly becoming controversial, but I would absolutely not get my medical information from the Daily Mail.

Come on. It's not from the Mail. It's from clinical studies and cardiologists. It's not inaccurate reporting.
I know about the hatred of the Mail on this site. I personally don't reserve my dislike of the media for just one paper. I spread it around, but it does not stop me reading them.
Nothing left to prove. http://adenough1.blogspot.co.uk/

Damo78
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Re: Had heart attack whilst on bike - advice on getting back on the saddle

Postby Damo78 » 18 Sep 2018, 10:50pm

It would appear they still suggest those at risk, i.e. with the type of cholesterol I have, and the enhanced risk due to having suffered a heart attack, continue taking it. My Dad's situation I mentioned above though is slightly more difficult - he's at risk due to having already suffered a heart attack, but I understand he doesn't have high cholesterol, hence he's refused to take them. There are plenty of other medicines he is on (mostly the same as mine) to reduce the risk of another attack, I'm not convinced all are necessary. I went in (supposed to be) taking the one tablet (i.e. the statin), and have come out with 6 (plus the GTN).

From my own experience, when I was younger I would find the cholesterol was more controlled when I was taking them, but if I got a bit forgetful and didn't take them, then went for my next blood test, it would increase.

However, then there is the question of whether the high cholesterol causes heart disease and blocked arteries. I do find it coincidental that both my Mum and myself have had the attacks after stopping the statins, but then my Dad doesn't have cholesterol at all so his was certainly not related to cholesterol.

All very confusing, but I think for now I'll continue with the statins and monitor my cholesterol levels.