Sunday, March 07, 2010

What would you do if you are in my position???

Recently, I have been training quite hard for Aviva Half-Ironman. I know I am not ready - it is a long story, will explain it next time.
Today, after 90km cycle & 4km transition run, I was totally exhausted. Just now, while I was reading my papers, I felt my heart is beating weirdly. I decided to monitor it, and I was worried with my finding - my heart is beating irregularly. Shit!!! It is like missing a beat for every 4 or 13 or 5 counts. Damn it!
To make things worse, I have an existing heart problem (My valves are not working as well as it should be). Some doctors said it is minor, but my insurance premium is 70% higher because of this condition, and anything related to my heart will not be compensated. In another words, if I die of heart-attack, my insurance company will not pay anything.
I searched the net, and it was quite worrying for me. =(
If you experience a premature beat more than once every 20 to 30 minutes, however; or if you have an irregular heart rate, palpitations or pauses in your heartbeat, it's extremely important to see your physician. She can determine whether you may have a benign condition called athlete's heart or a more serious problem.
Some cardiac risk factors:
I. A history of fainting for no apparent reason, especially if the fainting occurred during or immediately after exercise.
2. Symptoms of an irregular heartbeat, palpitations, skipped beats or fluttering heartbeat either when resting or exercising.
3. A close blood relative who died suddenly before the age of 55, or a family history of early coronary heart disease, high cholesterol, Marfan's syndrome or enlarged heart.
4. A family or personal history of seizures.
5. You are a male over age 40 or a female over 50, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you have a medical evaluation before you begin an exercise program.

An irregular heart rate, or arrhythmia, can be caused by many different factors. These include smoking, too much caffeine and coronary artery disease. Experiencing an irregular heart rate only during or after exercise may be a sign of a very specific and life-threatening problem: catecholarminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT).
.Exercise and CPVT
CPVT is a genetically based heart condition where mutations in the ryanodine receptor, a cardiac protein, causes problems with the regulation of calcium. An increase in calcium in the heart causes an irregular heart rate, a problem that can be deadly.Irregular Heart Rate
People with CPVT have normal heart rates when at rest. When epinephrine and other catecholamines produced by the body during exercise or stress encounter the heart of a person with this protein mutation, however, it causes a sudden irregular heart rate. This condition is so serious that exercise can cause sudden death for someone with CPVT.

An irregular heart rate after exercise could be a sign of other heart conditions. A imbalance of electrolytes such as potassium or sodium could cause an irregular heart rate after exercise. Excessive smoking or caffeine consumption could also cause a postexercise arrhythmia. Also, exercise is a form of stress, and excessive exercise can cause in irregular heart rate.

This is really frustrating and worrying!
There are so many causes to irregular heartbeat.
I do not want to die jus because of I want to challenge my physical limit.
That's sheer stupidity!!


Yingel said...

I think it is better to consult a doctor, either arrest the problem early or if it is nothing serious, helps to put your mind at ease too. Take care!

Boon said...

Just saw a doctor (GP) and did a ECG scan. As it is a heart problem, he referred to heart specialist. =(

ECG scan did detect irregularities in heartbeats, and based on that it is Benign, but the doctor is not sure what will happen if my heart is under stress (like extreme exercise). Given my existing heart problem, it complicates things further.

The GP recommendation is to skip the half-ironman competition. =(

Thanks for your concern.

karenthecat said...

go consult a specialist! we're not young anymore! better to be safe than sorry!

Chong said...

s a medic, i think u will probably undergo a treadmill test. ideally, the hrt specialist will clear u for the tri. if not, you'll probably have to make a judgment call. afterall, we know our body the best. hope everything turns out well!