It would be so pleasing for me to say that if you handle that amount of exercise then there isn't a possible problem. I would really love to say that if you do that amount of exercise with no symptoms, then there cannot be a problem occurring with the heart. Sadly we all know this isn't true, we even see athletes in prime condition collapse. I'm sure with your family history and regular cholesterol checks, you have a Doctor who is keeping a good eye on you. Anyway, back to your question which is a very good one and one which I gave a lot of thought to some time back. I think before anyone ventures into a high activity lifestyle, they should have a Doctor perform some very basic tests, just to be on the safe side. Some people can exercise to extremes and feel great only to find after months or years later they are suddenly hit by fatigue. They blame diet again and again, trying to resolve the issue. All this time, their heart has been trying to adapt due to underlying disease and enlarged as a consequence. So much so that it has reached failure because the muscle is so weak. If I was in your shoes, I would ask your Doctor if he would recommend an echo, just to be on the safe side. This way you will know that your heart is in great shape to handle the stress and give you the required endurance. Some may say that I am going a bit overboard, but with a family history of heart issues and being a previous smoker I really don't think so. It would also give you great peace of mind, knowing your heart really is in good shape.
Thank you kindly for your response. And the time you put in to the reply. What prompted the inquiry was that it was right after the learning of my new calcium score. My Cardio told me this is somewhat normal to of increased from 225 at 75% percentile ranking to 416 at 90%percentile ranking for my age and gender in the 4 and1/2 yr period. (May2009-Nov2013). I had done the CT scan on my own as it was a super deal of a promo of 85 dollars and of course Medicare doesn't cover this. My next appt w/ the cardio is still the same as was already scheduled that being this coming up March 1st, 2014. I've had stress tests but haven't done the one on the treadmill in a good long while now. I was also curious in regards to the individual score sub totals? The LM is still at 0 as was before.. The LAD is 201 from 100.. The LCX actually lowered a small nth of a score from 77.36 to 76.00 and the RCA was at 48.99 and is now 139.00 My Cardio ddn't tell me me on the phone of the specific numbers but that the total was a usual increase
I put this in just for comparison: my Agatston Score two years ago was 1243, my LAD alone was 783 and if you are from Chicago you probably have heard about Swallow Cliffs in Palos - I can only make it to step 112 out of 125. After a Thallium Stress test the cardiologist told me: "You are ok. we only do Angiograms when something is blocked more than 70%." What I can't figure out is "how do he know"? But you have to take all this with a grain of salt. Remember Tim Russert, the NBC correspondent, his Score was only 217 and he had a heart attack and died.
It does seem Palos Swallow Cliff seems so much more challenging than scaling the staircase of a world top five skyscraper? It is interesting you brought up Mr. Russerts' score of 217. Read an article recently from Dr. Agatston himself that had a hypothetical stating that who is more likely to have a cardiac event? A:) A person who is overweight, blood pressure, diabetes and even high cholestrol but a calcium score of 0... OR B:) A person with no risk factors but a calcium score of over 400? His answer was B:)
As I have said many times before, calcium scoring is flawed anyway. It detects calcium and that's it. It's blind to soft fats and these are more dangerous than calcium. They knew this and so created a chart with ethnic groups/males and females in different categories. I still don't believe it is accurate in any sense. Patients with a score of zero were being given a good health report then suffering heart attacks. This is because they had soft fat lining the arteries which hadn't yet calcified and blocked the arteries. Can a stress test always find heart disease? no of course not. If you have a blocked artery you may open up some pretty wide collateral feeds giving a false impression of a clear heart. Even an ECG will not pick up such a situation. The trouble is they are all blind tests, down to interpretation. The only true conclusive test is to LOOK, to get inside the actual arteries and see what is going on.
Still wonder?. I actually enjoy exercising. Now I see the local Walgreen's Drug store here have these various watches for walking and running that test accurate EKG heart rate w/o a chest strap. I'm sure they have some merit but I'm a bit cynical of this. I had my first CT scan 4 and a half years ago because of high risk factors that resulted a score of only 226 and four years later scored at 416. Now the good doc tells me on the phone that this increase is somewhat normal for that time period. I see the Cardio this coming March 1st. In the meantime, what I am curious of, is the breakdown of figures of this increase. The LCx had very little change of around 77.. The LM is still at Zero... The LAD prior was at 100 and at present 201... And the RCA previously at 49 and now at 139..I really ain't too bright but does one artery increase rate amount might be of more concern than another. I'm just thinking all four arteries here might be mostly of equal importance. What I wonder is, where the numbers changed more than another of moderate or little change.. For instance, the LM hasn't changed and remain at zero whereas the RCA has almost tripled and the LAD has doubled??. Very Grateful for any shed of light on this ponder
If things are building up in your arteries, but you are still managing high levels of exertion, then you must be opening up collateral vessels which are tiny natural bypasses. Exercise is actually very good for promoting these. Even with a lot of plaque in the arteries, you can have a nuclear scan and it will appear absolutely normal if collaterals are opened.