Fifty Plus (50+) - VHD, anyone?
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04-21-12, 07:33 PM
That would be valvular heart disease which includes aortic stenosis, aortic regurgitation, mitral stenosis, mitral regurgitation, in any combination, either pre- or post-operative.
I would like to hear of your experience with it.
No links please. I have the pertinent literature ensconced on my iPad. And no medical advise, either. As my cardiologist said, "I'm sorry, your days of competitive cycling are over". "Doc, my days of competitive cycling never started".
But I would love for you to share your travails, if you would.
04-21-12, 07:38 PM
No experience and don't want same.
04-21-12, 09:19 PM
By the way, for those who must inject partisan rancor into every thread on this forum: my cardiologist is a Republican; the echo tech is a blue dog Democrat. She did not commit to who she was going to vote for, but I didn't ask her either.
Cardiovascular surgeons (the ones with the correct political persuasions, anyway) and their teams do some amazing stuff these days. Hope you don't need to ride down that road.
You didn't mention valvular vegetation, which sounds like a yardcare problem.
Two damaged valves from rheumatic fever when I was 4 years old. I've had two specialist tell me to keep on cycling because it appears to be helping.
But I do have to keep an eye on my EIA ... EIA symptoms are similar to the symptoms (i.e. shortness of breath) I might experience if developed congestive heart failure, and congestive heart failure is a possibility (vague) with my damaged valves. If my inhalers seem to stop working, it's time to visit the Dr.
Interestingly the symptoms of congestive heart failure are similar to the symptoms of DVT, which I recently discovered (during a 2-week stay in hospital with DVT) that I have a genetic predisposition toward.
Fortunately, for all of this ... exercise helps. Cycling, walking, hiking, weightlifting, and being active in general. And these things haven't stopped me from racing 24-hour races and being involved in long distance cycling.
So check with your Dr, then get out there and ride.
04-24-12, 06:53 PM
Wow! I've always admired your dedication to cycling, and the fact that you are able to do so with significant medical issues is a source of great encouragement to me!
I broke down and got my stress echo last week, primarily because I just wasnt feeling well and I wanted to know if my heart was the problem. I passed the stress part without difficulty, but the echo clearly showed moderate mitral regurgitation, meaning that when my heart beats, a sizable portion of it leaks backwards. This would tend to reduce my cardiac output compared to what I might have been capable of with a nonleaky valve.
Whether this affects my VO2max is a question to which I don't know the answer. I would guess that it does. Just a guess.
I asked the doc if I had to stop cycling, and he said no, but that I couldn't compete *chuckle*. I was flattered that he thought I was capable of it.
I got into the literature and found this graph, which I reproduce without permission:
Dynamic refers to how fast your heart has to beat, and static refers to how much resistance it must beat against. Interestingly, cycling scores high in both, as you can see.
For me it's a weird win-win situation. As best I can tell, I don't need to limit my riding. OTOH, no one expects a cardiac patient to go fast. It's a built in excuse for just being slow.
It makes me feel better about my Strava rankings as of late. My only KOM is up my driveway now.
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