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  • young athlete told my "heart tissue is thickened" Worried :(

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    Old 03-13-2007, 12:26 PM   #1
    ktcardio's Avatar
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    Question young athlete told my "heart tissue is thickened" Worried :(

    Hi, I'm 32 yrs old and just had an Echo done and 24 hr monitor. I decided to go to the doc bc I have been getting nighttime palpitations for years. I wake up in the middle of the night with rapid heart beat that will not calm down for an hour or two sometimes. I have realized this may be associated with drinking alcohol most of the time. I am going to be checked for thyroid problems, as well, since I also have nighttime sweats a lot.

    The doc said my holter monitor came back normal, although I didn't have the palpitations that night. My Echo, however, he said came back showing "thickness of the chamber walls," or something to that effect. He said the structure of the heart looks very good, with no calcium build up on the tissues but it did show some thickness. He then asked if I've ever had rhemotic fever or a bad respiratory infection. I haven't. He said this is common with Mitral Valve but I don't have that either.

    My question is.... He didn't say I have a "disease" or tell me to do anything about it. He just said simply to "keep an eye on it with another echo at some point." He didn't say when to do this. I am going to call him when he gets back to the office THurs to ask.

    But now I am worried I have a disease and have read about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and wonder if I have the start of that, or what???? He never mentioned those words to me or that I had to worry. Just that there was thickness of tissues or chambers.

    Anyway, I am an athlete and I workout vigeorously every day. Now I have this on the back of my mind that I could die or it could get worse. I know I just have to call the doc back but until then, could anyone let me know if I should really worry for now that I have a disease?? Would the doc have said so if I needed treatment or had to do anything different with my workouts or lifestyle?? I am very anxious about this.


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    Old 03-13-2007, 12:47 PM   #2
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    Re: young athlete told my "heart tissue is thickened" Worried :(

    1st of all , thickening of the heart is not uncommon in athletes , remember , it is a muscle . Cardio myopathy is not a common disease and it can usually be diagnosed through an echo . Ask your doc about the gradient .

    Also , drinking does crank up the heart rate , so be careful .

    Are the palps fast and erratic or just fast ?

    I would also cut back caffeine as well as attempt to chart what sort of things were going on the day that you get these . Foods , alcohol, stress , can all contribute .

    Old 03-13-2007, 04:02 PM   #3
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    Re: young athlete told my "heart tissue is thickened" Worried :(

    Hi ktcardio,

    For a perspective, there is a pathologically enlarged heart and an athlete's enlarged heart.

    A pathologically enlarged heart, wall thickening, and increase in heart rate is the system's method to compensate for an underlying cause that hinders normal blood flow and output. The hypertrophy enables the heart to increase blood output for a short time, but eventually it will increase to a size that is detrimental, and there will be heart failure without treatment. The condition would be dilated hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

    An athlete's heart is not pathological and the enlargement enables more cardiac output with each stroke. The strength of contractions are increased as well, and the evidence would be a slow heart rate at rest.

    It may be the doctor isn't sure about any dx, and wants to see a later echo to see if there is any progression. Also what the doctor sees may be condition that is normal for you.

    Last edited by started04; 03-13-2007 at 04:05 PM.

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