Bodybuilding and BAV!

Help Support ValveReplacement.org:

T

taranjit

another question to Rob,
did you have any heart valve or other heart related condition before you suddenly one day encountered dissection problem?? I am asking because I am wondering if your dissection problem happened because you were born (or had acquired) with an imperfect heart valve (like mine) aggravated by heavy lifting, or it was an isolated incident...
You can tell I do not know much about 'dissection'...
 

RobThatsMe

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 11, 2001
Messages
1,439
Location
USA - TN
Hi Taranjit,
1. What is a dissection / aneruysm?

An aneurysm is a balloon-like swelling which develops in the wall of a weakened blood vessel.

The aorta is the largest artery in the body. It starts at the heart and passes through the chest to the abdomen.

Aortic aneurysms can develop anywhere along the aorta. Once an aneurysm has started to develop, it slowly grows in diameter over a period of several years.

As an aneurysm grows larger, the wall of the artery thins. When the strength of the aneurysm wall becomes too weak the wall can break, resulting in a ruptured aneurysm.

Blood loss from a ruptured aneurysm is usually large and rapid. In most cases, aortic aneurysms cause no symptoms until they rupture; at which point they cause sudden, severe abdominal and/or back pain, sometimes loss of consciousness, and shock due to severe blood loss.

Despite best efforts, most patients die soon after aneurysm rupture.

What causes AORTIC ANEURYSMS?

The exact cause of aortic aneurysms has been difficult to identify with certainty. Although it is thought that family history (Of all patients with aortic aneurysms, approximately 20% are eventually found to have a family member that was, or is, also affected.), smoking, hypertension, and high blood cholesterol are probably the most important risk factors, it is not yet clear how these factors interact to cause the development of aneurysms.

Once an aortic aneurysm is known to be present, the best guides to its risk of rupture are size, progressive growth, or any symptoms that might suggest the aneurysm is dangerously close to rupturing.

Who is most at risk?

Although aneurysms cut across race and gender, they are ranked in the top ten causes of death for white males over 55.

2. Who orders them? Your doctor will have to request that you have a CT or MRA. These are done on an out-patient basis at a hospital. Many people are now having full body scans as a general health precautionary reading.

3. How are they found? Dissections and Aneurysms are best found via a CT or MRA.

4. Any other weight lifting advice to be careful of while lifting.

Yes. Breathe Correctly! The 2 exercises that put the most strain on the circulartory system are Squats and Leg Press. DO NOT hold your breath while doing these exercises. The strain on your circulartory system is tremendous doing these exercises and can / will cause a balloning or tear,(dissection), in your arteries if you have any existing weakspots. Holding your breathe makes it worse.

My doctors also told me to get off all suppliments. They still do not know what caused my dissection, and write it off as a " congenital tissue disorder". I mainly took Creatine, MegaMass, and some Amino Acids.

I personally know of an other competitive weight lifter that had to retire, not only from lifting but from work. The doctors are not going to operate due to the severity. He knows he is on borrowed time.

Obviously there are many people that do not have this problem, but if you have any heart disease issues, I would strongly reccommend that you consult with your doctors before jumping back into heavy lifting, and get throughly checked out.

It was a very hard thing for me to do when I went back to the gym and only used 45 lbs for my rountines. I cheat alittle now and go up to 65 lb.. IT still is humiliating to use these weights in my mind when I let my vanity take over. MY doctor told me, " All you have to do is look into the morror at your scar as a reminder..that in itself should be a strong warning that it could happen again". He is right. I would much rather continue living and enjoying the world around me as apposed to looking buff and kealing over, no longer to be a part of this wonderful world.

You may want to go and check on some other sites for additional information. Go to some hospital sites like the Mayo clinci and do a "search" on aneurysms and dissections. Or just go out onto the web and do a "search" for dissections or aneurysms. There is little documeted information on them, since there are so few of us left living to study.

A great site for general information is one for folks with Marfans syndrome. This is a disease that generally weakens the arteries and those that have it, are very susseptable to aneurysms and dissections.

The site address is:

http://www.marfan.org/pub/emergency.html

Hope this helps,

Rob
RobThatsMe@aol.com
 

Granbonny

Beloved Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2002
Messages
5,710
Location
Georgia
Heart Catherization

Heart Catherization

Is the only way to go if you think you have an Aneurysm. I went thru Cat scans, Mri's, echo's..ect..but not until I went into the hospital for Heart Catherization..did my Cardiologist find my large Aneurysm..3 days later..surgery and now 8 months later..feeling great...No symptons..before hand..Just a feeling of depression..My wonderful brother-in-law died 11 years before during the same month I had my surgery with a ruptured Aneurysm..Sitting in bed reading a National Geo. Magazine. Left my sister and 2 teenage boys..Don't put things off if your Cardiologist want to do certain test. Bonnie
 
G

greggo32

Taranjit

Taranjit

My words come from a position of caring for all people who are going to undergo or who have underwent heart surgery. Taranjit, I am not calling You insane. It is the behavior and the negotiating process (with yourself) that must be addressed. I wish you the best in the journey of life. Often, sacrifices need to be made to enable one to live a better life. I agree with everyone that you need to follow the advice of your trained medical doctors. Also, most people who exercise intensely (me being one of the folks who use to do so!!!) experience an addiction to the endogenous opiates that our bodies produce. Remember, don't kill the messenger. Your life is more important than body building. I cannot let you target me or my words when the real issue is you doing the job of taking care of your physical health. Be well and take care of yourself...

Best Wishes,
 
T

taranjit

another question to Rob,
did you have any heart valve or other heart related condition before you suddenly one day encountered dissection problem?? I am asking because I am wondering if your dissection problem happened because you were born (or had acquired) with an imperfect heart valve (like mine) aggravated by heavy lifting, or it was an isolated incident...
You can tell I do not know much about 'dissection'...
 

RobThatsMe

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 11, 2001
Messages
1,439
Location
USA - TN
Hi Taranjit,

I found out after my emergency surgery that my heart valve "Did not look right" from my heart surgeon. Prior to that I had no idea or indication that I had a congenital problem with my heart valve.

Rob
 
T

taranjit

Hi Rob,
thanks again for info... I read a little about aortic dissection and aneurysm from the sources you provided... It seems to me that both these problems are related to aortic root (aorta), which could be anywhere near heart all the way to abdomen... Correct me if I am wrong, but to me it seems that although dissection and aneurysm are two different extreme conditions, both stem from 'enlargement of aorta' anywhere - near heart or away (e.g. abdomen area)... So if one monitors the aortic root diameter, and make sure it is not higher than 5-6cm, one should be fine?? I checked my echo reports, and all of them have this measurement... for the last 6 years since my BAV was detected, this for me is staying around 4cm or less.. no significant change in its dimensions... but I will check with my cardiologist on these conditions during my next visit...

as Bonnie pointed out, echos can sometimes miss those things.. only catherization can detect it...

I really appreciate all this info...

thanks once again...
taranjit
 

MarkU

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 22, 2001
Messages
1,057
Location
Sarasota, FL
Just wanted to check in on the orginal topic. I had been an avid bodybuilder/weightlifter prior to my AVR. After my surgery I had a several discussions with my cardiologist regarding my exercise program. What we agreed to was weight lifting was okay as long as I stayed away from max lifting and concentrated on moderate weights with high reps. He also asked me to spend 50% of my time at the gym doing aerobic exercise.
So far so good. I have lost some of my bulk, but I feel good. I was at a point in my life (49) where I needed to start being more careful anyway as my joints are getting stiffer and more fragile with age.

Mark
 
T

taranjit

thanks Mark,
that's all I wanted to hear... It sounds like as long as I am doing 8+ reps for a set, I should be OK.. and this is what I currently do anyways, with may be 2% times doing <4 reps for a set which I will stop doing afterwards... and perhaps increase 8+ reps to 12+ reps...

How much has your strength come down?? e.g. if you were doing 100lbs for a given exercise for say 12 reps, how much weight for the same exercise can you handle for 12 reps now?? In percentage, e.g. 20% less strength than before??

How about size? In percentage, e.g. 20% less muscle than before??

thanks for your feedback...
taranjit
 
T

taranjit

thanks Mark,
that's all I wanted to hear... It sounds like as long as I am doing 8+ reps for a set, I should be OK.. and this is what I currently do anyways, with may be 2% times doing <4 reps for a set which I will stop doing afterwards... and perhaps increase 8+ reps to 12+ reps...

How much has your strength come down?? e.g. if you were doing 100lbs for a given exercise for say 12 reps, how much weight for the same exercise can you handle for 12 reps now?? In percentage, e.g. 20% less strength than before??

How about size? In percentage, e.g. 20% less muscle than before??

thanks for your feedback...
taranjit
 

MarkU

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 22, 2001
Messages
1,057
Location
Sarasota, FL
taranjit,

I do 8-10 reps per set with a weight I can lift comfortably until the last couple of reps. I gave up squats and heavy leg presses altogether but still bench press. I year before my surgery I was bench pressing up to 300 lbs., lifting to failure for five sets. I now do about 180 lbs. 10 reps/ 3-5 sets.
I do each body part once/week, but do at least 30 minutes of aerobic work everyday.
My diet has also been a lot better since my surgery and I've lost about 10-15 pounds over the past year.
I like I said before, I was getting to an age where heavy weights were getting to be a problem anyway with my joints (shoulders, knees, and elbows) so my new routine is probably better for both my heart and the rest of my body too.
I still wear a size 44 coat and shirts with 17" collars, but they are not quite as snug as they used to be.
I was bit concerned about being on Coumadin when I first went back to the gym, not it has not been a factor at all.
In the year after my surgery, the slight LVH that I had developed prior to surgery has reduced significantly, which my doctor attributes to my increased aerobic work.
My best advice would be to discuss things with your doctor. Every case is different and you need to make sure that you're in safe territory. Fortunately mine has been very supportive.

Good luck,
Mark
 

BillCobit

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 4, 2002
Messages
510
Location
:-)
MRI and heart implants

MRI and heart implants

Al - Some implants contain ferrous metals (like stainless steel), so manufacturers of those advise against MRI. Not sure what the impact is (valve ripped out... to functionional interference) but nothing on that spectrum would be any good. If you're interested, check out this bulletin from Edwards Life Sciences that describes recommendations and warnings by model #.

http://www.edwards.com/MedicalProfessionals/TechnicalProductInformation/MRI_US.pdf
 

Zeftonic

New member
Joined
May 1, 2021
Messages
1
I am currently living with both BAV and Bodybuilding, and to whom the idea of living without BOTH of them also does not sound too appealing... I mean, I know surgery could correct BAV but I have been told that I should forget competitive bodybuilding from now on... Please don't get me wrong - I very well respect the value of life and I know this beautiful life has a lot more to offer than just bodybuilding, but it surely is my passion... and I could not see myself happier to live with bodybuilding and without abnormal valve...

I am 33, and a competitive bodybuilder... In fact I started bodybuilding at the age of 27 until when I was a recreational marathon runner... Just when I decided to stop distance running and start bodybuilding to realize my childhood dream in 1996, in a routine checkup I was told by my doctor that I had a congenital BAV... and that I should do activities like running, etc rather than bodybuilding... But just 2 weeks of weight-training at that point had given me such a wonderful feeling that I decided to continue anyway.. then I grew from a skinny marathon runner to a brawny bodybuilder.... All along these 6 years my heart's function remained more or less the same (i.e. moderate reggurgitation, E.F. 60%+, L.V. (sys) ~ 5cm-5.5cm, L.V. (dys) ~4cm)... I did worsened although very slowly... Last December, (2001) the results were worsened to E.F. 56%, L.V. (sys) ~ 5.7, L.V. (dys) ~4.5cm... and even worse when I was preparing for a contest this summer in July'02 to E.F. <50%, L.V. (sys) 6.7cm, L.V. (dys) ~5cm... that was alarming and since then I have been on the watch list for surgery... Since I had worked so hard to compete, doctor let me continue at that time... I won one regional show and then in US Nationals qualifier, missed to qualify to compete in US nationals by just one spot in the most competitive class... Just when I was finally starting to realize my dreams I was told to stop altogether or do very little... Then for last 3 months, I took time off from training (not completely but quite a bit), and even took some herbal formulae along with getting it monitored by my cardiologist.... And last month I got echo again and numbers were somewhat better: E.F. ~55%+, L.V. (sys) ~ 5.8cm, L.V. (dys) <4.5cm.. that was done overseas.. My cardiologist here in US has agreed (on my request) to wait for a couple more months before heart catherization that he wanted to do... The results seems to have gotten better?? I had taken a lot of ephedrine/caffine during contest time and stressed my body really hard... I am not taking it now.. or that I am not working out as hard.. or may be these herbs are working to some extent... may be this improvement is a machine error/fluctuation.. or may be these results are correct but temporary... Whatever it is, I do realize that I am a few months to a year or so away from a valve replacement surgery... With this background, I wanted to know from you the following:

(1) I would love to keep bodybuilding and keep competing, if not before surgery, definitely after surgery... Please share your opinion... I know 95% of the responses would be negative... Although I would like to hear from all, but I am hoping to hear from someone who has been able to compete after the ordeal...

I thought of several other questions before, but this pretty much is the only real one... Once thru this, I will ask the other ones later...

thanks a lot everyone
Taranjit Singh
2002 Mr Monterey Bay, California

"I love bodybuilding - so much that I honestly fear the idea that it might be taken away from me one day."
I hope you are doing well... Its 2021.
I read your post 18 years ago...
 
Top