Arrhythmia and Sudden Adult Death Syndrome
When I went home for Christmas this year, my dad told me that I needed to get checked out to see if I have cardiac arrhythmia, and what my chances of suffering sudden adult death syndrome are. (I have a family history of cardiac problems.) A few short days later, Phil O'Donnell, captain of Motherwell F.C., collapsed on pitch and died of cardiac arrest - which really drove the message home.
I've been out of town, so I haven't been able to see my GP, but first thing on Monday I'll be making an appointment.
So anyway, does anybody here know anything about training and competing when you have an irregular heartbeat? Looking around on the web, it seems that most kinds of irregularities are not too bad, but being diagnosed with long QT is pretty much game over as far as competitive sports go.
I'm going to get checked out properly, and any instruction I get from a cardiologist will trump anything you guys have to say (no offence), but if anybody has any advice I'd appreciate it.
Last edited by CrackFox; 1/05/2008 6:10pm at .
Never heard of "Sudden Adult Death Syndrome" but that probably means they decided to give it a name. There is a cause of sudden death called "R on T Phenomena". This occurs when an irregular beat (usually ventricular) hits at the wrong moment of the electrical impulse of a normal beat. It interrupts normal conduction and the result is the heart goes into fibrillation.
If there's a history of cardiac arrythmias in the family, it is well worth getting a definitive diagnosis. R on T is very rare but the odds go up if you have a chronic arrythmia.
I severely overtrained some years ago and woke up with my Heart pounding at 3 beats a second. I was aghast (make that "Sh1t Scared") so went to the GP and waited over 2 hours to see him. He seemed impressed and said, "You must be Fit". A puzzling comment but perhaps he meant that apart from obvious concern that the phenomenal rate of heart beat, I was not sweating buckets.
Anyway, I left it for 2 weeks and then re-started Circuit Training. Shortly afterwards, I was back the Doctor's but this time I'd added Heart Murmur to the amazing Palpitations.
The upshot was that I was referred to the local Cardiologist at the Royal Free Hospital, who used me as a teaching example to his students and starting talking about "Heart Block". This got my attention, so he pacified me saying that the term used was not quite what I thought. Thank **** for that.
I won't go much further but will add that this condition persisted for some 7 months. I thought (at fairly frequent intervals) that I was going to Drop Dead without warning. Eventually the condition righted itself and the Cardio-Man told me that he would dispense with surgery (too right, in my Mind) but should I get a recurrence, to go straight to A&E, where my file would be accessed and appropriate Treatment commenced.
2 Weeks later, I went back to Circuit training and found that my fitness level had collapsed (of course it had!). I sweated buckets during the Warm Up and found everything was difficult and often beyond me. My Recovery period was ridiculous and I persuaded myself that the palpitations had returned so I presented myself 5 days later at A&E. After the tests, they said I was OK and had no sign of the enzymes that they were looking for.
I re-started Circuits the following month and took it slowly until I had a notional level of Fitness and with commensurate Recovery periods.
Take your Doctors/Specialists advice seriously and take your Time. They are the Experts. Don't beat yourself up and don't worry more than necessary. If competition is no longer for you, then try to accept it and not worry. After sufficient Time has elapsed, you can always ask for further advice.
Hope this helps.
Eddie, are you on NHS? How fast are they at getting referrals and stuff like that? I'm originally from Ireland, but I'm living in the UK now, and I haven't really experienced the whole health care thing here first hand yet.
Back home, it's been my experience that for stuff that's not urgent, it can take ages to see a specialist - even if you're on private insurance.
Well, my old Uncle Eamonn refused to call out the doctor (I'm talking Co. Limerick) on the grounds that it would cost him too much £Money. Sad story but eventually he was found to suffer from a terminal Brain Tumour. Yes, London born but obvious links to the "Ould Country". I am fully aware that in Ireland, you are required to pay (and for Uni).
Originally Posted by CrackFox
NHS. It can take time between your being seen by a GP and then referred to a Specialist. Time as in being some months between the 2. This can be a concern as you may find that the intervening period can be stressful depending on your state of Mind.
The Cardio problem was more drawn out than that given above; it was also a few years ago. From a training injury early last year, my GP referred me to the Royal Free physio dept and I was encouraged to make my own appointment albeit with the GP Letter of authority. Still, it took another Month to be seen. Obviously had I been flush with cash, I would have taken the direct and private route, still, I'm no longer young but still believe in the principles of the NHS (God bless it).
I won't say too much more, you should be OK with a GP recognising that the old days of turning up on Spec after work are long gone. You need to make an appointment and then take time off work to get there for your 5 mins. In short, it helps to know in advance if you're going to be ill. Don't mean to be sarcastic as I think the utmost of medical professionals and their human qualities and values.
Every good wish.