Heart Doctor says no more weightlifting / Vagal Nerve
01-11-2012 11:51 AM
Heart Doctor says no more weightlifting / Vagal Nerve
I am 45 years old, been training off and on for 20 years. In the last couple years I have been having Fatigue that I have never experienced before, I recently went to my PCP and told him about the way I am feeling. It has got to the point that when I do a set and rack the weight my heart is racing and I feel dizzy and way out of breath, more so that normal.. My PCP put a heart monitor on me and had me go workout, so he could see what my heart was doing under a load, he called me at home after I took it back and he read it. He said my heart was pausing and I need to see a heart specialist about my Arrythemia. I went on 1/9/12 and he told me when I lift I am activating my Vagal Nerve, which when activated it slows my heartrate and lowers my blood pressure quite a bit. He said this is what I am experiencing in the Gym and I need to stop lifting immediately, he ordered a heart monitor for me to wear for two weeks to see exactly what my heart is doing 24 hrs. a day. He said it was ok for me to do cardio, but to not lift anything over 50 lbs. This has been a HUGE blow for me personally, because like alot of us here at AM, lifting is my Antidepressant and what has got me through alot of things in life. I am throwing this out to everyone here to see if anyone can offer any advice or experience with this condition.. I have googled quite a bit about this , but have yet to find a cure or treatment.
01-11-2012 12:30 PM
Stay strong man, wait it out and do the cardio only. Its not worth risking your life. Hopefully when the doc gets the full results he'll be able to fix what's wrong and you'll be able to get back into the weights again.
01-14-2012 08:15 AM
Thanks MBeast, I guess this is really out of the ordinary. Alot of views, but no responses. Come on guys, help me out......
01-14-2012 11:13 AM
It is out of the ordinary for sure man, but maybe talk to the doc and see if you can do some really light weight work (like.... 25-50% of what you would normally) just so you can enjoy it.
01-15-2012 02:52 PM
When my cardiologist figured out I had an enlarged heart, and it was pretty enlarged, it was like the end of the world....you're gonna die, you need a heart transplant, yada yada yada.....they always go overboard and the sky is all of a sudden falling. Then with more educated opinions from cardiologists from renowned hospitals, it was not so bad as it was made out to be. More of a thing that could be managed with medicine, just take your scripts and don't fuq around. I started working out again 6 months after diagnosis.....light weights, then worked into medium weights as well.....was hard at first, but as the years went by got easier and easier until it felt just about normal. Just no really heavy squats or compound movements....I keep it at 8 reps minimum and try for double digit rep weight. which was fine for me, since I always did well on light/medium weights ANYWAY. what I'm trying to say is, go to a hospital with a nationally known cardiology dept and see a doctor who knows his shyt. who can give you a legit diagnosis and he can put you on the appropriate meds for you particular problem....and can advise you what you should and should not do. there is NO WAY a doctor should tell "don't work out" or "don't lift weights"....those are the two WORST pieces of advice. w/o some cardio or light weights your heart and overall health and body can only get WORSE. They more so don't want you lifting crazy weights or going apeshyt in the gym. Now all heart problems are different and have different protocols to manage them....but becoming sedentary? how could that help? I'd shop around until you get actual sound advice.....not some end of the world apocalypse diagnosis.....
01-15-2012 03:36 PM
I know athletes in general have increased cardiac vagal tone so they tend to have slower heart rates. I have heard anecdotal stories from cardiologists of serious endurance athletes (i.e. competitive marathoners and triathletes) having this to the extreme so that the "heart slow" vagal tone was so strong that the normal "heart fast" sympathetic tone was unable to compensate during exercise. Basically the body can't respond to exercise in the normal way (heart pumps faster and harder, blood vessels dilate, etc) gas exchange starts to fall behind, and you get the symptoms you describe.
Some of these people benefit from medications to block vagal tone (stuff like atropine), pacemakers, or defibrillators.
I am no expert on the topic, my knowledge is all anecdotal from cardiologists and electrophysiologists that I know. You need to go see a cardiac electrophysiologist (a special kind of cardiologist). I'm sure they will have something to offer and hopefully you will be able to get back to lifting.
01-15-2012 03:59 PM
I know I was tested as to whether or not I needed a defibrillator and they said it was not necessary, and both sides of my heart were EQUALLY fuqed up, so no need for a pacemaker of course since neither side would benefit.....no transplant of course since I blew away all the treadmill stress tests like I was a 21 year old (original doctors overreacted but were later overruled by the doc who knew WTF he was doing)...the cardiologist in miami, and the people administering the tests, literally laughed out loud that the original cardiologist recommended me to them. I got off with a few prescriptions.....sounds like the OP would benefit from some of these options though...maybe all three.....
01-15-2012 04:29 PM
I evidently didnt put in the Dr. full recommendation, he said I could do cardio and I could lift light weights for now, no more than fifty pounds until I get the Heart Monitor. He wants to see what is going on 24/7 for a couple weeks before moving forward. My original Heart Dr. who I explained all this too about two months ago on a yearly ck. up, just blew it off as no big deal. I stressed to him about the way I have been feeling, which is not normal for myself. As I stated above my PCP caught the pause by DOING something about my concerns and when he said I need to see a Heart Specialist, he said no my current heart Dr. and recommened this one who specializes in Arrythmeias, so I am going to go with what he says for now... I also feel I may have sleep apnea, according to my wife. I snore alot and very loudly, I discussed this with the new DR. and he said the Heart monitor he and my insurance company are arguing over right now, will be able to tell him if I am having sleep apnea readings. He immediately said sleep apnea could cause the Arrythmeia, and the overall fatigue. Getting older is so much fun.........
Originally Posted by WARBIRDWS6
01-15-2012 04:33 PM
The Dr. told me he is treating a long distance bike rider at the moment with exactly what u described.......
Originally Posted by adnscmplx
01-15-2012 04:45 PM
well at least he recommended you doing cardio/light weights (and you can always throw in a little medium weights )......which is not bad at all. Some doctors panic and tell you to go lay down all day and don't do ANYTHING, they especially say no to ANY weights (light or not)......but I know when talking arrhythmia's my cardiologists were thinking defibrillator, that is if they think this is a potential problem going forward. I guess they know whether its a problem or its not, and only certain people need this. I'm sure your specialist will know, hopefully he is competent. sometimes you get these yahoo's....most cardiologists are OK though....just many overreact, which is not good for the patient. Safety first is good, but don't panic the patient with all the negative gloom and doom talk. "you can't do this and that" and "you'll never do this again" is such bullshyt....Hate it when they do that......
01-17-2013 12:30 AM
Don't have any experience but just wanted to say good luck man, i feel for you
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