CrossFit Discussion Board

CrossFit Discussion Board (
-   Injuries (
-   -   Enlarged heart (

Walter Edwards Wood 07-31-2006 07:31 PM

I am a 52 yoa white, overweight male. After following a low fat, high carbohydrate diet for years, I had an angioplasty with stint placement in the right coronary artery (which was more than 99% occluded) in Jan. 2001. At that time it was discovered that I had a bicuspid aortic valve with moderate regurgitation. I had been forbidden to perform resistance exercises, but did not strictly adhere to that protocol. I was doing well with a left ventricle measured at 67 cm. in Jan. 2006 when I began CrossFit. Despite good gains in fitness, two weeks ago my left ventricle measured 71 cm. and I was advised that valve replacement should follow if it increased in size to 75 cm. or greater. I am strictly forbidden to perform resistance exercises, but the fitness benefits of the CrossFit protocol makes me want to continue it in some (modified) form.
I have begun a high protein diet program as recommended by the Drs. Eades.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Kevin King 08-01-2006 02:43 AM


I am pleased that you want to improve your health. It is never too late to begin a new exercise or diet regimen to improve/preserve your health!

That said: I am an emergency physician and have seen a lot of patients with issues similar to yours on my gurney in full cardiac arrest. The outcome is rarely a happy one. You MUST seek advice from your cardiologist about the exercise regimen that is right for you. With any resistance exercise you run a significant risk of triggering a lethal arrhythmia (an electrical disturbance in your heart) that will trigger cardiac arrest. Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is generally fatal. Please do not perform any exercise that is not explicitly approved by your physician, the risks are just too great.

Crossfit is an extremely intense exercise program that incorporates a great deal of resistance exercise. I cannot recommend it for you under any circumstances unless YOUR physician approves it. However, you are right on the money by following a good diet. If you smoke, stop. Talk your cardiologist about the right exercise program for you. Best of luck and please let us know how everything goes for you!

-- Kevin

Mark Felger 08-02-2006 04:26 PM

Hi Walter. I agree with Kevin. It's hard to advise you without all the info.
I,m a cardiac surgeon with a good deal of experience in valvular disease. If your left ventricular diastolic dimension is greater then 7cm. then valve replacement is something you and your cardiologist should be talking about seriously. Read up on the Ross procedure and stentless/homograft root replacements. Educate yourself about the risks/benefits of coumadin. Most importantly, don;t wait until your LV function deteriorates. This will limit your surgical options and increase your perioperative risks. Just my two cents given the info at hand. Good luck.

Walter Edwards Wood 08-06-2006 08:29 PM

Dear Gentlemen,
Thank you both for your input. My lft. vent. was measured at 7.1 cm 2 1/2 weeks ago. My cardiologist said when it gets to 7.5 we will discuss valve replacement. My 'problem" is I went 11 mins. on my last treadmill test and jogged 3 mi. in 31 mins. this morning, results due IMHO in large part to CrossFit protocols. Now my cardiologist wants me to refrain from any resistance training at all, but my cardiac rehab nurse says sets of 15 and above should not be a problem. So I'm getting something of a mixed message. I've made an appt. w/ my family dr. for Tues. to see what he says.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:00 AM.

CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.