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Old 06-04-2013, 01:20 PM   #1
Damon Greenfield
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Crossfit and Heart Damage

Im curious to know if there have been many studies with keeping track of crossfitters blood work that deals with the heart.

I was on my way home the other day when my vision went whacky on my. It felt like my left eye vision was melting . Everything in my left eye became distorted. I didnt have any other symptoms what so ever. It resolved itself in about 30 seconds, but I went to the hospital anyway, and they took blood and an EKG. The blood showed a increase of Troponin ( heart enzyme) Mine as around 7.5 and went down to 6.5 later that evening. They also said my Creatnine was up a little bit but not super high.

So they did all these tests on my , echocardiogram, the cradiologist even felt a stress test was not needed but instead went right to do a catheter on me.
All in all he said my heart arteries were fine, slight narrowing, about 10 to 20 % and said no worries until about 70 %.
My echocardiogram came back as me having some slight leaky valves in my heart but once again so minor, that there is no cause for any alarm.
They kept me in ICU for two days, put me on Plavix and a Beta blocker

I just dont get what is going on. I have done crossfit for years. I have had echocardiograms done before and they never mentioned leaky valves.
He wasnt happy with my ekg either because he said after my heart beats, the quick rest it takes didnt look quite right either, but that was only one 1 of the 4 leads that they take, which they said also isnt a concern.

I have had EKG done before and no one has ever said this stuff.

He told me to settle it down some, and stop putting such stress on my heart. I have always felt good after my work outs, after I recover, but never had any pains, or heart symptoms .
I am 40 years old, and I guess my work outs need to start being toned down.

I have been trying to find any information online about Troponin levels and Athletes.
The only thing I have found was with Long distance marathon runners having increased troponin enzyme levels.

This really sucks, because I now need to redo my entire thought process when I go work out and keep my heart rate down more.

Has any one else ever had such heart issues and these enzymes ? I know my work out partner had heart work done and his troponin was elevated also.
Maybe this is normal, but is it truly safe and are we causing long term damage to our hearts if we are going all out all the time like this.
Damon M/38/185#/5'8"/ CF L1 Certified
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:19 AM   #2
Mark Ritchie
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Re: Crossfit and Heart Damage

My only advice would be to see a doctor who is experienced with athletes and sports for a second opinion and specific recommendations.
Mark Ritchie
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:24 AM   #3
Dean Cookson
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Re: Crossfit and Heart Damage

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV/The Internet/anywhere else.

What you described sounds to me like a retinal or ocular migraine: (WFS).

I've had one, once in my life, but it freaked me the heck out. Basically, pieces of my visual field in one eye disappeared for 10 minutes then came back. Never recurred but my eye doc said it was nothing to worry about.

Something to explore, anyway...

Last edited by Dean Cookson : 07-18-2013 at 10:25 AM. Reason: Spelling is hard
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:52 AM   #4
Brent Latimer
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Re: Crossfit and Heart Damage

Sounds like an ocular migraine as well. Also not a doctor.

I get them 3-4 times a year. Sometimes triggered by bright light (sun usually).

Vision is obscured by 'sparkles' which make it hard to focus on anything. I usually sit in a dark room or cover my eyes for 15 minutes to reduce the ensuing headache.

Worth mentioning to your doctor.

As for the heart stuff, not much experience there.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:59 AM   #5
Jonathan Compton
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Re: Crossfit and Heart Damage

Another ocular migraine guy here. Started ~15 years ago...freaked me out then. Would describe it as "going blind" from the focal point out...(although have since had them from the peripheral in ("tunnel vision"). Have been checked out by eye doctors and regular doctors, but same story, "nothing to worry about". Current doctor advised to take "excedrin migraine" at first signs of it. Guess I'll try that.

Currently, am dealing with exercise-induced headaches which may or may not be related. Oh, and a year ago, had my first "regular" migraine. That was fairly awful.

(Man, getting old sucks...)
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:57 PM   #6
Dean Cookson
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Re: Crossfit and Heart Damage

Originally Posted by Jonathan Compton View Post
(Man, getting old sucks...)
Beats the alternative...
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:00 AM   #7
Will Seavey
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Re: Crossfit and Heart Damage

Not a doctor, I'm a clinical pharmacist and work in cardiology with a cardiology practice.

1. A troponin is a cardiac specific enzyme. When it is elevated there has been myocardial (heart muscle) damage. It has nothing to do with any other body system. This would not be elevated secondary to exercise unless the heart has reduced oxygen supply, this doesn't happen to a healthy individual without some underlying disease or extreme conditions (not crossfit). This is usually caused by a blockage in the arteries from atherosclerosis, which the heart cath you had essentially ruled out. Another possible cause is a coronary artery spasm, which is definitely a possibility for you, but I can't make that diagnosis.

2. Good that there are no blockages, you don't have heart disease.

3. I would investigate Prinzmetal's angina (spasm of coronary arteries) which is associated with migraine headaches and causes elevated troponin levels/heart damage in younger people without other risk factors.

4. Make an appointment with a cardiologist ASAP to discuss your diagnosis and how to fit crossfit into your life.

I hope this helps, I am not a cardiologist, but this can give you some things to look into.
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