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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Doc Okie Dokie,

    How do we prevent it? What's the one or two tests that we all need to take to determine if we have hidden problem or not.

    Is it the EKG test? Electrocardiography - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    fc
    Francis:

    I've done all those tests. Had an EKG and X-rays done after I experienced chest pains after Sea Otter this year. Ended up being nothing ("muscular strain" was the final diagnosis - yeah, no sh*t! ), but the real test was taking my blood pressure - it was extremely high before I started taking medication.

    Annual physicals and blood work is critical, and follow-up with your doctor. You can't tell if you have a cholesterol issue just by looking in the mirror. Early detection of cancer (especially testicular) is really critical. Pre-diabetes can also be an issue - especially for us Filipinos.

    Like I said, I would've never known I needed HBP medication if my wife didn't nag me to get checked out. But, like Dexter says, "It's all in the blood..."

    My last blood work I checked everything - liver functions, lipids, cholesterol, platelet count, testosterone levels, folates, iron, vitamin b-12, and just an all-out metabolic panel.

    It was nice to hear my doctor go through all of these things and explain why they were important. Also, if there was an issue, I could get treatment. The alternative is doing nothing, and therefore knowing nothing.

    I shared this before, but recently I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. What I was experiencing... I would've never deduced my issue to be that - it was the worst feeling I've even had that affected my both physically and mentally. I went to the doctor, and treating it has saved my life. Also, my BP has gone down due to treating it.

    DionRidesBikes.com: Cycling and the Case of a Sleep Disorder

    I think the most important thing we should learn from all of this is that we should get checked regularly. Don't put it off!

    If taking 5mg of a HBP medication reduces my chances of having a heart attack or stroke on the trail - I'll gladly take it.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Doc Okie Dokie,

    How do we prevent it? What's the one or two tests that we all need to take to determine if we have hidden problem or not.

    Is it the EKG test? Electrocardiography - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    fc
    Cardio Stress test plus a full physical is really the only way to get an accurate picture. The Fire department requires one every two years once a fire fighter reaches 50 so I went through 3 before I retired a few months ago. Even though I passed their standards easily I could feel myself slipping from where I was just a year or so ago and I didn't want to become a Line of Duty Death statistic. You can get the Stress Test done at numerous facilities but the two I know of are: Occupational Health in Santa Cruz at the old Community Hospital Facility and a place in Berkeley behind Alta Bates Hospital on Regent Street. The stress test is a ***** watch American Flyers, the treadmill scene to see exactly what the test looks like. Test measuring VO2 max (American) Flyers VO2 test - YouTube
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  3. #28
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    An EKG is most helpful when I person is having pain. Sure it might lead a doctor to look a bit further if there was some abnormalities but maybe not? More likely this poor guy had a normal EKG or at least unremarkable EKG last time he saw his doctor.

    A stress would be more helpful (they look for EKG changes while stressing the heart by chemicals or running) as this is much more sensitive and specific to ischemic heart changes. However I would wager that a lot of cardiologist would probably not think he needed one unless he was having chest pain since he is stressing his heart all the time when he rides isn't he?

    Cardiac Catheterization is the Gold Standard..but it is invasive and has some risks. This is something you do when you find significant EKG changes, a positive Stress test, or chest pain that has a high possibility of being cardiac in origin.

    To answer your question Francois is complicated. The best thing is to listen to your body. Are you having unusual symptoms under exertion (chest pain, shortness of breath more then expected, neck pain, etc). I often have patients that come to the ER and say "I am sure it is nothing but I have never had chest pain(or other cardiac symptoms) like that before". My response to them is simple...lets make sure that this was not the warning bell the body is ringing.

    Nothing is absolute in medicine however...and we can only play the odds. So stack the odds in your favor. Have your cholesterol checked. If you have high blood pressure get on medicine (80% of Hypertension is genetic...like mine is). If you have a bad family history for coronary artery disease you need to accept that and not run away from it. If your dad or mom had a heart attack at a young age....your risk is HIGH..very high. Be proactive...not reactive because when you have a heart attack that means part of your heart is dead. I hope it goes without saying that you shouldn't smoke or do something like meth? If you have not got that part figured out then your in deep sh*t already. And again listen. Listen to your body...and if it is saying something get checked out. Dont end up figuring out it was your heart in the middle of nowhere

    Sorry for long post...i am just sitting here with kids watching Miracle on 34th St (new one) with kids so brevity was not on my mind.

    PS-if you do have high blood pressure make sure your doc gives you a medicine that wont impair your exercise ability.
    Originally Posted by XC62701
    Agreed...make it longer. I want to know death is an option

  4. #29
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    That's solid advice Okie.

    fc

  5. #30
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    Good to know. I have 'high normal' BP. My sister has hypertension, my mom has hypertension, my grandmother died of a heart attack at the age of 92, and apart from being confined to a wheelchair since the 1940s for polio, she was healthy as an ox. My mom got hit with cancer twice, my dad once, my kid once... my wife's dad died from cancer when she was a kid.

    I kinda wonder if I should be on BP meds, but I see how they jacked up my mom's metabolism and it makes me kinda skeerd about it. I'm getting kinda up there in years, and would like to keep on pedaling for another 30-40 years... well into my 80s.

    Anyway... lots of folks I know are suddenly dropping dead (or seriously ill) around me, and I'm feeling my mortality.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    Good to know. I have 'high normal' BP. My sister has hypertension, my mom has hypertension, my grandmother died of a heart attack at the age of 92, and apart from being confined to a wheelchair since the 1940s for polio, she was healthy as an ox. My mom got hit with cancer twice, my dad once, my kid once... my wife's dad died from cancer when she was a kid.

    I kinda wonder if I should be on BP meds, but I see how they jacked up my mom's metabolism and it makes me kinda skeerd about it. I'm getting kinda up there in years, and would like to keep on pedaling for another 30-40 years... well into my 80s.

    Anyway... lots of folks I know are suddenly dropping dead (or seriously ill) around me, and I'm feeling my mortality.
    I had persistent high BP...took on a veggie fast and I am now normal and have been for a few weeks (I changed my diet too). Don't do meds until you try something easy and less chemy...read my thread: Veggie Juice Fast: Bike friendly diet that works

    It's ligit.
    Peanut butter Tuesday, if you know what I mean!

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    I had persistent high BP...took on a veggie fast and I am now normal and have been for a few weeks (I changed my diet too). Don't do meds until you try something easy and less chemy...read my thread: Veggie Juice Fast: Bike friendly diet that works

    It's ligit.
    Don't these BP meds decrease "functionality" in other departments?

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    Don't these BP meds decrease "functionality" in other departments?
    Not all of theme. Viagra started out as medication for hi-BP
    The guy yo' momma "act" like she don't know!

  9. #34
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    Exploding Aortas

    In my family, the men have low BP, but have aortic anuresyms. My dad died at 66 when his blew, my bros dissected, he was really lucky and survived. Mine seems to be OK so far per Stanford, but needs to be watched. My point is....pay attention to family history. We thought my dad was an anomaly since he was so healthy (ran marathons etc).

  10. #35
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    SS Hack certain BP meds (notably Beta Blockers) do have a negative effect on "the unit". These same meds also have a negative effect on your ability to ride hard too(on a bike that is!). You should discuss with your doctor the things you want to do. It is ridiculous and pisses me off when I see doctors not take things like this into consideration and start people on medication that will negatively their sexual ability or athletic ability. You can imagine what the non-compliance is for a young guy who can't get it up because of his BP med....

    Trackho one of the most common overlooked things in medicine...and also hardest to diagnose is the aortic aneurysm and dissection. Literally it is a doctors nightmare. It often presents the same as a heart attack symptom wise...but if you give some of the same medications you would to a heart attack you can absolutely kill the person (ie John Ritter). Family history is so so important in this case...and if you ever have to go to the ER for anything remotely to do with chest pain or shortness of breath be sure to tell the doc your family history.
    Originally Posted by XC62701
    Agreed...make it longer. I want to know death is an option

  11. #36
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    Trackho, by aneursyms I assume you mean abdominal aortic aneurysms right? (as opposed to the sort in other vessels like those in the brain or elsewhere) They are actually exceedingly common. IN fact so common that the USPTF recommends a screen for AAA for men age 65-75 if they have ever smoked (I tend to order it even for those that haven't smoked).





    Quote Originally Posted by Okie Dokie View Post
    SS Hack certain BP meds (notably Beta Blockers) do have a negative effect on "the unit". These same meds also have a negative effect on your ability to ride hard too(on a bike that is!). You should discuss with your doctor the things you want to do. It is ridiculous and pisses me off when I see doctors not take things like this into consideration and start people on medication that will negatively their sexual ability or athletic ability. You can imagine what the non-compliance is for a young guy who can't get it up because of his BP med....

    Trackho one of the most common overlooked things in medicine...and also hardest to diagnose is the aortic aneurysm and dissection. Literally it is a doctors nightmare. It often presents the same as a heart attack symptom wise...but if you give some of the same medications you would to a heart attack you can absolutely kill the person (ie John Ritter). Family history is so so important in this case...and if you ever have to go to the ER for anything remotely to do with chest pain or shortness of breath be sure to tell the doc your family history.
    "Chancho. When you are a man sometimes you wear stretchy pants... Its for fun..."

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Okie Dokie View Post

    Trackho one of the most common overlooked things in medicine...and also hardest to diagnose is the aortic aneurysm and dissection. Literally it is a doctors nightmare. It often presents the same as a heart attack symptom wise...but if you give some of the same medications you would to a heart attack you can absolutely kill the person (ie John Ritter). Family history is so so important in this case...and if you ever have to go to the ER for anything remotely to do with chest pain or shortness of breath be sure to tell the doc your family history.
    Yep, when my bro disected, the ER did a litmus test, which showed negative for a heart attack, fortunately, my sister in law was screaming that my Dad died from an aneurysm (which was just a good guess at the time)they did a CT, and then all hell broke loose, fortunately he got an ER and decent cardithorasic surgeon to Dacron him up.

    Our aneurysms are type A which means they start right at the heart "aortic root", Fortunately, my docs and wife know about my predisposition.

  13. #38
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    Yikes you guys have Type A dissections in your family! Must be some kind of collagen disorder. Anybody with marfan's or bad teeth or frequent broken bones?
    "Chancho. When you are a man sometimes you wear stretchy pants... Its for fun..."

  14. #39
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    I take a beta blocker for an arrhythmia issue and when I am on it, it is like you are riding with a governor on the heart rate. You can maybe get into the mid 3 zone and that is it. Kind of like there is something underneath the gas pedal and keeps you from pushing it down to the floor. It makes riding somewhat unpleasant as you have to push so hard to get that heart rate to come up since it lagging so far behind your effort. You have to put out so much mental effort to push yourself into what feels like zone 5, but you are only getting the effect of riding in zone 3. You'll be riding along with the legs screaming for blood flow and some guy on a beater bike with tennis shoes blows by you like you are standing still.

    So I only use the meds when I need to and try to make sure they are out of my system for longer rides if at all possible. Interesting that beta blockers are OK on the WADA list for cycling and other endurance sports like XC skiing. But they are banned for sports like shooting, archery, pool, etc. where a steady aim is beneficial. One interesting loophole that I wonder about is biathlon, not sure if that is considered an endurance sport or a shooting sport?

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whason View Post
    Yikes you guys have Type A dissections in your family! Must be some kind of collagen disorder. Anybody with marfan's or bad teeth or frequent broken bones?
    No marfans, we're too fat , not alot of broken bones, and teeth are good. Just some kind of connective tissue disorder. Stanford wanted to do a bunch of genetic testing on us, but the likelihood they'd find anything definitive was pretty low. I'm talking to all the right docs at Stanford, they'll "Dacron me up" if anything grows..way better to do it pre-emptively...really no big..just pay close attention to family history

  16. #41
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    Guys, sometimes this stuff just shows up. We can't know everything just by testing and trailside emergency protocols are not always right either.

    But we lost one of us.
    I don't rattle.

  17. #42
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    This was my youngest brother

    Died of a heart attack or mycardial infaraction caused by hypertension..We thought he had it under control...We are trying to reach his doctor for more info

    All reports says he was healthy and looking good until the day of the ride

    He will be missed !

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by newarrior View Post
    Died of a heart attack or mycardial infaraction caused by hypertension..We thought he had it under control...We are trying to reach his doctor for more info

    All reports says he was healthy and looking good until the day of the ride

    He will be missed !
    Really sorry for your loss. Wishing you and your family peace in this time of sorrow.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by newarrior View Post
    Died of a heart attack or mycardial infaraction caused by hypertension..We thought he had it under control...We are trying to reach his doctor for more info

    All reports says he was healthy and looking good until the day of the ride

    He will be missed !

    Sorry for your loss. The Firefighters and the Paramedics tried everything they had to bring him back
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  20. #45
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    Thanks !

    Were any of you there when he died ?

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by newarrior View Post
    Were any of you there when he died ?
    My old fire crew was first on scene, I retired a few weeks prior to your brothers call and just happened to be listening to the radio traffic when they got the call.
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  22. #47
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    Thanks man ! Sad day for us all--any info you learned about that might assist the family in getting closure ?

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by newarrior View Post
    Thanks man ! Sad day for us all--any info you learned about that might assist the family in getting closure ?
    check your private messages
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  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by newarrior View Post
    Died of a heart attack or mycardial infaraction caused by hypertension..We thought he had it under control...We are trying to reach his doctor for more info

    All reports says he was healthy and looking good until the day of the ride

    He will be missed !
    Oh man, I'm so sorry for your loss.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by newarrior View Post
    Died of a heart attack or mycardial infaraction caused by hypertension..We thought he had it under control...We are trying to reach his doctor for more info

    All reports says he was healthy and looking good until the day of the ride

    He will be missed !
    Sorry for your loss, man. That is awful.

    I lost my younger brother 10 years ago.

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