Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

For the past month and a half I have been experiencing some weird activity with my normal work out routine. After about 10 minutes of working out I immediately need to vomit.
Not good... so I checked it out and turns out I have HCM. Which basically means I have a muscle in my heart that thickens(grows bigger) after activity or exertion... this causes abnormal blood flow in the heart and is causing me to vomit. For a more accurate definition/explanation I have supplied the following information:

What is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)?

Cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the muscle of the heart is abnormal in the absence of an apparent cause. This terminology is purely descriptive and is based on the Latin deviation. HCM is a primary and usually familial cardiac disorder with heterogeneous expression, unique pathophysiology, and a diverse clinical course, for which several disease causing mutations in the genes encoding proteins of the cardiac sacomere have been reported. While HCM has typically been recognized by its structure ie., hypertrophy, the electrical function of the heart are also adversely affected. There are three types of cardiomyopathy: "hypertrophic", "dilated" and "restrictive". The main feature of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is an excessive thickening of the heart muscle (hypertrophy literally means to thicken). Thickening is seen in the ventricular septal measurement (normal range .08-1.2cm), and in weight. In HCM, septal measurements may be in the range of 1.3cm to 6.0+cm. Heart muscle may also thicken in normal individuals as a result of high blood pressure or prolonged athletic training. Furthermore, there is a fine line between and athletic heart and a heart with HCM.

In Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), the muscle thickening occurs without an obvious cause. In addition, microscopic examination of the heart muscle in HCM is abnormal. The normal alignment of muscle cells is absent and this abnormality is called "myocardial disarray".

Now in my case I have about a third of the disarray shown above, which is kind of scary. Doctor says there is two ways to treat it. 1) medication to suppress the growing of the muscle or 2) surgery which would essentially be removing part of the muscle. Of course I opted for the medication to start.

Being very athletic for 20+ years I figure that my being 27 would not be cause for concern, but when I checked it out the results revealed a little cause for concern. If you ever feel as though your body is not acting normal you should definitely check yourself out... you never know what you might find.

for more information on HMC visit 4HMC