The more we look for heart and circulatory issues, the more I find them. What scares me the most is that I see it mostly in my athletes. The reason is that the change is more significant, and my athletes, for the most part, are better at keeping track of their bodies.
My athletes can tell me more information about how things feel different or off at varying levels of exertion and typically with more detail. The reason that this is bad is that I know people that are not in as good shape are having the same issues. However, it's harder to show the difference.
This means that we will have a lot of people that eat ok but don't work out that much-having issues that go undetected. Reviewing the echocardiograms, I see several heart problems in people in their 30s.
Dilated left ventricles, decreased ejection fractions (less blood getting kicked out of the heart than should be), increased regurgitation (blood going backward through valves), vegetation (growth in the heart due to infection and inflammation).
Most of this is due to increased pressure, and the pressure increase often comes from the constriction of the blood vessels due to inflammation. This was not a normal finding 3-4 years ago.
Dr. Matt Chalmers
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