Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Heart update

For the last little while I have had a number of people ask me for updates on how the heart issues I was having are going. Probably fair enough really given the issues it caused me. 

Last update I gave, I think the situation was really that the palpitations I was feeling weren't a danger to me and that I would probably have to put up with them. As reassuring as that news was, it was a little frustrating too, since the palpitations make is uncomfortable and unpleasant to train and race.

However, in the last appointment I had with Dr Gary Couanis we also had a chat about my asthma medication. In that chat he recommended immediately stopping one of the medications I was on and replacing it with another. The one I was using apparently hits the body like a cup of coffee, sends the heart racing. On top of that, like the good paranoid athlete that I am, I was probably taking too much of it. So whilst I was cutting down on my caffeine intake, this medication was largely negating that. 

I have to say, since I have changed medications, the improvement seems to have been significant. I am getting much fewer palpitations, barely any if I am honest, and they are milder. When I reduced caffeine a few weeks ago I didn't really notice much change. I have maintained my low caffeine intake, but I am not convinced it is much of a contributor. However, my gut feel is that the different medications has really made a difference. 

It makes sense too, whilst I was taking the medication regularly during training, I hit it fairly hard on race day up in Bintan. With asthma there is always a fear of an attack during a race, so I have often taken more preventer than I probably should. I have since learnt that this isn't the best idea, but up in Bintan I certainly remember doing so. I had a feeling I was getting sick too, which usually leads me to overreact in the same way. So that would have just made things worse

There may be other contributing factors, I definitely was coming down with something, conditions were extreme, I was probably dehydrated by that point etc, but as I said above, I have a feeling that the medication was a major contributor. 

Early days, but so far the training has been going really well. I am feeling strong in all three legs for the first time in ages. In all this the heart hasn't been a factor. Things are looking good. 

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