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HCM diet & exercise.


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  • HCM diet & exercise.

    I was diagnosed HCM in 2009 at age 49 following multiple af admissions.
    I had septal myectomy in 2010, four ablations then icd/pacemaker in 2014, then AV node ablation.
    All at London Heart Hospital.
    In my 20's & 30's very fit, passed P Company and ten years in Parachute Regiment.
    Sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise before being diagnosed, now struggle to lose weight and exercise.
    Advice gratefully received.

  • #2
    Hi Nick,

    Your story sounds like mine -- diagnosed at age 49, myectomy in 2011, very fit up until my symptoms started a year before diagnosis. I've gained 40 lbs since then. However I've been able to stop gaining more weight in the last 2 years. I keep trying different things (specific diet groups, acupuncture,etc) but it wasn't until I took this weigh loss class this spring, at our local university Continuing Ed, that I feel like I am on the right track now. It's called Life Steps. It taught me how to really analyze my eating, caloric needs and my actual intake, exercise (was it enough or not), how to add more exercise by doing small changes and things I could adopt as a life style for the future. I will continue what I learned and have hope though it is a slow, but steady weight loss. I was surprised how much I was actually taking in by tracking EVERYTHING I put in my mouth! Also, I love to cook and thought I was doing good by cooking from scratch. But when I entered my recipes and figured out the calories OMG!

    I've learned that it doesn't take much to go over board in calories and the right (smaller) portions. Especially with the medications we take that slow our metabolism down and the limits we have in exercising, it takes extra effort on our part. Start with logging everything you eat, what time of day and your mood. I use MyFitnessPal app on my PC and phone (it's free) to log my food and exercise. It has a huge database of foods (even from restaurants) and you can scan food into it using the bar code, enter your own recipes to get a nutritional breakdown of them, as well as your exercise. Once you have 2-3 weeks of food logged, figure out your average daily caloric intake. Then you will be able to see how many calories you really need to lose weight (but no less than 1200/day --may be more for men??). Also, start aiming for 6 small meals a day, 2.5-3.5 hrs apart and about 300-350 calories each. Let me know what you come up with.

    Diagnosed 09/2009 @51 yrs old- HCOM
    Myectomy 2/17/2011
    Son & Daughter no findings as of yet (echos)
    No family history determined yet -- 1 sister, 2 brothers & extended family.


    • #3
      I was diagnosed at age 54 after complications from a serious automobile "accident". At the time of the accident I was possibly in the best physical condition of my lifetime. I have always been active and participate in athletic activities. Having said that, I have also always had a slow metabolism and weight gain has always been a struggle for me (to keep it down). For that reason I have a muscular build (but prefer not to be so bulky). At any rate, after beginning medical treatment for the HCM, I gained even more weight. So, I have had two exercise stress tests performed to determine the intensity and amount of exercise that my heart can tolerate. One of the stress tests were performed at a HCMA Center of Excellence at the University of Michigan here in the US.

      For me, I have found that by eliminating processed sugars and drastically reducing carbohydrates from my diet has allowed me to reduce my weight. I am still not where I want to be so now I am reducing portion size and amounts. It has been a real struggle and I hardly eat much. But, I am making progress. The important thing is to keep at it. I still participate in athletic activities but not at the same level of intensity. I am thankful however that I can still participate!

      Here is a link to a web site which specializes in exercise for people with HCM: http://hcmfitness.ca/


      • #4
        I've just been diagnosed with HCM...bit of a shock really. I have struggled all my life with asthma and I've learned to adapt my lifestyle to cope with it. Now I will just have to adapt a bit more. I have found these forums very useful as it is difficult to explain to people that I can't walk far after I've eaten..and I need rests. I am a a morris dancer and love it but before a dance out I have to plan my eating so I have a few hours between food and dancing. Is this what other people have to do in order to do exercised. I do sit out of some dances but I want to keep the exercise up. I am beginning to worry that I am getting fixated about the timing of food in relation to exercise.


        • #5
          With HCM It is very common to have increased symptoms of chest pain, pounding heart beat, arrhythmias, shortness of breath ....in a variety of combinations and severities after meals. HCM hearts do best when they have a good volume of blood to work with. After meals, a lot of blood goes to the GI tract for digestion of food, leaving the heart with less than optimal volume. Some people also say that high carbohydrate meals affect them the worst. So spacing exercise after meals is important. So is staying well hydrated. You might try eating smaller meals if you know you are going to exercise....with a lower amount of carbohydrates.
          After years of symptoms:
          Officially Diagnosed HOCM 2006
          Myectomy 3/11/13 at non-COE
          Extended Myectomy 7/23/14
          At Mayo with Dr. Joseph Dearani


          • #6
            I agree with JillC - Try lower carb meals & more hydration especially before dancing.
            Diagnosed @ 48
            Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
            Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
            AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
            After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
            Quietly going insane . . .


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