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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 28668
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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Hi a quick question about an echocardiogram I had today, I

Customer Question

Hi a quick question about an echocardiogram I had today, I have not had the full results from the Dr but i asked the technician about the thickness and was told that the septum was slightly thicker than normal .. It's approx 1.4cm - 1.5cm .. I had a similar test 4 years ago and at that time it was 0.9cm . The only changes in my life in the last year or 2 have been that I've been going to the gym more regular and have packed on more muscle on my body.. Could this have affected my heart?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Hi--just to check here--the rest of the echo measurements were normal?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes she said everything else looked fine
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Dr are you still dealing with my question?
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
OK First off the muscle of the heart is not the same as the striated muscles in the rest of your body like your biceps or your pectoral muscles so your workouts wouldn't have caused this. If the rest of the echo was normal then I see nothing to worry about here since your septal thickness is only slightly above the normal range
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
That's true but then you are not entirely correct.. How do u explain athletes heart?
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Well you're right but athlete's heart just refers to thickening of the ventricular walls--especially the left ventricle--and not just the ventricular septum
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Oh I see.. The technician did say that the thickness of the other bit is within normal range so I assume she meant the ventricular walls.. Should I not worry about sudden death with a septum thickness of 1.5cm?
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
No, there's no danger of sudden death here Shazad and really just the septal thickening by itself doesn't imply any heart problem
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Phew that's a relief.. Was starting to worry about sudden death ( something I read on the Internet that it can happen with the heart thickening) so do u think I can carry on training as normal? Any reason why it would go from 0.9cm to nearly 1.5cm over 4 years?
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
I see no reason not to continue your training but talk to your doctor about the echo results. The thickening may just be from you're being older now but I still don't think it's anything to worry about
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So you are quite confident that this thickness will not cause sudden death?
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Absolutely confident about that Shazad
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What sort of thickening would you consider dangerous?
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
What's called cardiomegaly--thickening essentially of the entire heart--both ventricles. You don't have that
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Brilliant.. I was feeling so low that I was planning on not going to work until I had the official results from the doc..
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
There's nothing to worry about here Shazad
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for everything.. Feeling a bit calmer now... Just to finish off.. This amount of thickness is ok for me and won't cause any serious implications? Have u seen thicker?
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Yes I've seen much thicker septa and in your case I personally would tell you not to worry
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 28668
Experience: 20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
Dr. Chip and other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok thanks.. Take care
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
My pleasure--any time
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi I have spoken to a cardiologist on here about the same issue I discussed with you, do you agree with him?
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
Hello, Thank you for your question. I will try my best to help you with your questions.
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
High blood pressure and high endurance exercises are main cause of septal hypertrophy.
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
If you were doing body building or high endurance exercises then it is a normal response that heart muscles including the septum will thicken.
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
This is very normal.
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
Let me know if you have questions
Customer: So it's not something that will cause sudden death? I've been reading and sudden seath seems to be something that's associated with it
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
no
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
sudden death is a risk which increases when your septum approaches around 30mm
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
1.5 is a borderline thickness
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
and does not increase the chance of sudden death
Customer: 2 mins.. Someone is. At the door
Customer: I have read that excercise/weight training thickens the left ventricle?? Not the septum? Also one of the other docs here told me that excercise would not be the reason behind it.. So what's true and what is not?
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
It is totally incorrect... Septum is the first part that thickens in case of high endurance exercise.
Customer: :-)
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
It is only because of this reason we use septum as a land mark for testing HCM or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
against athletes heart.
Customer: Oh man I was in such a panic that I didn't go to work today thinking that I could die sudden.. I have been more gym focussed in the last 1 year and do weight training but not excessively .. I have put on some muscle mass but I'm just average looking because I was skinny before.. So u reckon I will be ok? Is it reversible?
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
Yes it is reversible.
Customer: Is it reversible if I stop training? Or should I continue trainjng?
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
reversible if you stop training for 6 months and then go for echo again
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
it will show less thickness
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
and then you can continue with your exercise because this will be a proof that it is athletes heart.
Customer: Ok but if I continue training then am I at risk ?
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
1.5cm thickness is not a risk, you are at low risk of sudden death.
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
risk arises when your thickness is around 30mm or*****.Saeed ahmed :
you can continue exercise as you are not at risk
Customer: Should I carry on as normal? Go back to work?
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
i just mentioned the protocol for stopping exercise and getting echo to help you understand how we differentiate HCM and athletes heart
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
you can continue as normal
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
there is no risk at all.
Customer: Will my cardiologist agree with everything u have told me?
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
yes, because i am a cardiologist and this is a world over protocol that we do everywhere in such cases.
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
I hope this answers your questions,
Customer: Oh so it's perfectly ok to have an athletes heart? I always thought that an athletes heart would be someone who is a professional football player etc and not just an ever she Guy like me who goes to the gym
Customer: What times do u be online if I need to come back to u?
Customer: Meant to say average guy
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
It is true
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
athletes heart is a heart of high endurance exercising person.
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
In your case it is just 1.5cm which is not thick at all as compared to HCM or athletes heart
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
So no risk in your case
Customer: So me going and doing weights 3 times a week is classed as high endurance?
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
Yes it is
Customer: In the UK they say 1.2cm is the normal limit
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
I have to pick my kids from school see you after few hours.
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
Yes it is same all over 1.2-.1.3 cms
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
bye for now will see your reply after picking up kids from school.
Customer: Ok thanks for the advice
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
you are welcome.
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
Do rate my answer to credit the reply. Have a nice day.
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
You can always come back in our cardiology section and ask questions
Customer: Ok .. Are u UK based?
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
or ask by direct request for S.A.Alam
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
I have degrees from UK.. but not basically from UK
Customer: I was just thinking of the time difference.. When are u best to get hold of?
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
What is time at your place ?
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
Is it 10:10 am at your place or time zone ?
Customer: It's 10:10am
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
From your time zone it would say best time to find me is from 3:00 pm to*****.Saeed ahmed :
It do come online before that like 10 am in your time zone
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
but just to check mail
Customer: Ok brilliant I will bear that in mind.. Ok just to finish off .. 1. My septal thickness is a normal occurrence with some who weight trains.. 2) is not thick enough to cause sudden cardiac arrest or any arrythimias? 3. I should not worry at all about it being the thickness it is?
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
1... It is correct.
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
2... It is correct
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
3... It is correct.
Customer: Lol ok
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
I hope this answers your questions.
Dr .Saeed ahmed :
Do rate my answer if no further questions at this time. Have a nice day.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Hi Shazad I agree with Dr Ahmed since he basically agreed with what I had told you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There are other docs on here who are giving me conflicting advuce.. One doc is suggesting that I get tested for HOCM because it's just my septum that's thickened
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
With just septal thickening I don't agree with HOCM but the best thing you can do is talk to your own cardiologist about the echo results
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes Dr ahmed said same as you.. I'm waiting to hear from my cardiologist.. I've just been too scared to do anything in case it causes sudden cardiac death.. I have not even gone to work
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
I think you're over worrying about this Shazad. Go to work and continue your normal daily activities--there's no risk for sudden cardiac death here
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Lol I know u mean well.. And I know that 1.5cm is not a great amount of thickness but I don't see myself a refined athlete to have done this through excercise
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Let me know what your cardiologist says when you do get the chance to talk to him
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes I will do
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Take care
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.. U too
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
If you want to get back to me please open a fresh question page
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Talk to you later then

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