Aortic Valve Stenosis and working out

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Q:

I am 17 years old, and I have aortic valve stenosis. I have recently been doing weightlifting, and going to the gym 3 or 4 times a week. Saw my cardiologist on wednesday for my annual check up, mentioned that I was weightlifting and she said it was a bad idea for me to continue because I could do serious damage to my heart. I assume that it is related to the high amount of blood pressure that occurs when weight lifting? My question is, if I was to perform a workout that didn’t involve weights, would this be okay, because I want to stay in shape and try and build muscle. I believe that working out without weights doesn’t increase blood pressure as much?
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

A:

It all depends on how serious the obstruction is that your aortic stenosis (AS) presents to your heart and how strenuous you are exercising. If your AS is relatively mild, a moderate exercise program should be OK. The best way to determine what you can handle is with an exercise stress test, where you’d duplicate your efforts during ECHO:
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/heart-disease-diagnosis/exercise-stress-t
If you have severe AS, and your cardiologist only wants to wait till you are fully grown before recommending your AS gets fixed, she is absolutely right in recommending you do not engage in serious work-outs till has been taken care off.
You can read more here (I suspect you have a “bicuspid aortic valve):
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/heart-information/valve-disease/bicuspid-
Hope this helps,
Dr T
http://www.cardiac-risk-assessment.com/

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