This is source I found from another site, main source you can find in last paragraph
- Andrew Marr thinks his stroke three months ago caused by intense exercise
- Mother-of-two Jane Feinmann had similar experience after kickboxing
- Any spike in blood pressure even through drinking coffee can raise the risk
Published: 18:32 EDT, 15 April 2013 | Updated: 18:32 EDT, 15 April 2013>
As she walked out of the gym following her new kickboxing class, Jane Feinmann was, she admits, feeling rather pleased with herself.
‘The class at this private gym was a lot more vigorous and competitive than the one I’d tried at my local authority gym, and I’d really thrown myself into it,’ recalls the mother-of-two from North London.
‘Everybody was super-fit and really going for it. Some of them were fanatical and did the classes two or three days a week.
On the mend: BBC presenter Andrew Marr has said he is 'lucky to be alive' as he made his first television appearance since suffering a major stroke three and a half months ago
‘The instructor had encouraged us all to push ourselves as hard as we could — she told us about a 70-year-old who’d just got a black belt, and it spurred me on. The class lasted an hour, and the movements — such as high chest kicks — were really strenuous and I was very pleased I’d kept up, and was only a bit breathless and sweaty at the end.
'Afterwards, I felt full of energy and thought it was a sign my fitness was improving.’
Lucky escape: Jane Feinmann now has a tiny defibrillator implanted in her chest
But just a few minutes later, Jane started to feel very unwell. ‘As I walked down the street, my heart began thumping rapidly and I felt dizzy and disorientated, as if I was losing my balance. I went from feeling I’d just done a brilliant workout, to feeling I’d really over-exerted myself and had best not do it again. It was quite scary.’
The heart palpitations eased off after a few minutes but over the next few weeks the 51-year-old journalist experienced more episodes, even though she’d given up the classes. Sometimes she’d black out, waking up on the floor.
But although Jane went to A&E several times over the following four months, as well as to her GP, they said she was fine and sent her home. It wasn’t until she collapsed again — this time at a Tube station, hitting her face and breaking three ribs in the fall — that the problem was properly investigated. ‘This time I was really scared — I’d become unconscious so rapidly that I’d not been able to put my arms out to break my fall.’
Jane later went to a walk-in clinic at Charing Cross Hospital. ‘They ran some tests and immediately diagnosed a heart rhythm disorder and wouldn’t let me go home.’ She had ventricular tachycardia, a potentially fatal electrical fault in the lower chamber of the heart that causes it to beat too fast to effectively pump blood to the brain.
She has since learnt that one of the triggers for the condition can be extreme physical stress, including exercise (other causes include heart disease, and heart valve defects, none of which applied in Jane’s case).
- >I'm lucky to be alive says Andrew Marr as he appears on TV... >Stroke victim, 3, walks for first time after scientists make...
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These days we’re all being encouraged to exercise, to push ourselves to the point of breathlessness on a regular basis in order to boost our health. But could this be doing more harm than good?
Certainly, Jane’ story echoes that of Andrew Marr, who this week suggested his stroke three months ago was caused by an intense session on a rowing machine.
He said he’d been experimenting with High Intensity Training — a new approach to keeping fit that claims only a few minutes of ultra-intensive training each week can produce major health benefits.
Factors: Marr blamed a combination of overwork and excessive exercise for pushing his heart too hard
The natural response might be to think that overdoing any exercise is dangerous. But in fact, reducing activity would be at odds with official advice.
According to the Stroke Association, ‘regular exercise can reduce the risk of stroke by a quarter’. Indeed, as Nikki Hill, a spokesperson for the charity, explains: ‘High blood pressure is the single biggest cause of stroke. Until more research is done on the specific triggers, taking steps to keep blood pressure under control, such as exercise, is important.’
In general, the recommendation is ‘just 30 minutes of activity five days a week’ to reduce overall risk of ill-health, including heart disease.
But where does that leave the more extreme, gut-busting exercise, such as Andrew Marr’s and Jane Feinmann’s — could this push the body into a danger zone?
In a study published a couple of years ago in the journal Stroke, Dutch medical experts confirmed that a spike in blood pressure — caused by intense exercise, drinking coffee and even sex — can raise the risk of stroke.
Back on form: Andrew Marr talking to Helena Kennedy and Cecil Parkinson in his first television appearance since suffering a stroke three and a half months ago
However, it only raised the risk in a select group; those who had a brain aneurysm, a balloon-like swelling in a blood vessel, which occurs as a result of a weak spot in the artery wall.
Although aneurysms — which can be found in other parts of the body as well as the brain — are usually too small in the brain to cause symptoms, if they grow large they can burst and cause a stroke, leading to permanent brain damage or death.
The exact number of people who have these brain aneurysms is unclear (many people live with them undetected throughout their whole lives), but it’s thought that they affect around 1 per cent of the population.
High blood pressure, smoking and genes are among the factors believed to contribute to the development of aneurysms, and they are most common in the over-40s. Andrew Marr suffered from something different, a tear in an artery in his neck, but had previously suffered two mini-strokes — or transient ischaemic attacks — which can be linked to high blood pressure.
Caution: Experts say that the medical risks from vigorous workouts remain rare, but over-fifties should be alert to the danger of overdoing it
In the Dutch study, 250 people who’d suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm were asked to recall what they were doing immediately before their stroke. The most commonly noted trigger was coffee-drinking, followed by vigorous exercise — although the latter was mentioned in just 8 per cent of cases — then nose blowing, sex, anger and being startled.
‘All of the triggers induce a sudden and short increase in blood pressure, which seems a possible common cause for aneurysm rupture,’ said Dr Monique Vlak, a neurologist involved in the study.
But what about heart health, rather than stroke — could Jane’s intense kick-boxing have triggered her heart condition? The link between strenuous exercise and heart problems has recently become a concern, with some studies showing that the markers for heart disease, such as compounds that indicate high levels of inflammation, are raised after intense activity, although these effects are temporary.
There have also been reports of deaths among runners in marathons and triathlons. These are thought to be the result of underlying abnormalities that lead to heart attacks, and also sudden cardiac death. The victims of sudden cardiac death tend to be active young people who report no symptoms before their fatal attack.
High blood pressure: A spike caused by intense exercise or even just drinking coffee can raise the risk of a stroke
In these cases there is thought to be an underlying problem with the heart, such as a thickened heart muscle or irregular heartbeat, and the strain of exercise exacerbates this problem.
‘There are different types of heart abnormality that can lead to the syndrome, the most common being hypertrophic cardiomyopathy,’ explains Alison Cox, the chief executive of the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young.
‘It makes the heart thicken, leads to an irregular heartbeat and stops the heart from pumping effectively.’ Screening is available, and encouraged by the charity, and is free on the NHS to anyone whose family has experienced a sudden and unexpected death.
Another group who may also be at risk from intense training are those who’ve done intense, prolonged endurance training for years — and regularly taken part in marathons or triathlons.
In a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50 per cent of long-term endurance and ultra-endurance runners, some of whom had been training for 43 years, showed signs of heart damage.
According Greg Whyte, professor of sports science at Liverpool John Moores University, who led the research, one problem is the build-up of protein in place of heart muscle.
However, he says occasional marathon runners should not panic as this does not apply those who just do a few marathons during their lifetime.
However, Dr Paul Castle, an exercise physiologist at the University of Bedfordshire, cautions that intense exercise programmes can take adjusting to. ‘I’ve seen subjects be physically sick after doing it. It’s a great training approach if you are in good shape, but pushing yourself to such limits is inadvisable if you are in any way unfit.’
Still, experts say that the medical risks from vigorous workouts remain rare, but advise anyone about to embark on an intense training regimen to get the all-clear from their doctor.
And most experts stress that exercise prevents more heart attacks and stroke than it ever causes. ‘There is an argument that someone with a susceptibility to strokes might have suffered a stroke earlier in life had he not benefited from the protection of regular activity,’ says Dr John Brewer, professor of sport at the University of Bedfordshire. ‘All the evidence generally supports the notion that exercise is good news for stroke prevention.’
Four years on, Jane Feinmann feels lucky to have been diagnosed and treated — she now has a tiny defibrillator implanted in her chest which can detect irregular rhythms and give the heart a shock to restore them to a regular heartbeat.
She’s also gone back to the gentler exercise — yoga and pilates — she used to do keep fit.
‘But I feel that people should be warned about the possibility of extreme exercise triggering heart disorders.
'Like lots of people, I thought I was being ultra-healthy by pushing myself — but it could have killed me.’
DON'T BLAME THE GYM - BLAME YOUR GENES
By James Timmons, Professor of Systems Biology
Let me first say I’m a great fan of Andrew Marr’s political journalism. And as a fellow Glaswegian I also share his cardiovascular heritage, with the combination of poor weather (and lack of vitamin D), poor diet and genetic risk making us particularly prone to heart disease and stroke. So for me his stroke last year was a saddening reminder of what afflicts so many Scottish people.
Given current evidence, there is little doubt that this background — combined with his high-pressure job and his previously reported few years of hard drinking and smoking — was the most likely cause of his stroke.
Indeed, two smaller strokes he suffered last year show he was already at very high risk and required appropriate medical treatment to reduce this.
So while I was delighted to see he is making a good recovery, I was also deeply puzzled by his comments that it was high-intensity training on a rowing machine that was to blame.
HIT, as it is known, involves brief — usually 20-second — bursts of intense effort. Just a few minutes a week can greatly improve fitness and health, but more on that in a moment...
Andrew Marr said he’d fallen ‘into the terrible trap of believing what he read in newspapers’. In fact, the major media coverage of high-intensity training in the UK started with a BBC programme — in which I appeared — called the Truth About Exercise, by Andrew’s medical colleague Dr Michael Mosley. It was a well-researched programme which gave clear instructions that people should consider their health status first.
Nevertheless, even ‘unhealthy’ people are able to perform HIT-type exercise safely. There have been plenty of studies involving many groups — including heart-failure patients, people who are obese, and those at greater risk of stroke — and these have not found HIT to raise the risk of stroke.
For Andrew Marr to claim he knows that HIT caused his stroke is to claim something it is not possible to know. The problem is that he may have put people off doing HIT, which has been shown to have real health benefits; not least in reducing risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
This intense exercise targets the sugar stored in muscles more effectively than other types of exercise, so is better at priming your muscle to remove sugar from the blood. This is thought to help prevent microvascular disease (damage to small blood vessels), which can cause blindness.
As for cardiovascular disease — including strokes — the thinking has been that those who exercise more have less risk of cardiac disease. But in 2012, the American Look Ahead trial — an exercise programme involving more than 5,000 middle-aged people — failed to reduce in a meaningful way the risk of cardiac disease or stroke after ten years.
So more than ever, we think that cardiovascular disease relates to genetic burden and/or life-style- related damage earlier in life.
The chances are that Andrew Marr’s carotid artery — the one in his neck that tore, causing his stroke — was weakening over the years. It could have ruptured when he was doing any activity.
Given that type 2 diabetes can lead to blindness, leg ulcers and amputation, it is regrettable that he has decided to blame HIT for his terrible ordeal. I’d hate to think this could discourage people from trying HIT, and enjoying the potentially life-saving benefits it offers.
This is source I found from another site, main source you can find in last paragraph
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2309565/After-Andrew-Marr-blames-stroke-overdoing-rowing-machine-53-risky-high-intensity-exercise-fifties.html