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Now I am really scared!
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Now I am really scared!

I asked you to help me decide about Cholesterol medicine and I appreciate it very much. I had a regular check up at my cardiologist Friday and an echocardiogram as part of it and they said they were noticing the beginning of thickening of my left ventricle and I needed to be put on blood pressure medicine and cholesterol medicine. Does anyone have this problem and should I be very concerned? They said it was not the kind of thing to worry about today or tomorrow but in ten or more years it could cause heart failure if not treated. They said it almost always is the result of high blood pressure which mine has been borderline for a while. They also said it could be reversed if the blood pressure went down. Does anyone know if this is actually accurate? Sometimes I think my doctor likes me so much he does not want to alarm me so he doesn't tell everything. Anyone ever felt this way? I know I am rambling a little but I am really taken back by this. Thanks for any advice.
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Avatar_f_tn
lol of course this is accurate.. Your doctor cant lie to you about your condition.. Doctors can excersize what they call theraputic privilege.. This is when a doctor withholds certain information from a patient for a short period of time under the impression that the patient cannot handle the news..It is used almost exlusivly in cases of an accident of some kind, say a family is in a car wreck, and one family member has died. A doctor will withhold telling the other wreck victims until they are stabilized, but under no circumstances can a doctor outright lie. He would be opening himself/herself up for a MASSIVE and EXPENSIVE malpractice suit, and i dont think any doctor likes any patient enough to get sued lol.. Hope you feel better! Try doing your own research if you cant accept your docs diagnosis..
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61536_tn?1340701763
Accurate indeed.  Our bodies try to maintain a balance.  When something goes awry, other things compensate.  Your left ventricle is thickening in response to the extra worload it's under due to the high blood pressure.  High blood pressure strains the entire cardiovascular system and is a major risk factor in a myriad of problems.  Controlling it is vital.

Don't freak out though, the beginnings of thickening is a *warning sign*, not an emergency.  I understand how worrisome it is to hear anything other than perfectly normal on an echo.  In this case, thank goodness we have the technology to spot things before they become big problems, and be thankful also that we have so many great blood pressure medications available to reverse your LV thickening and lower your overall cardiovascular risk profile.

Take the prescribed medications, eat healthy and get the right amount of exercise.  All of these things will help tremendously, especially all together.
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Avatar_m_tn
I think doctors should withhold information that they know to be benign if they think it will lead to excessive anxiety and worry in a patient.
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Avatar_n_tn
Yeppers, it's accurate!
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Avatar_f_tn
Legally they could, up to a certain point, but its a illegal to withhold information permanently. Theraputic privelidge can only be excersized for a very short period of time.
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Avatar_m_tn
I understand that, but giving someone an echo report which to a lay person could be read as abnormal, but to a doctor completely normal, should be withheld from a patient, unless they directly ask for the report.

I know for a fact if I could have read any of the 100s of lab, x-ray an pre/post op reports I have had I would have gone insane with fear.
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Avatar_n_tn
Artemus Ward, a 19th century humorist and philosopher, wrote,
"It ain't the things we know that get us in trouble, it is the things we do know that just ain't so."
   The message?  Just follow your doctors advice.  They are the people who know what is so.  Does your doctor have any interest in keeping information from you?  Very, very unlikely.  Your doctor is looking out for your interest.  
   Should you be worried?  All of here would likely agree that when we first heard of potential heart trouble have used up a little energy worrying.  

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Avatar_n_tn
I pressed the wrong button and posted my previous message before I was finished.  
  Here is my final bit of advice.  Get your worrying over quickly.  It is not productive.  What you can do is follow your doctors advice, and put your energy into maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Diet and exercise will certainly complement cholesterol lowering medication
  Good luck--and think happy thoughts
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for all your thoughts guys. It really does help. I had one final question. I read a post where it said athletic hearts have mild thickening of the ventricle. Could that be my situation? I am a runner 5-6 times a week 3-4 miles a day at a fairly fast pace. My doctor knows this. I was wondering how they distinguish between runners thickening and damage thickening. Any ideas?
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Avatar_f_tn
athletic thickening is due to the heart being worked so hard during excersize and damaging thickening is usually due to high blood pressure.. IF you lack high blood pressure, ide say its your running and you have "athletic heart" If you have high blood pressure as well, it can be difficult or impossible to make the destinction between the two as the results are the same
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