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Hi there… I am 20 years old and I am in the basketball since I was 7. Basketball is my sport, I was always imagine that I am going to be like those NBA players. Maybe one day but I need to tell you that I am a little bit skeptical about this situation. Here is my story. Three weeks ago I found out that I am diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. I don’t know what to do and how serious this is. Some people keep telling me that I should avoid sports and exercises, while some of them are telling me that I can keep playing sports. I was wondering can you give me an advice? Can I still play basketball and exercise?

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Hi Jake,

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM is a disease in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick (hypertrophied). The thickened heart muscle can make it harder for the heart to pump blood.

The important thing here is why did you go to the hospital when you still didn't know that you had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Did you have any symptoms of it?

I'm asking you this because most of the people will never have any symptoms of this, and regarding that, they usually never find out that they had this condition. Only a small number of people end up with a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm because of HCM.

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Hi Jake,

I believe that Stradivarius is right, it's very important for you to tell us why did you go to the hospital in the first place. I mean, it is important because we will be more precise with our response then, but it is definitely smarter for you to talk to your doctor about this.

If you had no symptoms, like shortness of breath, chest pain or problems in the heart's electrical system, then you are probably going to live your life like you don't even have HCM because it's not going to affect you at all. Go become a successful basketball player.

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Hi everyone,

What they wrote above me is true, Jake, only a small number of people have problems with their HCM. While reading your question I somehow assumed that you didn't really have any symptoms of this disease, otherwise you would have probably mentioned it in your post.

So if we conclude that you had never had any symptoms of it (the ones that Adria wrote, shortness of breath or chest pain), then you have nothing to worry about and this disease won't affect your life in any way. You will be able to continue your athletic life without any worries. 

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Hi guys, I honestly hope that they are all right about this, Jake, and that you will be able to continue to live your life in a normal way and become a successful basketball player. I have a friend who is diagnosed with HCM and he doesn't have a single symptom of it. He went to consult two doctors, the first one told him that he should avoid sports, and the other one asked him if he had any symptoms and my friend said no. The doctor told him to forget that the paper showed that he is having HCM, he said, live like you never even heard of it.

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Hello there.

I need to agree with a lot of you that playing sports and exercising while you are diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is allowed.

You can play without having any fear. But of course, you need to be in constant touch with your doctor about this issue because you cannot do anything on your own, without asking do you need any therapy, do you need some other examinations/tests, etc.

So, I believe that you can do it without fear but you need to consult someone. I believe that this is not dangerous.

Good luck there buddy. 

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Good day. I am not sure and I need to tell you that I don’t agree with some of you. Why? Because my friend James was playing hockey all his life and when he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy he stopped playing it.

Doctors told him that this maybe is not so dangerous for his health but, for his own good, he should stop playing sports.

They let him to do some exercises and they recommended him long walks.

Maybe his doctor is a little bit worried, more than he should be but James didn’t want to risk and he quit playing sports.

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Good day folks. Look La Yl La, I have to disagree with you. I don’t have an idea why doctor told your friend this because I am pretty sure that this is not true.

Look, I do know some people who have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and they are professional sport players. I think that they didn’t have any trouble playing sports with good medications, competent doctor's care and quality life program.

So, of course that you can play sports and exercise as well with this diagnosis. All you need to do is to be more careful when it comes to your health but it is pretty much safe.

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The responses herein are incredibly ignorant and dangerous. I have HCM. I was diagnosed at 15. I was a champion wrestler and was told I could never play sports again on a competitive level. When I was young, I thought this was ridiculous. However, when in college at Colorado State U, a placekicker collapsed and died during practice. Then it was Hank Gathers, a star college basketball recruit. Since then, Dr. Barry Maron, the world's leading researcher on this disease, has published studies strongly demonstrating that HCM is the biggest killer of athletes in the country! Point is, you can reinvent yourself. My whole life was wrestling. I had to find a new "me" and I did.

It is very difficult to resuscitate people who has gone into cardiac arrest, especially if they have HCM. Continuing with competitive sports is dangerous. There is no such thing as "mild" HCM. If you have it, you have it! Just like Hank Gathers, just like Reggie Lewis. Both had "mild" HCM. Check out the HCM association website. Do your homework. Find a cardiologist who specializes or has experience treating this disease. Don't risk you life. Many have died.

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