John Reynolds has always been an athlete. He grew up playing soccer and baseball and in his adult years, he picked up cycling. It was on several of those long bike rides when he began to feel lethargic and out of breath. There were some days that he couldn’t finish his ride, so he would turn around and head home.
Reynolds sought treatment at the University of Virginia Heart and Vascular Center. He met with Dr. Robert Battle, a cardiologist who serves as the director of sports cardiology. Battle had Reynolds bring his training bike into the clinic to perform a stress test.
Eventually, Reynolds was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, a condition that essentially makes the heart muscles work too hard. Often times, patients with HCM do not feel symptoms, but they may feel some chest pain, shortness of breath or dizziness. In Reynolds’s case, he was able to resume cycling with a few precautionary measures – a salt pill and some water a few hours before hitting the road. Reynolds has regular follow-up appointments with Battle and his team.
Today, he is free to ride as much as he can.