Bodybuilder drank cold water and lost consciousness (5 photos)

Category: Health, PEGI 0+
2 March 2024

The Texas bodybuilder was hospitalized more than 20 times due to a rare heart condition. As soon as a man drinks cold water, he becomes ill.

“I take a sip of cold water and immediately feel a double heartbeat,” says 35-year-old Franklin Aribeana.

The Houston native, a member of the International Federation of Bodybuilding, first noticed the alarming symptom at age 18 while working out at the gym.

“I will never forget this day,” the bodybuilder admits.

He felt a "palpable shock" while drinking water and lost consciousness.

Only after 15 years and 25 visits to the doctor, Aribeana discovered the seemingly harmless cause of his condition - ice water.

During training, he drank cold water and noticed that his heartbeat was irregular. He hurried to the examination.

It turned out that the muscular man suffers from a genetic disorder that causes atrial fibrillation, a disorder of the contractile function of the heart muscle.

Doctors explained that cold water affects the vagus nerve, a part of the nervous system that, in particular, regulates heart rate.

The phenomenon is described as the "dive reflex", in which exposure to cold water causes the heart to slow down to conserve oxygen and energy.

The reflex caused Franklin's heart to beat erratically and his blood pressure to plummet, causing him to faint.

Unfortunately, the reaction increases after high-intensity exercise such as weightlifting. The man recalled one time he passed out on a golf course on a hot summer day.

Doctors were able to correct the patient's problem using an ablation procedure that destroyed the connection between the vagus nerve and the heart.

Aribeana is now completely healthy.

“Franklin is a phenomenal person!” Dr. Khashayar Gematpour admires. “He is very purposeful! And he took a responsible approach to his treatment.”

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