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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Why did Arnold Schwarzenegger break his femur?

How could such a strong, big-boned man who has pumped iron all his life break a femur by tripping and falling onto a ski pole?

News: Dec. 23 was Arnold Schwarzenegger's turn to become a Bald Mountain statistic.
According to reports, the accident sounds to have been something of a fluke. Skiing with family members and friend Adi Erber of Ketchum, Schwarzenegger simply slipped, according to Erber.

"His pole got caught underneath his ski, and he tripped over it," Erber said. "He fell on his ski pole, and the impact broke his femur."
By GREG STAHL and JODY ZARKOS Idaho Mountain Express

Gary Moller comments:
What is so remarkable about Arnold Schwarzenegger is the fact that he is still alive. Let me explain why:

It is no secret at all that Arnold Schwartzenegger's body was honed with more than a liberal concoction of anabolic steroids. The list of longterm health effects is long and terrifying. A common cause of premature death among athletes who abuse steroids is liver cancer.
Body building and heart disease
The heart problems that are associated with body building are interesting: What happens when the skeletal muscles are artificially swelled by anabolic steroids, is the heart muscle does the same. The problem with this is the heart is a ball of muscle and, as it swells its ability to contract and expand to pump blood can be seriously compromised. It simply can't fill and empty its chambers properly. An accompanying factor in stressing the heart when body building is the loss of flexibility of the arteries and excessive over-development of the left ventricle of the heart from excessive straining that comes from repeatedly lifting heavy weights. This is because the systolic blood pressure rises enormously when straining with heavy weights. Coming on top of all of this are the dietary extremes, including deliberate dehydration that a body builder resorts to. These practices are downright unhealthy and contribute to heart disease and kidney problems.

Do you remember Olympic sprint champion Florence Griffith Joyner, who was only 38 when she died in her sleep of an apprarent heart attack? Controversy still surrounds her cause of death.
It is a commonly held view in the fitness industry that body builders, despite their huge cut muscles, are the most unhealthy group of people you'll find in a gym.

It therefore comes as no surprise that Arnold Schwarzenegger's physical appearance and health have deteriorated so dramatically since turning 50. He required, as I understand it, heart valve replacement in his early 50's. It is standard to prescribe blood thinners like warfarin or heparin post heart valve surgery and this may have something to do with his fractured thigh. Read on...
Arnold's latest health problem: Is it osteoporosis?
What is interesting about Arnold Schwarzenegger's skiing accident is how innocuous the fall appeared to be. Its the kind of fall that happens to klutzy skiers like me all the time. Apparently, he was stationary, tripped on his pole and fell landing with his thigh across it - "SNAP!" That's not the sort of thing that should happen to a 50'ish ex-athlete who has pumped iron like crazy all his life.

One of the consequences of longterm use of drugs like heparin and warfarin is osteoporosis. It would be interesting to know if he is on any of these drugs for his heart condition. He should be.

The lessons from this short story:

Do not take chemical shortcuts to achieve your goals - do not cheat; there are few medical drugs that can be taken long-term without the risk of serious secondary consequences; and these side effects may never be related back to the real causative agent.

Oh! - And don't smoke, even if you are being paid by the big tobacco companies to help them addict young fans. Remember the fate of the real Marlborough Man (He died young of lung cancer).


Wayne said...

or arnold is telling, steroids damage the liver, his body can no longer process protein and maintain his metabolism at high rates that steroids raise it to, so now he is facing massive wasting of his muscles and the fat is creeping in, no wonder he dipped out of the movies, his body is on a fast physical decline steroid users often end up emaciated because of the extensive damage caused to a liver that has been habitually over reved by the drugs and hormones.

Gary Moller said...

Wayne, I was tempted to mention another possibel factor: High protein intake. This makes the body acidic and the body buffers this tendency by leaching alkaline calcium out of the bones. this is one suggest reason why vegetarians do not seem to suffer osteoporosis - the alkaline diet spares the bones. And the teeth.

Wayne said...

the thigh bone is no easy bone to break! it normally takes a pretty serious accident to break it, its far more common to break the thinner bones of the lower leg.

Jeannie Crabtree C.Ac said...

Yes, I agree. Poor bone health can be caused by a number of things. Certainly current or past drug use.

In addition, diet can have a lot to do with it. My father ended up with osteoporosis from poor diet.
In his older years, he needed hip replacement.

I have an article for body builders, pointing out the pitfalls of the usual diet and the resulting acid condition caused by it. Some of your readers may find that interesting.