Can a patient with fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD), which causes thickening and ballooning of large arteries, continue to do exercise with stretching? My patient has significant involvement of the carotid and renal arteries. She would like to continue her exercise program of Pilates and muscle strengthening, but I have been unable to find any information in the literature.
—Connie Sterritt, PA, Austin, Tex.
I agree that the literature does not provide a clear consensus for such a question. However, we believe that light-to-moderate exercise, such as walking, stretching, and Pilates, should not be discouraged. In fact, it should be encouraged as part of a plan to improve overall vascular health. I would, however, discourage strenuous exercise, such as heavy weight lifting.
—Daniel G. Federman, MD, professor of medicine, Yale University School of Medicine (108-12)