Another athlete down – Why are their hearts giving out?

What is causing so many athletes at the top of their game to collapse or retire early due to heart-related diagnoses?

Another athlete down – Why are their hearts giving out?

Damar Hamlin is the latest in a string of sudden heart attacks among young, seemingly healthy athletes. Many watched, horrified, as Hamlin, just 24, stood up after a routine tackle during Monday night’s game, only to collapse to the ground seconds later.

Sports fans may remember Danish footballer Christian Eriksen’s sudden mid-game collapse in June 2021 due to cardiac arrest. Former American football player, Tim Howard, said at the time, “Being in football for 20-plus years, I’ve never seen a scene such as that”.

The tennis world was shocked in early 2022 when 15 players – ten women and five men – withdrew from the Miami Open due to various health concerns. Paula Badosa and Jannik Sinner, both favored to win the open in the women’s and men’s tournaments, were on that list.

After suffering from shortness of breath and chest pains during a match, Argentina and Barcelona star Sergio Aguero announced his retirement from football (soccer) in 2021.

There have been rare reports of tragic sudden heart attacks or heart issues in athletes for years, for reasons we’ll explore below, but since January 2021 the frequency has been skyrocketing. What is causing so many athletes at the top of their game to collapse or retire early due to heart-related diagnoses?


Muneeza Ahmed

The media is attempting to explain away these sudden cardiac arrests. Reports are coming out that normalize heart attacks as a result of high-intensity physical activity, but humans have been competing athletically and performing strenuous activities for millennia. Why is it that now, at this time in history, we are associating risk to heart health with using our bodies as they were designed to be used? Before modern conveniences, humans were accustomed to hard labor and got around on foot. Yet these tragic events are a modern phenomenon. Something has changed, and it’s not our physiology.

The media has even gone as far as to say that everyday activities like shoveling snow can increase the risk of a heart attack. So is the recommendation now that we should limit the use of our bodies? Should athletes be limited in their training and performance? Are children in gym class at risk? Losing confidence in our bodies creates health risks of a different kind.

Muneeza Ahmed

In an attempt to position themselves as authorities on the causes of recent events, experts featured in the media are giving reasons like genetics, underlying heart conditions, and the high pressure of performance, but offer no definitive answer as to why we are losing young female and male athletes to heart attacks.

We’ve seen these same justifications for serious illness before – genetics, mystery underlying or autoimmune conditions, or circumstantial factors. These seemingly scientific root causes are brought out when medical experts do not have answers. The answers exist, though. And with those answers, we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from suffering the same fate.


Let’s look at some of the leading causes of sudden cardiovascular events, most of which you won’t see discussed in the mainstream news.

Viral Pathogens
Viruses can attack the heart. Specifically, the herpes virus HHV-6 attacks organs like the heart and the kidneys ruthlessly. Many mystery heart problems have HHV-6 as the root cause. Diagnoses such as cardiomyopathy and myocarditis – where heart inflammation in ventricles and valves or heart weakness seem to have no explanation – often stem from viral attacks. Medical communities are still not aware of all of the symptoms and conditions that lead back to HHV-6 and its over 20 strains.

Viral infections can also cause mild strokes. Exposure to pathogens like the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) combined with a weakened immune system can lead to the virus entering the brain, causing chronic inflammation and potential stroke with age.

In my previous blog, I write more about the viral explosion we’re experiencing and how that impacts heart health.

Excessive fats in the diet
We are familiar with the idea of a “heart-healthy diet,” but how to eat to heal and protect our hearts is not well understood. Many of us consume high amounts of fat in the form of animal products (meat, eggs, cheese, and other dairy products), oils, nuts, nut butter, seeds, and high-fat fruits like avocado. Our bodies do not require anywhere near the amount of fat we are encouraged to consume. Even “fit” people can suffer a heart attack if their diet is too high in fat and lacking in glucose, especially when they are frequent consumers of caffeine (read why below).

An overabundance of fat in the diet causes the liver to work harder and weaken over time. Fats also thicken the blood, creating high blood pressure as the heart works extra hard to suction thick blood through our veins and arteries. Insulin resistance results from fats coating arterial walls, which prevents critical life-giving glucose and other essential nutrients from entering cells through the bloodstream. The pancreas suffers as a result, contributing to diabetes.

Canola oil is like battery acid on the inside of your arteries. It creates significant vascular damage. And high blood fat leads to greater acidity in the body since fats are acidic (“fatty acids”). When this high-acid environment is combined with dehydration, stress, high salt intake, and scar tissue in the brain from toxins like heavy metals and MSG, stroke can occur.

This is especially true with viral pathogens are present, even in a mild form, including COVID and the flu. Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) and mild strokes are often early signs that fats, toxins, and viral waste are building up and clogging blood vessels.

In Brain Saver by Medical Medium, we learn about another cause of sudden heart attacks: caffeine. An undiscovered cause of cardiac arrest and death in many young people is what Medical Medium calls “reverse polarity syndrome.” This occurs when caffeine deposits build up in and around the neurons of the brain causing the brain stem to send out an emergency signal to the heart, which shocks the heart into stopping momentarily.

This split-second halt propels blood backward, and if someone is engaging in exercise of any kind, that reverse flow goes against a rushing current of blood due to physical activity. The individual suddenly collapses, and a diagnosis of a heart attack with no heart condition present is the only explanation.

Foreign invaders
Foreign invaders entering the body is another major cause of strokes and blood clots included in Brain Saver. That foreign invader may be a pathogen in the form of a virus or bacteria or a toxin or toxic substance. What explicitly causes strokes and blood clots are when these invaders enter the body through the skin directly into the bloodstream (think of specific medical treatments that are delivered this way). The body then sees the invader as a threat.

White blood cells attack the invader to prevent infection, but the invader fights back, requiring a large influx of white blood cells to surround and contain the threat. The more toxic the invader, the larger and longer the clot of white blood cells will be, and when that clump moves into the smaller blood vessels in the brain, a stroke can result. A heart attack may also occur if the clot fills the length of an artery.

An 18-year-old client of mine developed a 3-foot clot from her leg to her heart and had to be taken into emergency surgery. There are multiple accounts of my clients bleeding out clots through their monthly moon cycle, which never happened before. Clients have also reported heightened occurrences of strokes and deep vein thrombosis.

Read more in my blog on the truth about blood clots.


Thankfully there are ways to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and heart inflammation, whether we’re 20 or 80 years old – athletes or office workers.

Address viral pathogens
Applying anti-viral protocols as outlined by Medical Medium, including daily celery juice, avoiding foods that feed viral pathogens like eggs, gluten, dairy, corn, soy, other GMO foods, canola oil, and MSG, and increasing your intake of anti-viral fruits, vegetables, wild foods, and herbs will help to protect you and your loved ones from the viral threat. Eggplant is a specific healing option to prevent blood clots.

Avoid caffeine and other stimulants (including pharmaceuticals where possible)
Avoiding caffeine is a true heart-healthy choice. Not only to avoid the tragic outcome of reverse polarity syndrome but also because caffeine floods the body with adrenaline which is corrosive to the body and hard on the heart. Caffeine is now added to most pharmaceuticals, so lowering your intake of pharmaceuticals in all forms, if that is an option for you, is also a way to limit caffeine exposure.

If you do consume caffeine, be sure to consume plenty of food high in glucose and ideally low in fats to protect your brain and heart. Diluting caffeine with nourishing food protects the brain and brain stem, lessening the chance that it will send an alarm bell to the heart.

Feed the heart and thin the blood
Our heart is a muscle, and muscles require glucose and mineral salts to function optimally. Filling your diet with high-quality carbohydrates like those found in all fruits, winter squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, raw honey, and coconut water will strengthen your heart and nourish your brain and body as well. Great sources of mineral salts include celery juice, cucumbers, and leafy greens.

We can also protect our hearts with natural methods of blood-thinning. In addition to lowering fats in the diet and limiting exposure to toxins, the key to preventing thick blood is hydration. Incorporating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables which are hydrating due to their living water content is a powerful support. Coconut water is a deeply hydrating beverage, and cucumber juice hydrates and also thins the blood, supporting the heart and the energy it exerts.

Lower fats and support our livers
Our livers are the guardians of our bodies. A strong liver means a strong heart and a healthier brain. The liver’s personalized immune system helps to protect against all pathogens. The liver’s immune system weakens when we starve the liver by consuming diets too high in fat and lacking in glucose, antioxidants, and phytochemicals from healing foods.

Reducing our fat consumption and taking daily measures to cleanse and support the liver, including:

  • 16-32 ounces of lemon water upon waking
  • 16-32 ounces of celery juice 30 minutes after your lemon water
  • A fruit-based fat-free breakfast 30 minutes after the celery juice

These supportive measures go a long way to protecting our heart health as we strengthen the liver.

If you’re ready to dive deeper into cleansing and truly rejuvenate your liver to counteract chronic illness, check out my Cleanse Your Liver to Heal Chronic Illness masterclass. I go in-depth on the liver’s functions, purpose, how to properly feed and restore it, and why this matters.


It’s disturbing to watch anyone collapse suddenly, especially young athletes who prioritize keeping their bodies at peak performance levels. It can cause fear and confusion as we search for reasons behind these tragic events. “If they can keel over, anyone can.”

To rise above fear, we need clarity about what’s shortening the lives of seemingly healthy young people. With clarity and solutions that we can apply and share with others, we can take steps to support our bodies in ways that will protect our hearts and cardiovascular systems.

No parent should ever have to watch their child collapse on the field, and no fan should have to watch their hero lose consciousness mid-game. As we spread the truth of these root causes and the knowledge of how to address them, we chip away at the lie that this is normal. It is not normal. And we should resist all attempts to normalize these events. We should be skeptical of news articles claiming that heart attacks are caused by extra time on the internet or flying frequently. These do not address the factors which actually cause cardiac events.

Speak your clarity to encourage others to dig deeper and see through the smoke and mirrors so that more of us understand how to heal and prevent any more tragic loss of life and talent.

To your health and peace,


Cleanse Your Liver to Heal Chronic Illness

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Muneeza Ahmed

Hi, I'm Muneeza

I’m humbled to have supported over 11,000 people in 86 countries (and counting) to heal with the perfect blend of education, support and community. If you’re ready for your journey from hope to deep healing, you’re in the right place.



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Healing is my living, my purpose and my path. I’m humbled to have supported over 9,000 people in 72 countries (and counting) to heal with the perfect blend of education, support and community. If you’re ready for your journey from hope to deep healing, you’re in the right place. LEARN MORE
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Muneeza Ahmed - Medicine Woman
Healing is my living, my purpose and my path. I’m humbled to have supported over 9,000 people in 72 countries (and counting) to heal with the perfect blend of education, support and community. If you’re ready for your journey from hope to deep healing, you’re in the right place. LEARN MORE
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MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: Muneeza Ahmed (“She,” “her,” or “Ahmed”), is not a licensed medical doctor, chiropractor, osteopathic physician, naturopathic doctor, nutritionist, pharmacist, psychologist, psychotherapist, or other formally licensed healthcare professional. Ahmed, does not render medical, psychological, or other professional advice or treatment, nor does she provide or prescribe any medical diagnosis, treatment, medication, or remedy. The information provided by Ahmed and Healthy Moon, LLC will not treat or diagnose any disease, illness, or ailment and if they should experience any such issues they should see their registered physician or other practitioner as determined by their own judgment.

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