Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy

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Can I die from arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

Because arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is associated with sudden cardiac death as a possible symptom, you can die from ARVC. This symptom is not found in everybody who has been diagnosed, but it is a possibility. If you have been diagnosed, following up with and taking the medical recommendations made by your cardiologist are imperative.

References
  • McNally E, MacLeod H, Dellefave-Castillo L. Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy. 2005 Apr 18 [Updated 2017 May 25]. In: Adam MP, Ardinger HH, Pagon RA, et al., editors. GeneReviews® [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2019. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1131/ Accessed March 29, 2019.
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What should I know about traveling with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

What types of things should I think about when considering work for patients living with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

Are there pregnancy risks for women with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

Can I drink alcohol if I have arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

Can I smoke cigarettes if I have arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

What is considered a healthy diet for people with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

What should I know about driving with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

What impact does salt have on my diet in patients living with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

What should I consider for family planning if I have arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

What should I know about traveling with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

If you have arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, these are some important questions to know the answer to when planing a vacation:

  • Is it at a high altitude? The reduced oxygen levels may cause breathlessness or chest pain.
  • Is it very hot? Extreme heat may affect symptoms such as dizziness or fainting, and risk dehydration.
  • Is it hilly or will you have steps to climb? What fitness level do you need if there will be lots of walking?
  • Are there enough amenities (for example, if you take diuretics and need to use the toilet frequently).
  • What is your accommodation like?
  • How do you call for help?
  • Where is the nearest hospital?

Other things to keep in mind:

  • if you need special assistance around the airport
  • if you may need medical help during the flight, such as access to oxygen
  • keep hydrated with non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated drinks
  • regularly move around out of your seat to help blood flow and avoid blood pooling in your legs
  • let the staff know that you have an implanted device as soon as you approach the security desks at the airport, and show them your device identification card
  • carry all of your medication, in its original packaging, with you in your hand luggage
  • if you are traveling to a different time zone, you may want to consider changing the time you take your medication to fit in with the new time zone
  • travel insurance is important for everyone, particularly for people with pre-existing medical conditions, who may need medical assistance while traveling
  • it may be recommended that you have vaccinations, or medication such as anti-malarials, to protect you against infectious diseases
What types of things should I think about when considering work for patients living with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

If you have arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, there are several things you should consider in terms of a job:

  • the type of cardiomyopathy you have and whether your condition is stable. Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy is part of the equation.
  • your treatment and how long it will take you to recover
  • is your work particularly stressful? For, instance, are there demanding deadlines?
  • some jobs, such as being in the armed forces or an airline pilot, are ruled out
  • jobs involving heavy lifting, strenuous activity or operating heavy equipment might be a problem
  • shift work might cause extra stress or tiredness. So can a long commute
  • handling electrical, specialist equipment or magnets might have implications for people with a internal defibrillator (ICD)
  • do you need a driving license for your job? For more details about driving restrictions, see driving
  • are there specific regulations or health checks that could be an issue?
References
Are there pregnancy risks for women with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

Case reports describe successful outcomes in women with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) who are pregnant and give birth. As specific guidelines for ARVC in pregnancy have not been developed, a multidisciplinary team to help monitor your condition should be put in place.

References
Can I drink alcohol if I have arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

If you have arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), alcohol can negatively impact your heart by raising your heart rate and causing arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms). Alcohol can also increase your blood pressure. Alcohol can also cause damage heart muscle damage. For someone with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, alcohol can add to this strain of a heart already under pressure. For these reasons, talk to your doctor about the use of alcohol.

Talk to your doctor if the standard guidelines for alcohol consumption is right for your to help reduce the workload on your heart. Don't be afraid to have a conversation with your heart doctor.

References
Can I smoke cigarettes if I have arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

There are various ways in which smoking can affect the heart of people living with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.

  • The nicotine in cigarettes causes the body to release adrenaline, which in turn raises your heart rate and blood pressure. Smoking can damage the lining of arterial blood vessels. Where and when blood flow is reduced in the coronary arteries (the arteries that give the pumping chambers their own supply of blood to function), blood is reduced to the heart muscle. Smoking can also influence a clot to form. Carbon monoxide reduces how much oxygen can be carried in the blood. Talk to your doctor about how to quit smoking.

We know smoking can affect all individuals; however, smoking is a known major risk factor for individuals living with heart disease. If you have cardiomyopathy, talk to your doctor about quitting. There are many options to help you quit smoking today. If you smoke, stopping smoking can be one of the most important things you can do to help your heart health.

References
What is considered a healthy diet for people with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

We hear of heart-healthy diet everywhere we turn these days and for those individuals living with living with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, a heart-healthy diet may be right for you. We know a healthy diet is vital to overall health and this includes your heart. A healthy diet can also help you to keep a healthy weight, which also help's the heart to function at its best.

Being overweight is a risk factor for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Being overweight may lead to adult-onset diabetes (type 2).

A good dietician or nutritionist can help you make informed decisions for a heart-healthy diet and help you get the proper essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals to protect your heart.

References
What should I know about driving with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

Some cardiomyopathies have their own specific driving restrictions and standards to meet if you experience particular symptoms like palpitations, dizziness, loss of consciousness or other symptoms which affect safe driving. Check with your doctor to see if arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy requires additional driving standards.

References
What impact does salt have on my diet in patients living with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

In the human body, sodium (salt) is needed to influence fluid balance and blood pressure. It might surprise you to learn that sodium also helps muscles and nerves to work effectively. Too much salt impacts the body and a s a result, we retain water cause swelling or edema. When individuals are living with cardiomyopathy caused by arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), the heart's workload is higher than average which can lead to high blood pressure. We know that a low-salt diet is especially helpful for certain high risks groups, including patients living with ARVC. To learn if a low-salt or low-sodium diet would be helpful for an individual living with ARVC, they should speak to their doctor or a dietitian. Helpful information on how to avoid salt in a diet is available on the American Heart Association website (https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/managing-blood-pressure-with-a-heart-healthy-diet).

References
What should I consider for family planning if I have arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

When a woman or man with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is considering having children or if ARVC runs in a person's family, seeking genetic counseling prior to a pregnancy is often very helpful. Genetic counselors are medical professionals who specialize in genetic testing, interpreting genetic test results, and helping individuals and families navigate both the physical and emotional challenges of inherited disease. During a genetic counseling appointment, the genetic counselor can provide a personalized risk estimate of passing on ARVC to a child and discuss testing options before conception, during pregnancy, or after birth. Having this discussion before pregnancy provides future parents the time to think about the best plan for them and allows time for testing for the gene change or pathogenic variant(s) causing ARVC in the family if it hasn't yet been found. To find a genetic counselor who in a particular area or who does telemedicine consults, visit the National Society of Genetic Counselor's "Find a Genetic counselor site at https://www.findageneticcounselor.com/.

References
  • McNally E, MacLeod H, Dellefave-Castillo L. Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy. 2005 Apr 18 [Updated 2017 May 25]. In: Adam MP, Ardinger HH, Pagon RA, et al., editors. GeneReviews® [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2019. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1131/ Accessed March 29, 2019.
  • Tichnell C, James CA, Murray B, Tandri H, Sears SF, Calkins H. Cardiology patient page. Patient's guide to arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy: past to present. Circulation. 2014 Sep 2;130(10):e89-92. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.004845 Accessed 11NOV19

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