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What is Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC)?

Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a heart condition where some of the muscles in the heart weaken and thin over time. This condition is not often diagnosed until adulthood. Without the right treatments, ARVC can become a dangerous condition that needs to be medicated.

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Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy is a genetically inherited cardiac disease, meaning that it is passed from parents to children at birth. While a child is born with the genetic mutation that causes ARVC, they may not ever develop a malignant, or harmful, strain of the condition. Many other genetic cardiac conditions, like ARVC, can be managed and mitigated through healthy living and heart habits. Many cases of ARVC are found through cardiac genetic testing, which allows doctors to examine the genetic material for any mutations.

Symptoms of Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC)?

If you experience these symptoms, they may be a sign you are suffering from ARVC.

  • Chest pain or shortness of breath: especially during or after after exercise or rigorous physical activity, chest tightness, chest pain, or abnormal shortness of breath might be a sign that your heart is having to work harder than normal to bear the physical strain.
  • Fainting: also after exercise or rigorous activity, fainting can be a sign your body is not getting blood to important organs or your brain.
  • Sense of rapid or fluttering heartbeats: A feeling of abnormal heartbeats could be a concerning sign that you have a cardiomyopathy. Talk to your doctor for a heart screen.

These symptoms can be serious and should be treated with caution. Most cases of ARVC are undetected until they are symptomatic. From there, a cascade of genetic testing helps identify other family members with the disease.

Treatments for Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC)

There are several ways to help manage ARVC and live a full life. Many include heart-healthy lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy, balanced diet and limiting physical activity. Several medications also exist which help alleviate the stress that ARVC causes on the heart. Finally, a few surgeries are available that help reduce the strain on the heart muscle. Ask your doctor about recommendations for you. Additionally, for those in an older demographic, there are assisted living services that are equipped to handle many types of medical conditions.

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