Genetics can be a blessing or a curse. My mother was known as the “Sexy Aunt” in the family. Out of all her siblings, she was the most fit and healthy.
Unfortunately, she didn’t know that she had a rare genetic heart disease, Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy. This genetic disease has a 50% chance of being passed down if one of your parents have the genotype.
For those who have this disease, it’s recommended to live a sedentary lifestyle. My mom was a personal trainer for over 30 years, far from sedentary. This disease unknowingly got the best of her at the end of 2015.
When you lose a loved one due to ARVC, it’s highly recommended that all first degree relatives be screened. There are multiple cardiac tests to diagnosis the potential presence or absence of the disease. Let me share with you with ARVC testing process.
For my first step, I researched cardiologists in my area and found one that was covered by my insurance plan. She was an amazing doctor that understood the situation and told me take precaution (reduce working out) until my test results were determined.
In addition to visiting the cardiologist, she referred me to a electrophysiologist for further testing since they specialize in the electrical activity of your heart. Below are the test procedures that I experienced:
For the genetic test, it only rules out a 55% chance that you carry the disease. After a couple months of testing, all my results came back negative with great relief. Even though it was great news, I still need to take precaution and get tested every couple of years. Since this rare genetic heart disease is difficult to detect, it could express itself later in life.
If you have or lost a loved one to this disease, make sure that you are aware of the symptoms and get tested to be safe!