Rare cardiac diseases
Heather Kern was inspired to lose 125 pounds, after developing a rare heart condition. Two weeks after giving birth to her baby daughter, Cindy, Kern started to experience unusual symptoms, including numbness in her extremities and severe pain in the chest. After visiting a specialist, Kern was informed that she had a heart condition, called left ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy.
Left ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy is a congenital disease that affects the heart muscle condition of the muscular wall of the left ventricle – the chamber that pumps oxygenated blood through the systemic circulation. Instead, the muscle appears spongy in nature and “non-compacted.”
Normally, between the fourth and eighteenth week of gestation, the fetal heart muscle possesses this non-compacted aesthetic – a feature that is required for nutrition of the myocardial cells. Eventually, as the coronary arteries begin to develop, the thickness of the compacted muscle wall, alongside the mass of muscle, should increase; in turn, this helps to enhance the pumping function of the heart. In non-compaction cardiomyopathy, meanwhile, this development is arrested, leading to thin and dilated muscle walls and impaired cardiac pumping.
In addition, the cardiologist suspected that Kern was also suffering from Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia (CPVT) – a condition that causes life-threatening arrhythmias, in response to catecholamine release from the nerve endings of both the heart muscle and adrenal glands. The ensuing arrhythmia prevents appropriate contraction of the ventricles of the heart and stops the heart from pumping blood effectively.
In light of this information, and believing her death was imminent, Kern experienced severe depression. During her pregnancy, Kern had already gained around 40 pounds and was instructed not to place any strain on her heart; this meant the new mother was unable to engage in any physically demanding activities or exercise.
Kern was fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) – designed to detect and correct cardiac arrhythmias – and was provided a cocktail of heart medication. However, Kern’s crippling depression caused her to turn to food and eat more and more food. The combination of a new regime of medications, a shift in eating habits and her lack of physical exertion caused her weight to rapidly increase. The more weight Kern gained, the worse her depression and self-esteem became.
Kern’s life turned around, however, when she stumbled across a weight-loss challenge online. The challenge involved counting the calories of their diets to regulate the amount consumed. Kern claimed it was easier to try and shed the pounds with a group of online strangers, since the fear of failure was not as significant.
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In Case of Emergencyby Helen_Back
Are you prepared?
(1) ICE your cell phone:
(2) Carry an emergency card
The EMT should know if you have any of these conditions: ADD/ADHD Anemia Ankylosing Spondylitis Asthma Autism Blood thinners - Coumadin, warfarin Cancer patients Cardiac patients Cerebral Palsy Clinical trial patients Diabetes Emphysema Epilepsy, seizures
Food, insect and medicine allergies Hearing, sight and mentally impaired Hypertension Mental health patients Multiple medications Multiple Sclerosis Parkinsons Disease Rare diseases Stroke risk Surgery, transplant patients A list of any medications, including vitamins and herbal remedies, you are taking
(3) Use a Vial of Life
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