If you find out you have a congenital heart defect, or you've had surgery to correct one, you may wonder about limitations on activities and other issues.
Dec. 14, 2011
- Exercise. Having an atrial septal defect usually doesn't restrict you from activities or exercise. If you have complications, such as heart failure or pulmonary hypertension, you may not be able to do some activities or exercises. Your cardiologist can help you learn what is safe.
- Diet. A heart-healthy diet based on fruits, vegetables and whole grains — and low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium — can help you keep your heart healthy. Eating one or two servings of fish a week also is beneficial.
- Preventing infection. Some heart defects, and the repair of defects, create changes to the surface of the heart in which bacteria can become stuck and grow into an infection (infective endocarditis). Atrial septal defects generally aren't associated with infective endocarditis. But if you have other heart defects in addition to an atrial septal defect, or if you've recently had atrial septal defect repair, you may need to take antibiotics before certain dental or surgical procedures.
- What are holes in the heart? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/holes/. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Facts about atrial septal defect. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/heartdefects/AtrialSeptalDefect.html. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Cohen S, et al. Atrial septal defect. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..C2009-0-38601-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&uniqId=291436269-101. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Bernstein D. Acyanotic congenital heart disease: The left-to-right shunt lesions. In: Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Vick GW, et al. Management and outcome of isolated atrial septal defects in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Atrial septal defect. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/pediatrics/congenital_cardiovascular_anomalies/atrial_septal_defect_asd.html. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Wiegers SE, et al. Management of atrial septal defects in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Wiegers SE, et al. Pathophysiology and clinical features of atrial septal defects in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Birth defects. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.com/baby/birthdefects_congenitalheart.html. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Questions and answers on the 2010 dietary guidelines advisory committee report. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/DGAC/Report/QandA-DGACReport.pdf. Accessed Oct. 26, 2011.
- Grogan M (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 8, 2011.
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