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Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cardiology Topics

Question: Pacemaker and Alcohol


 trinitytrojan005 - Sat May 09, 2009 2:21 am

I recently had a bi ventricular pacemaker put in Sept. 2008. My doctor didn't really explain much on what I can and can't do. I am only 22. So my question is: Can I drink alcohol and how much? What about theme parks? Can I ride roller coasters? Basically, can I act like a normal 22 year old?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun May 10, 2009 8:53 pm

User avatar Hi there --

I see from your history you'd developed complete (3rd degree) heart block, so the pacer is to overcome this and keep you beating at a good normal rate. While alcohol in moderation is probably okay, alcohol can have several negative effects on hearts with pre-existing problems. Can sometimes cause atrial fibrillation and can weaken the muscle as well. However, this would usually apply to a structurally diseased heart, and you would appear only to have an electrical problem. It would be most wise to ask your doctor about this, since he knows the specific history that led to the pacer implantation. My guess is occasional, moderate alcohol would be okay, but please check for specifics. As to the roller coaster question, like a lot of electromechanical things, this may or may not be a problem. Most of these carry some sort of warning on site, but depends upon the state where you're located. Again, you might run this past the cardiologist just to have some idea as this applies to you in particular. Many people are able to do pretty much whatever they want, just need to avoid certain devices or keep them on the side of the body opposite the pacer (things such as iPods, cell phones, etc. fall into this area). I wish I could give you a better answer, but your doctor really has an obligation to give you a little background into what you should and should not avoid, depending upon your specific history. I'd be aggressive in getting these answers.

Hope this is helfpul. Good luck to you.

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