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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

cardiomyopathy Symptoms and Treatment

Summary: Cardiomyopathy is a medical term that is characterized by damage to the heart muscles. Weak heart muscles make heart weak and cause heart failure. The present blog talks about its symptoms, causes, types, treatment and prevention.
The medical term cardiomyopathy is made up of three words, namely cardio, myo and pathy. The word cardio means “the heart”, myo means “related to muscles” and pathy means “disorder”. The term cardiomyopathy is used in order to describe a range of diseases of the heart muscles. Damage to the heart muscles results into weakening of the heart that eventually cause heart failure.

Symptoms of Cardiomyopathy:

Ø Fatigue
Ø Shortness of Breath
Ø Lethargy
Ø Chest Pain
Ø Feeling Lightheaded or Fainting
Ø Swelling due to fluid deposition in the legs and abdomen
Ø Increased Palpitations
Ø Sudden Death

Some patients even do not show any symptoms.

Causes of Cardiomyopathy

Alcohol Consumption:  If alcohol consumption goes beyond moderate dose, it causes cardiomyopathy over a period of time.
Diabetes: Some chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and thyroid disease give rise to cardiomyopathy.
Connective Tissues Disorders: Sometimes, the connective tissues disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis also trigger the disease.
Viral Infections: Though not all viral infections cause cardiomyopathy, but some viral infections do affect heart, causing cardiomyopathy.
Hereditary Factors: If anyone in the family has cardiomyopathy, others become susceptible to this disease.
Pregnancy: Pregnancy is also one of the precursors of the disease. It gets developed during pregnancy.
Drug Use: The use of cocaine, anabolic steroids and amphetamines may increase the susceptibility of the disease.
Side Effects of Cancer Treatment: Side effects of cancer treatment, such as Chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy may increase the possibility of some types of cardiomyopathy.
Nutritional Deficiencies: Inadequate intake of essential nutrients may give rise to cardiomyopathy.
Types of Cardiomyopathy
Ø Dilated Cardiomyopathy: It is a case of enlarged heart. This is the most common form of cardiomyopathy. In dilated cardiomyopathy, the chambers of the heart become bigger in size and the heart muscles stretch. The enlarged heart becomes unable to contract and pump adequate blood as per the needs and requirements of the body parts. That results into irregular rhythms and disturbances of the electrical activity of the heart. More than 30 per cent of the people with dilated cardiomyopathy inherit it.

Ø Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: In Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, the heart muscles become thick, making difficult for the heart to fill with blood. If the condition is not treated on time, it results into further thickening of the ventricles and gives rise to the obstruction of the blood flow from the heart, disrupting the ability of the heart to pump properly. More than 50 per cent of all its cases are hereditary. This form of cardiomyopathy causes cardiac arrest in teenagers and young adults.

Ø Restrictive Cardiomyopathy: It is a case of stiff heart. This form of condition is least common and most of the times its causes are unknown. In this condition, the muscles of the lower chambers of the heart, i.e. ventricles become stiff, making it tough for them to fill with blood between heartbeats.

Ø Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy: This condition is rare. It affects the people in the age group of 20 to 40 years. This is the condition that is characterised by development of scar tissues in the heart muscles, causing irregular heartbeat. It is a medical condition known as arrhythmias. It is often inherited.

Treatment of Cardiomyopathy
Type of cardiomyopathy, individual symptoms and degree (severe or mild) of complications decide the medicines used to treat cardiomyopathy. The medicines may include the following:
Ø Anti-arrhythmic to regulate heart rhythm
Ø Anti-hypertensive medicines to control blood pressure
Ø Diuretics to prevent the reduction of fluid deposition in heart failure
Ø Anticoagulants to help reduce risk of blood clots

Surgery and Implant
Pacemaker: A pacemaker is a small device. It is placed in the chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms. Pacemaker uses electrical pulses to direct the heart to beat at a normal rate.
Implantable defibrillators: Those who are at risk of dangerous arrhythmia, get treated with implantable defibrillators. Arrhythmia is a heart-rhythm problem. It occurs when the electrical impulses to the heart that coordinate heartbeat, does not work properly.
Heart Transplant: If cardiomyopathy is left untreated, it reaches at an advance stage and severe heart failure occurs. To treat this condition, doctors may consider a heart transplant.
Tips to Prevent Cardiomyopathy
Ø Quit Smoking: If you are addicted to smoking, stop it at the earliest possible time.
Ø Avoid Alcohol: Though moderate dose of alcohol will not put you in danger, but if your alcohol intake is more than it should be, be mindful of its dose.
Ø Exercise: It will be wrong to say that exercise is not good in cardiomyopathy. However, you should talk to your doctor and decide your exercise accordingly.
Ø Maintain Active Lifestyle: Sedentary lifestyle gives rise to heart diseases. Therefore, maintain active lifestyle by doing most of your office and home-bound work on your own.
Ø Take Healthy Food: Stick to fresh, seasonal foods and avoid salty, fatty and highly processed foods.

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