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Cardiomyopathy includes diseases involving the heart muscle. These diseases have various causes, types, symptoms and modes of treatment.
The heart muscle gets enlarged, thick or rigid. In several cases, the heart muscle tissue is replaced with a scar tissue. As this condition worsens, the heart gets weaker and the ability to pump blood is disrupted, which can cause heart failure or irregular beating of the heart. The weakened state of the heart can lead to valvar diseases.
The different types of cardiomyopathy are:
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This is a common form and affects people of all ages. Men and women are affected equally. This condition arises due to the enlargement and thickening of the heart muscle. The ventricles, the septum and the lower heart chamber usually thicken, which causes obstruction in pumping of blood by the heart. This disease also causes stiffness in the ventricles, and cellular changes in the tissue.
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy: This form of cardiomyopathy develops due to the enlargement and weakening of the ventricles. The issue arises from the left ventricle and develops over time. It may even affect the right ventricle. More effort is put in by the heart muscles for pumping blood and slowly the heart is unable to pump blood effectively. This condition may lead to heart failure, valve diseases or blood clots in the heart.
- Restrictive Cardiomyopathy: This disease occurs due to the stiffening of the ventricles, without thickening of the walls of the heart. The ventricles are not allowed to relax and do not receive a sufficient volume of blood supply. This condition causes heart failure and valvar problems over time.
- Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia: This rare form of cardiomyopathy occurs when fat or fibrous tissues replace the muscle tissue of the right ventricle. This causes arrhythmias and disruption in the electrical signals of the heart. It generally affects teens and may cause cardiac arrest in athletes.
- Unclassified Cardiomyopathy: Some types of cardiomyopathy of this category include left ventricular non compaction where the ventricles develop trabeculations. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is another disease where immense stress causes failure of the heart muscles.
Treatment: Many cases of cardiomyopathy come and go away on their own. Treatment for other cases depends on the severity and symptoms. The major treatment methods are:
Lifestyle changes meant for a healthier heart.
- Nonsurgical methods.
- Surgery and implants
Modes of surgery for treatment of cardiomyopathy include:
- Septal myectomy
- Heart transplant
Implant devices such as Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device, Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), Left ventricular assist device and pacemakers are fitted into the heart for better performance.
Cardiomyopathy can be of many different types, each arising from different situations and conditions. The mode of treatment depends on the severity of the complication or on the basis of symptoms. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cardiologist.
We're all guilty of making fun of snorers, but sometimes this snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where breathing is not continuous and may start and stop many times while asleep. This affects the quality of your sleep and in turn can affect many aspects of your health including your cardiovascular health. Here's how:
High Blood Pressure: When a sleep apnea patient's breathing stops, the oxygen levels in the blood also suddenly fall. This can increase your blood pressure. High blood pressure means that the heart muscles need to work harder to pump blood through the body.
Cardiomyopathy: As a result of high blood pressure, the heart walls may become thicker and the heart muscles become stiffer. This is known as Cardiomyopathy. As this condition worsens, the heart becomes weaker and is unable to maintain a regular rhythm. This can eventually lead to heart failure.
Arrhythmia: An irregular heartbeat is also known as Arrhythmia. This may also be related to the changes in the heart's structure that follow the drop in blood oxygen levels. In many cases, Arrhythmia has no visible symptoms and can often go undiagnosed. This can result in the formation of blood clots in the atria which can lead to a stroke.
Sleep apnea is easy to diagnose. If the doctor feels that you show symptoms of sleep apnea, you may be asked to stay on the hospital overnight and undergo a sleep evaluation. This tests a variety of body functions including brain activity, eye movements, heart rate, breathing patterns and blood oxygen levels.
Treatment for sleep apnea depends on the causes for this condition. If you are overweight, regular exercise and a change in diet can help you lose the excess weight and cure sleep apnea. Similarly, if your sleep apnea is triggered by an allergy, treating the allergy can help cure the sleep apnea. Other forms of treatment for sleep apnea may include:
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): This is a machine which pumps air into the body through a nasal mask. By keeping the pressure in the machine higher than normal air pressure the upper airway passages are kept open and hence the quality of your sleep is improved. An auto CPAP machine can modulate the air pressure such that it is higher when you inhale and lower when you exhale.;
Oral devices: Your doctor may suggest oral devices that allow you to keep your mouth open while you sleep. This is easier to use than CPAP machine but less effective. Surgery is the last resort when it comes to treatment for sleep apnea.
Hi sir .my father got chest pain on saturday and went to doctor in agra. Test were done .find the 2 things that causes chest pain. Left ventricular ejection fraction was 43 and left ventricular fractional shortening was 21. Doctor told that it was heart attack and gave some medicines. But now also there is chest pain. Please help us how to cure it and what should be taken in diet .Is operation is required .sir please help.
I am 31 years old male and have high blood pressure 140/110 from last year. I have used to take medicine like revelol 50/revelol 20 and all for everyday. But haven't got any relief. What so I do now.
Sir I am a bypass patient from sept 14 and I hv gone by pass surgery in sept 2014 and now I am taking met xl 25 in morning and ecosprin gold 10 after dinner. So pls guide whether this medicine are ok for me as I am 46 yrs. I am taking 45 min walk daily in morning. Currently mango season is running and I like too much to eat mango as I was eating earlier so pls inform whether it is good for me and how much mango in a day is advisable as per years experience pls let us know. I will be waiting for your reply soon.
I am done ECG echo tmt lipid thyroid since one week back all are coming normal but in echo report shows tachycardia and GRADE 1 DIASTOLIC DYSFUNCTION WHAT WAS IT and in early mornings I feel palpitations and tightness in chest is it is OK once we done all tests need not to worry.
I have query regarding. Does medicines remove blockage in heart arteries which cause heart failure in future.
Heart failure occurs when the heart fails to pump blood around the body and organs for oxygen and nutrients. As blood moves through the heart and body at a slower rate, pressure in the heart increases. The chambers of the heart stretch to hold more blood to be able to pump through the body. This helps the blood to move but eventually the heart muscle walls weaken, unable to pump blood efficiently. The kidneys, in response cause the body, to retain fluids. The leakage of fluid in the tissues and the organs congests the heart, leading to heart failure.
Any of the following conditions can be responsible for weakening the heart and causing heart failure.
1. Coronary artery disease: this is a disease of the arteries supplying blood and oxygen to the heart that causes decreased blood flow to heart muscle. If the arteries get blocked or narrowed (due to the buildup of fatty deposits), the heart fails to get oxygen and nutrients, which may eventually lead to heart failure.
2. Heart attack: if the artery becomes suddenly blocked or the plaques formed by fatty deposits rupture, it can lead to a heart attack. This happens due to the formation of a blood clot which may block blood flow to an area of heart muscle.
3. High blood pressure: high blood pressure puts an extra strain on the heart for it to work harder to circulate blood throughout the body. As a result, the heart muscle may become stiff or weak to effectively pump blood.
4. Heart muscle weakness: this condition can have many causes including diseases, infections, drug and alcohol abuse. Genetic factors may also contribute to the weakening of heart muscles.
Your heart gives you warning signs before the onset of a major problem. You may not even know that you are at risk of one or more heart diseases if you fail to notice these small signs that your heart sends out. Even a minor symptom, like chest pain, can indicate that your heart may be in trouble. While there could be many causal factors for a heart condition, here some symptoms, which are possible indications of a heart disease and should not be ignored in any case.
1. Chest pain or discomfort - This symptom is the most common one, which indicates that your heart is not healthy. It usually comes in the form of a pain, pressure or tightness in the chest and may happen due to a blocked artery. This may be an early warning sign of a heart attack and you should seek professional advice before it turns into a major problem.
2. Excessive sweating - If you often sweat without any valid reason, it might be a sign to be concerned for. The sweating experienced will feel more like the one that arises due to stress rather than common perspiration experienced due to any vigorous physical activity.
3. Difficulty in breathing - Shortness of breath is an indication that you are at high risk of getting a heart attack. The symptom includes having difficulty in breathing and feels similar to the panting experienced after a long run.
4. Nausea and frequent stomach problems - If you experience nausea, heartburn, indigestion or abdominal pain frequently, it may be the result of an unhealthy heart. Of course, these signs may be due to other diseases as well, but if you experience any of the other symptoms of heart problems too, it's highly probable that your heart is in trouble.
5. Exhaustion - If you fall into the high-risk zone of being a potential heart patient, you may feel exhausted after doing some simple chores, which didn't tire you earlier. Common examples may be climbing the stairs or carrying something from your doorstep inside the house to name a few.
Related Tip: 5 Signs of an Unhealthy Heart