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Cardiomyopathy - Factors That Put You At Risk!

Written and reviewed by
M.Ch - Cardio Thoracic Surgery, MBBS, MS - General Surgery
Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery, Pune  •  22 years experience
Cardiomyopathy - Factors That Put You At Risk!

Cardiomyopathy is a heart muscle disease that makes it difficult for your heart to supply blood to the rest of the body. This disease affects the heart’s size, shape and structure, hence resulting in heart failure. Some of the common types of cardiomyopathies are

The disease is generally inherited and some family members might get more affected than others, while others may not suffer at all or come across any symptoms.

Symptoms

Early stages of the disease may not see any symptom but with the advancement of the condition, certain signs and symptoms tend to appear, which are mentioned below as follows:

  • There might be breathlessness due to exertion or even when your body is at rest.
  • You might notice symptoms as in swelling of the legs, ankles and feet.
  • Excess fluid gets accumulated which leads to bloating of the abdomen.
  • You might start to cough while lying down.
  • Rapid, fluttering heartbeats.
  • You might face discomfort in the chest.
  • A tinge of dizziness might be felt or you might also faint from time to time.
  • These signs and symptoms worsen over time, if left untreated.

Causes of Cardiomyopathy

The actual cause behind cardiomyopathy is not known. People might acquire this disease from another condition or some may inherit from one of his or her parents. Factors which lead to acquiring of cardiomyopathy are:

  • Suffering from high blood pressure for a long time.
  • Heart attack which leads to damaging of the heart tissue.
  • Rapid heartbeat rate.
  • Certain metabolic disorders like obesity, diabetes or thyroid problem.
  • Deficiency of essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals, like thiamine.
  • Complications while conceiving a baby.
  • Consuming too much alcohol for a long period of time.
  • Use of cocaine or anabolic steroids also results in causing cardiomyopathy.
  • Drugs while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy to treat cancer could also lead to the problem of cardiomyopathy.
  • Certain kinds of infections, especially the ones which lead to inflammation of the heart can also this problem.
  • Any disorder which might allow the abnormal proteins to build up.
  • Sarcoidosis, which is a condition that causes inflammation and can lead to the growth of lumps of cells in the heart and other organs.

Treatment for Cardiomyopathy

The treatment for this particular disease mainly aims to manage the signs and symptoms, acts a preventive measure from letting the condition go from bad to worse and also reduce the risk of complications. Treatment procedures vary as per the type of cardiomyopathy:

  • Medications: Medications prescribed by doctors generally aim to improve the heart’s ability to pump, which in turn would improve blood flow, lower down the level of blood pressure, remove excess fluid from the body and also prevent blood clots from forming.
  • Surgically Implanted Devices: Doctors might look to place in the heart  several types of devices and help the heart to improve it’s working condition, thus relieving symptoms. The devices generally implanted are, Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD), Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) and Pacemaker.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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