“Cardiomyopathies” are disorders that damage the heart muscle. If you have cardiomyopathy, your heart is unable to adequately pump blood to the rest of your body. You could therefore feel exhausted, have trouble breathing, or have palpitations in your heart. With time, cardiomyopathy deteriorates. Your quality of life can be better and the progression slows down with treatment.
A condition known as cardiomyopathy affects the myocardium, or heart muscle. Your heart may become stiff, expand, or thicken as a result of cardiomyopathy, and scar tissue may result. Also, your heart is unable to adequately pump blood to the remainder of your body as a result.
Your heart may weaken over time, and heart failure may result from cardiomyopathy. Therapy may be beneficial. A heart transplant may eventually be necessary for certain cardiomyopathy patients.
In the early stages of cardiomyopathy, there may be no symptoms or indicators. However, when the illness worsens, the following symptoms and indicators typically exhibit:
- Breathlessness with exercise or even during idleness
- Legs, ankles, and feet swelling
- Abdominal bloating as a result of fluid accumulation
- Cough when in a prone position.
- Difficulty sleeping on a flat surface
- Fast, hammering, or fluttering heartbeats
- Pressure or pain in the chest
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting
If left untreated, symptoms and signs usually worsen. For some, the illness becomes worse rapidly, while for others, it could take a while for it to get worse.
Causes of Cardiomyopathy
A primary cause of cardiomyopathy is viral infections of the heart. Sometimes the therapy for one disease might exacerbate another, leading to cardiomyopathy. This might include specific forms of cancer treatment, and severe congenital cardiac disease (present from birth). Also, this includes dietary deficits, and irregular, rapid heartbeats.
Cardiomyopathy may occasionally be associated with a genetic abnormality. In other cases, the reason is not known. It usually affects people in three different ways. They are as follows:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Restrictive cardiomyopathy
The severity of your heart’s damage from cardiomyopathy and the symptoms you experience determine the course of treatment. Treatment might not be necessary for some people until symptoms develop.
Some people who are starting to experience breathlessness or chest discomfort might need to adjust their lifestyle or take medicine. While there is no known cure or way to reverse this condition, the following treatments can help manage it:
Heart-Healthy Lifestyle Adjustments
These include trying to stop smoking and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. Also, these include controlling stress when it arises and obtaining the recommended amount of exercise.
These include drugs for treating hypertension and preventing edema. Also, these include maintaining a regular heartbeat, preventing blood clots, and lowering inflammation.
Surgically Implanted Devices
Defibrillators and pacemakers can be necessary.
Vasectomy or bypass surgery may be an option if the symptoms are severe and no medicine relieves the condition. Septal myectomy is a less common treatment. This includes cutting away some cardiac tissue to increase the heart’s ability to pump blood.
This is regarded as the last option.
The purpose of therapy is to maximize heart function while avoiding more harm and function loss.
The Bottom Line
Concerns over a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy are common. However, there are several therapies that medical professionals may provide to help you live a longer and better life. Find out from your provider how frequently you should get check-ups. Making routine meetings with your physician will enable them to keep an eye on your health. Also, he assesses how well your treatments are working.