Cardiomyopathy – Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment
Cardiomyopathy is a progressive disease of the heart muscle. It is a condition where the heart muscles are affected, and the heart is abnormally enlarged, become hard and stiffened.
Cardiomyopathy weakens the heart muscles; hence, they lose the ability to pump blood efficiently. Often, such patients also suffer from arrhythmic heart conditions or irregular heartbeats. There are different types of cardiomyopathy, which can lead to heart failure and some other complications.
Symptoms of cardiomyopathy:
In the early stages of cardiomyopathy, there might be no signs of the disease. But in advance conditions, the symptoms of the disease usually appear, which include:
- Breathlessness particularly during exertion or exercise
- Edema or swelling of the legs, ankles, and feet
- High blood pressure
- Heart palpitations
- Bloating of the abdomen due to buildup of excess fluid
- Cough while lying down
- Fatigue & weakness
- Chest pain or pressure
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting
If you don’t treat cardiomyopathy, the signs and symptoms get worse over time. In some people, it might take some to worsen, but in others, the condition worsens quickly.
Causes of Cardiomyopathy
There are various causes of cardiomyopathy, which include:
- High blood pressure for long-term
- Obesity, thyroid problems or diabetes
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Complications during pregnancy
- Inflammation of heart due to certain infections
- Connective tissue disorders
- Damage of heart tissue due to heart attack
- Heart valve problems
- Chemotherapy drugs and radiation used to treat cancer
- Hemochromatosis – Iron buildup in the heart muscle
- Amyloidosis – the accumulation of abnormal proteins
- Drinking alcohol over the years
- Cocaine, anabolic steroids usage
Types of Cardiomyopathy
Cardiomyopathy is of four types which include:
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: This is caused due to abnormal thickening of the heart muscle. It primarily affects the left ventricle, the main pumping chamber of the heart and makes it more difficult for the heart to function normally. This condition might happen at any age and is most prevalent among children. Sometimes, this condition might occur due to hereditary.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy: It is a condition where the left ventricle becomes enlarged (dilated) and unable to pump an adequate amount of blood out of the heart. This condition occurs when the heart muscles stretch and become thin and too weak to pump blood efficiently. It mostly affects middle-aged people and exclusively men. Heart attack or coronary artery disease is one of the most common.
Restrictive cardiomyopathy: This is one of the rarest types of cardiomyopathic conditions. This condition occurs when the heart muscle becomes less elastic, and as a result, the heart can’t expand and fill an adequate amount of blood between the heartbeats. It can occur for no reason, or it can be due to the build-up of iron in the heart muscle (hemochromatosis).
Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia: This is also one of the rare types of cardiomyopathy. In this condition, the right ventricles are replaced by scar tissue, which can alter the heartbeat and leads to heartbeat problems.
Some other types of cardiomyopathy which belong to one of the four types, but the causes or complications are unique. They include:
- Peripartum cardiomyopathy
- Alcoholic cardiomyopathy
- Ischemic cardiomyopathy
- Noncompaction cardiomyopathy
- Pediatric cardiomyopathy
- Idiopathic cardiomyopathy
Diagnosis Of Cardiomyopathy:
To receive a proper cardiomyopathy treatment, it becomes absolutely necessary to have a detailed and comprehensive diagnosis. The various ways of diagnosis are as follows:
- X-ray: This is one of the most common ways of checking the condition of the heart. In case the heart is enlarged, it calls for immediate medical attention.
- Echocardiogram: This is a more detailed method of checking the heart in order to classify the disease.
- Electrocardiogram: Electrodes are attached to the heart, to check the electrical activities in the heart.
- Treadmill Stress Test: This is a test that checks on the heartbeat by increasing the heartbeat. Hence, the patient is made to stand on the treadmill and is made to run, so that the rapid heartbeat is caught through the electronic device.
Treatment For cardiomyopathy
The various types of cardiomyopathy treatment are as follows:
- Medication: It is important in the first stage of a cardiomyopathy treatment to provide a patient with medication. Medication is provided to ensure that no blood clots are formed, there is a free flow of blood to the heart and to remove excess fluids from the heart.
- Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD): This is a device that is attached inside the heart and it sends electric shocks to the heart when there is an arrhythmic electrical activity in the body. When the heartbeat reduces, the devices monitors and controls the heartbeat using the electric shocks.
- Pacemaker: The pacemaker is a small device placed under the skin in the chest or abdomen and uses an electrical impulse to regulate and monitor the heartbeat.
- Ventricular assist device (VAD): Usually, VAD is used as a short-term or long-term treatment while waiting for heart transplantation. It helps in the circulation of blood through your heart.
- Heart Surgery: Septal myectomy, which is an open-heart surgery where the thickened heart muscle wall (septum), is removed. Removing the part helps to improve the flow of blood through the heart.
However, you can’t reverse the condition of cardiomyopathy, but you can control it if you follow proper measures.
Cardiomyopathy is a serious heart condition which requires immediate medical attention. Please consult our top Cardiologist at Sunshine Hospitals if you feel your heart is in trouble.
About The Doctor:
Dr. Sanjeev Kumar – MBBS, MD(General Medicine), DM(Cardiology) – 7995916038
Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, a Senior Interventional Cardiologist at Sunshine Hospitals, Gachibowli, having 9 years of experience in interventional cardiology services. He is one of the dedicated Cardiologist in Hyderabad and specialist in coronary & paediatric interventions. He is a gold medalist in both Madras Medical College & MlN Medical College, Allahabad. He performed more than 2000 cardiac procedures across the Sunshine group of hospitals. He is a profound speaker as he delivered his valuable speech in various national & international conferences. Dr. Sanjeev Kumar is the only cardiologist doing venous interventions for CKD patients in Hyderabad. Over the last 4 years, he successfully performed more than 900 primary PCI stenting. He has 99percent success rate and he maintains an excellent rapport with patients and attendants.
About Sunshine Hospitals:
A Multi Super Speciality Institution, 500 bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man. Sunshine has now become one of the best hospitals for many treatments including Orthopedic, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Trauma and Neurology.