Taking a Look at the Basics of Cardiomyopathy

human heart

If your cardiologist diagnoses you with cardiomyopathy, it means that you have a disease of the heart muscle in which the organ becomes enlarged and weakened. Occasionally, cardiomyopathy can also lead to scar tissue on the heart. Ask your cardiologist  which type of cardiomyopathy you have—the three types are restrictive, hypertrophic, and dilated.

Possible Causes
There are many possible causes of cardiomyopathy , and in some cases, your heart doctor may be unable to determine the specific cause of your condition. Cardiomyopathy may be caused by metabolic disorders, heart valve problems, viral infections, chemotherapy drugs, and genetic conditions. Long-term, excessive consumption of alcohol, long-term hypertension, or a chronic rapid heartbeat can also lead to cardiomyopathy.

Signs and Symptoms
Cardiomyopathy may not show any symptoms in its early stages. However, if you experience abnormal heart rhythms, shortness of breath, fatigue, or weakness, you should see a heart doctor for diagnostic tests. Symptoms can also include swelling of the abdomen and lower extremities, along with fainting, dizziness, and lightheadedness while exercising.

Potential Complications
Cardiomyopathy may not always result in additional health complications, particularly when it is managed by a cardiologist. However, the possible complications can include blood clots and heart valve problems, along with heart failure or cardiac arrest. These complications often arise when the heart cannot pump enough blood due to the weakened heart muscle, or because the heart valves cannot close properly.

Treatment Options
Your cardiologist will customize a treatment plan to suit your needs, depending on the type of cardiomyopathy you have. You might take medications like diuretics or beta blockers, or you might benefit from an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). If you have restrictive cardiomyopathy, your heart doctor will recommend a low-sodium diet.

The experienced heart doctors of Cardiac Solutions will develop a cardiomyopathy treatment plan to suit your needs. If you live in the Glendale or Peoria area,schedule an appointment today by calling (623) 876-8816. You could also visit our website to learn more about our state-of-the-art clinic.

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