Cardiomyopathy: A Hereditary Disease of the Heart by Dr. Ajay kumar

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India is home to a large number of patients who suffer from regular to chronic heart diseases. The statistics show that in the past 20 years, the cases of heart problems in India increased by 50%. At this alarming rate, national health becomes a major concern. One of the chronic problems related to the heart that is faced by individuals is Cardiomyopathy.

 

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Cardiomyopathy

 

Cardiomyopathy is a heart condition which results in harder cardiovascular muscles or heart muscles in short. It results in difficulty of the heart in pumping blood in the body. A prolonged condition of Cardiomyopathy leads to heart failure. In this condition, the heart is abnormally larger, thickened and stiffed and hence the efficiency to pump out blood decreases.

 

There are Three Main Types of Cardiomyopathy:

 

Dilated Cardiomyopathy: In this type of cardiomyopathy, the pumping ability of the heart’s main pumping chamber, that is the left ventricle becomes enlarged (dilated) and can’t effectively pump blood out of the heart.

 

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This type involves abnormal thickening of the heart muscle, particularly affecting the muscle of your heart’s main pumping chamber (left ventricle). As the walls of the heart are thickened, it interrupts the working of the organ ina proper manner.

 

Restrictive Cardiomyopathy: In this type, the muscles are harder and less elastic, it prevents the heart from filling in blood in the body.  This not a very common type of cardiomyopathy can occur at any age and mostly found in old people.

 

The signs and symptoms of Cardiomyopathy get worse until a way to treat them is devised. The symptoms that are seen are the following:

 

 

• Breathlessness with exertion or even at rest

 

• Swelling of the legs, ankles, and feet

 

Bloating of the abdomen due to fluid buildup

 

• Cough while lying down

 

Fatigue

 

• Heartbeats that feel rapid, pounding or fluttering

 

• Chest discomfort or pressure

 

• Dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting

 

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One should know that when faced with such conditions, it is highly recommended that consultation from doctors is taken. Those who are most prone to Cardiomyopathy are the old people; it is because of the efficiency that reduces with age. There are a number of causes of Cardiomyopathy; some of them are listed as under:

 

 Long-term high blood pressure

 

 Heart tissue damage from a heart attack

 

 Chronic rapid heart rate

 

 Heart valve problems

 

 Metabolic disorders, such as obesity, thyroid disease or diabetes

 

 Nutritional deficiencies of essential vitamins or minerals, such as vitamin B-1

 

Pregnancy complications

 

 Drinking too much alcohol over many years

 

 Use of cocaine, amphetamines or anabolic steroids

 

 Use of some chemotherapy drugs and radiation to treat cancer

 

 Certain infections, especially those that inflame the heart

 

 Iron buildup in your heart muscle

 

 A condition that causes inflammation and can cause lumps of cells to grow in the heart and other organs

 

 A disorder that causes the buildup of abnormal proteins

 

 Connective tissue disorders

 

 

It is necessary that preventions are taken beforehand. Avoiding substance abuse like alcohol is a must to avoid cardiomyopathy. A healthy diet and eating habits that keep cholesterol and blood pressure in control would reduce the risk of acquiring the condition. A healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and rest is advised not only for Cardiomyopathy but other ailments as well.

 

Today a healthy heart is a desirable state of a healthy body, heart issues like Cardiomyopathy becomes a chronic condition and reduces the life span. It results in other complications like blood clot and valve problems. Cardiac arrest is a major mishap that can happen if a person is suffering from Cardiomyopathy. In order to lead a healthy life with a healthy heart, knowing and being aware of conditions like these is important. Stay healthy! Stay fit!

 

Also, do not hesitate to consult a cardiologist. Consultation with a cardiologist will be helpful in answering your queries regarding your heart health.

 

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