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What is Cardiomyopathy?

By on June 30, 2012 in Diseases with 0 Comments


What is cardiomyopathy?

Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscles. It can have many causes. It can be caused by coronary artery disease (clogged arteries), high blood pressure, infections, certain medications, diabetes, thyroid disorders or alcohol abuse. Rarely, cardiomyopathy may occur during the last trimester of pregnancy or the first few months after having a baby.

What are the symptoms of cardiomyopathy?

The symptoms of cardiomyopathy can be the same as the symptoms of heart failure. These include the following:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Fatigue.
  • Cough.
  • Trouble breathing, especially while lying down.
  • Edema (swelling) of the feet, ankles and legs.
  • Abdominal bloating.
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting.

How is cardiomyopathy diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask about your personal and family medical history. It is important to tell your doctor if anyone in your family has cardiomyopathy or other heart disease. Some of these conditions can be hereditary. Your doctor may do tests to check for risk.

Your doctor will examine you. Your doctor may test the heart and blood.

How is cardiomyopathy?

Treatment depends on the cause of cardiomyopathy. For example, if you have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medications to help control it.

If you smoke or drink alcohol, chances are your doctor tells you to stop. You may need to lose weight if overweight or obese. Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. However, you should consult your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Your doctor may prescribe medications to treat cardiomyopathy. Your doctor can also suggest that you eat less than 2,300 mg of salt per day. Sodium intake is associated with high blood pressure and heart disease.

If you have heart failure, you may need a small device similar to a pacemaker to help the heart work properly. You may also need surgery for the placement of the device in the body.

In severe cases, a person with cardiomyopathy may require a heart transplant. A cardiologist can help you and your doctor make that decision.

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