Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle (myocardium) that makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood to the other parts of the body. It makes the heart works much more than it is supposed to pump blood.
Symptoms of Cardiomyopathy
It is a progressive disease. Individuals with cardiomyopathy might not have any symptoms in the early stages of the disease. As the disease progresses, symptoms usually begin to appear. Symptoms include:
- Heart palpitations
- Chest discomfort or pressure
- Dizziness or Lightheadedness
- High blood pressure
- Breathlessness or difficulty breathing, particularly during activity or exercise
- Coughing, particularly when lying down
- Difficulty lying down flat to sleep
- Swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet
- Bloating of the abdomen
Causes of Cardiomyopathy
The cause is often not known. It can either be inherited or acquired.
- Inherited cardiomyopathy is inherited from parents.
- Acquired cardiomyopathy is developed as a result of a health condition, disease, or some other type of illness such as infections in the heart muscle, coronary artery disease, etc.
Certain factors increase its risk. Risk factors include:
- Cardiac arrest or heart failure
- Coronary artery disease
- Chronic high blood pressure
- Damage to the heart from a heart attack
- Infections in the heart muscle
- Heart valve disorders
- COVID-19 infection
- Thyroid disease
- A family history of this disease
- Excessive intake of alcohol for many years
- The buildup of iron in the heart muscle (Hemochromatosis)
- Growth of tiny lumps of inflammatory cells in the body (Sarcoidosis)
- The buildup of abnormal proteins in the organs of the body (Amyloidosis)
- Connective tissue disorders
- Lack of essential vitamins or minerals in the body, such as vitamin B-1
- Use of cocaine or amphetamines
- Some types of cancer medications
- Exposure to toxins
During diagnosis, your personal medical and family medical history will be reviewed. You will be asked to describe your symptoms. A physical exam will be conducted. Several tests may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis. These tests include:
- Chest X-ray
- Blood tests
- Cardiac CT scan
- Cardiac MRI
- Cardiac catheterization
- Treadmill stress test
- Coronary angiography
- Myocardial biopsy
- Genetic testing or screening
Treatment of Cardiomyopathy in Waco, TX
Cardiomyopathy can’t be cured. Treatment is aimed at reducing and managing symptoms, preventing the condition from getting worse, and reducing the risk of complications.
Treatment options include:
Your doctor may prescribe medications for cardiomyopathy to help:
- Improve the ability of the heart to pump blood to the other parts of the body
- Improve blood flow
- Lower blood pressure
- Slow heart rate
- remove extra fluid from the body
- Prevent blood clots
Nonsurgical procedures that can be used to treat cardiomyopathy include:
1. Septal ablation
This procedure is used to destroy a small portion of the thickened heart muscle. The procedure involves injecting alcohol through a catheter into the artery supplying blood to the thickened area to destroy it.
2. Radiofrequency ablation
This procedure is used to treat irregular heart rhythms. The procedure involves guiding catheters through the arteries to the heart. Electrodes are placed at the tip of the catheter which transmits radiofrequency heat to damage a small portion of the heart tissue that is causing the irregular heart rhythm.
1. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)
Implantable ICD monitors heart rhythm and delivers electric shocks whenever the heart is beating too fast, too slow, or irregularly (arrhythmia).
2. Ventricular assist device (VAD)
This device helps to improve blood flow through the heart. A VAD can be used as a long-term treatment or as a short-term treatment pending when a heart transplant will be done.
This device is used to control irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias). A pacemaker uses electrical impulses to control arrhythmias.
4. Septal myectomy
This is open-heart surgery. The surgery involves surgically removing part of the thickened heart muscle wall (septum) that separates the two ventricles. This helps to improve blood flow through the heart.
5. a Heart transplant
A heart transplant might be needed when other treatments have failed. A heart transplant involves replacing the damaged heart with a healthy heart from a donor.
What are the types of cardiomyopathy?
The different types include:
1. Dilated cardiomyopathy
It is when the heart’s main pumping chamber (left ventricle) becomes enlarged or dilated and unable to effectively pump blood to the rest parts of the body.
The most common cause of dilated myopathy is coronary artery disease or heart attack, but it can also be inherited,
2. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
This is an abnormal thickening of the heart muscle, making it harder for the heart to pump blood. It mostly affects the muscle of the heart’s left ventricle.
3. Restrictive cardiomyopathy
This is when the heart muscle becomes stiff and less flexible. The heart is unable to expand and fill with blood between heartbeats.
4. Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia
This is a rare type. It occurs when the muscle in the right ventricle is replaced by scar tissue, leading to heart rhythm problems.
Other types include:
- Peripartum cardiomyopathy
- Ischemic cardiomyopathy
- Noncompaction cardiomyopathy
- Alcoholic cardiomyopathy
- Pediatric cardiomyopathy
- Idiopathic cardiomyopathy
Is cardiomyopathy a muscle disease?
It is a heart muscle disease.
How long can you live with cardiomyopathy?
With timely and proper medical attention and care, most people can live their normal lifespan.
Is cardiomyopathy a serious disease?
It is a serious disease but it is not a death sentence.
Is cardiomyopathy a terminal illness?
This is a serious disease that can be life-threatening without proper and timely treatment. While it can’t be cured, it can be treated. People with cardiomyopathy can live their normal lifespan with timely and proper treatment.
Can you recover from cardiomyopathy?
This can’t be cured but you can recover from it through proper treatment.
Is cardiomyopathy the same as heart failure?
It is a disease that can lead to heart failure. It is a disease of the heart muscle (myocardium) that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the other parts of the body. Heart failure is the inability of the heart to pump blood due to the weakness of the heart muscle or when the heart muscle becomes stiff and unable to relax normally.
How does cardiomyopathy affect the body?
It makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the other others of the body. As a result, all the other body organs lack oxygenated blood to function effectively. It can lead to several serious symptoms and complications.
Is myocarditis the same as cardiomyopathy?
Myocarditis is not the same as cardiomyopathy. Myocarditis occurs when the heart muscle becomes inflamed and weak, resulting in the inability of the heart to effectively pump blood.