Heart & Circulatory Health

Facts About Cardiomyopathy in Adults

Written by Dr. Vasantha K S and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

 
Image: Facts About Cardiomyopathy in Adults

'Cardio' means heart and 'myo' refers to muscle. So, the term cardiomyopathy describes a disease of the muscles of the heart. In this condition, there is difficulty of the heart's chambers to pump blood effectively to all the tissues of the body. It can be either genetic or acquired.

Types of Cardiomyopathy: Depending on how and which heart muscle is affected, there are few types.

  1. Hypertrophic: In this type, the heart muscles thicken.
  2. Dilated: In this type, the muscles get thin and stretched out causing the chamber to get enlarged.
  3. Restrictive: The heart muscles become stiff and rigid.
  4. Arrhythmogenic: The muscles of the right ventricle are replaced by a scar tissue.
  5. Unclassified: This includes peripartum, alcoholic and ischemic cardiomyopathy.

Causes: It may be caused due to varying reasons.

  • Inheriting it from parents.
  • Prolonged hypertension.
  • Tissue damage after a heart attack.
  • Heart valve defects.
  • Infections that affect the heart muscle.
  • Tissue disease such as amyloidosis, sarcoidosis, lupus, vasuclitis, etc.
  • Obesity.
  • Smoking.
  • Drug abuse.
  • Overconsumption of alcohol over a long time.
  • Sometimes as a complication of pregnancy.

Signs and Symptoms: Symptoms worsen over time if left untreated. The person may experience one or many of the following.

  1. Shortness of breath.
  2. Lightheadedness and dizziness.
  3. Extreme fatigue.
  4. Chest pain.
  5. Swelling of feet (edema).
Difficulty with focus and concentration. Palpitations. High blood pressure.

Diagnosis: Few tests which help with the diagnosis and classification into which type of cardiomyopathy it is.

  1. Physical examination
  2. Echocardiogram.
  3. Chest X-ray.
  4. CT/MRI.
  5. Radionuclide ventriculogram.
  6. Cardiac catheterization.

Treatment: It is essentially not treatable, but controlled with the following.

  • Lifestyle changes.
  • Medications.
  • Cardioversion or ablation.
  • Pacemakers and defibrillators.
  • Heart transplant.

Prevention: Make lifestyle changes as advised to prevent the disease from progressing.

  1. Stop smoking.
  2. Getting into ideal weight range.
  3. Quit using alcohol.
  4. Avoid stress.
  5. Eat healthy.
  6. Get blood pressure under control.
  7. Take medicines regularly as advised by your doctor.

For more information consult a cardiomyopathy specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/cardiologist/cardiomyopathy

Last reviewed at: 07.Sep.2018

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