What is cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease)?
Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle that makes it difficult for your heart to pump blood to the rest of your body. Heart muscle disease can lead to heart failure.
The fundamental sorts of heart muscle disease incorporate enlarged, hypertrophic, and prohibitive cardiomyopathy. Treatment – which may include medications or surgically implanted devices or, in severe cases, a heart transplant – depends on the type and severity of the cardiomyopathy you have.
Types of cardiomyopathy
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is an excessive thickening of the heart muscle without any apparent cause.
- Dilation of the heart muscle (DCM) causes the heart to become enlarged. In most cases, it is not known why DCM occurs, but excessive alcohol intake is known to be the cause. Dilated cardiomyopathy may accumulate over several years and not cause major problems. However, over time, the enlarged heart gradually weakens. This is called heart failure.
- Arrhythmia right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is an inherited disorder in which heart muscle cells are gradually replaced by fibrous and fatty tissue. This dilates the heart and impairs its pumping action. There is no known cause for this condition, but it does tend to run in families.
- Restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM): Restrictive cardiomyopathy causes stiffening of the walls of the heart muscle. This restricts blood flow through the heart, which leads to problems with blood flow to the rest of the body. The cause is unknown, but it has been linked to rare metabolic conditions, and it may also be due to a genetic defect.
- Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or broken heart syndrome, is a condition caused by physical or emotional stress. During a takotsubo event, the largest chamber in the heart (left ventricle) enlarges and changes shape. This stops the heart from pumping properly and reduces blood flow to the body.
Other types of heart muscle disease
Most of the following types of heart muscle diseases belong to one of the four previous classifications, but each has unique causes or complications.
- Peripartum cardiomyopathy occurs before birth during or after pregnancy. This rare type occurs when the heart weakens within five months of birth or during the last month of pregnancy. When it occurs after childbirth, it is sometimes called postpartum cardiomyopathy. This is a form of dilated cardiomyopathy, which is a life-threatening condition. There is no reason.
- Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is caused by drinking too much alcohol over a long period of time, which may weaken your heart and thus cannot pump blood efficiently. Then your heart swells. This is a form of dilated cardiomyopathy.
- Ischemic cardiomyopathy occurs when your heart cannot pump blood to the rest of the body due to coronary artery disease. The blood vessels of the heart muscle narrow and become blocked. This deprives the heart muscle of oxygen. Ischemic cardiomyopathy is a typical reason for cardiovascular breakdown. Instead, non-ischemic cardiomyopathy is any form unrelated to coronary artery disease.
- Noncompaction cardiomyopathy, also known as spongy cardiomyopathy, is a rare disease that appears at birth. It results from the abnormal development of the heart muscle in the womb. The diagnosis may occur at any stage of life. When cardiomyopathy affects a child, it is called pediatric cardiomyopathy. If you have idiopathic cardiomyopathy, there is no known cause.
Symptoms of cardiomyopathy
In its early stages, heart muscle disease may not cause any symptoms. It may be detected by chance, for example when a chest X-ray to diagnose another condition shows an enlarged heart.
Common heart muscle disease symptoms include:
- Unexplained fatigue
- Breathlessness with even mild exertion or when lying down
- Chest pain
What are the causes of cardiomyopathy?
Heart muscle disease can be acquired or it can create from different ailments or elements. Sometimes the cause of heart muscle disease is idiopathic – unknown.
Some of the causes of heart muscle disease are:
- Inherited: The gene for the disease is passed on to you from your parents
- Hypertension: High blood pressure
- Coronary artery disease: A narrowing of the hearts blood vessels
- Drugs: Such as cocaine and amphetamines
- Alcohol: In large amounts
- Peripartum: During or after pregnancy
- Radiation and chemotherapy: Common treatments for cancer
- Other diseases: Such as diabetes, sarcoidosis
There are medicines for all types of heart muscle disease, including the two most normal reasons for manifestations: cardiovascular breakdown and anomalous heart rhythms. People with alcoholic cardiomyopathy appear to be particularly sensitive to the effects of alcohol; Quitting alcohol is the most important step in treating the condition. Then the symptoms of heart failure can be controlled with medication and dietary changes.
Treating hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can help control indications of chest torment and windedness. Most importantly, it can reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death. Usually, this requires a beta-blocker or calcium channel blocker. Medication may also be needed to prevent arrhythmia. It is also important to avoid strenuous exercise as it can lead to an irregular heartbeat that can cause sudden cardiac death. Some people with heart muscle disease benefit from a pacemaker or ICD to maintain a steady heart rhythm.
Heart muscle disease risk factors include:
- A family history of heart muscle disease
- Heart failure
- Alcoholism or drug abuse
- Viral infection
- Sudden cardiac arrest
- Coronary artery disease
- High blood pressure
- Certain chemotherapy medicines
How is cardiomyopathy diagnosed?
The prognosis for heart muscle disease depends on the type of child. Some children develop a heart murmur. But most of them do not receive medical care until after symptoms of heart failure, such as:
- A fast heart rate
- Swelling from fluid buildup
- In babies, trouble taking care of, and helpless weight gain (otherwise called “inability to flourish”)
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing
- Conditions that can damage the heart, such as:
Complications of heart muscle disease
It can lead to other heart conditions, including:
- Heart failure: Your heart can’t siphon enough blood to address your body’s tissues. Heart failure, if left untreated, can be life-threatening.
- Blood clots: Since your heart cannot pump blood effectively, blood clots may form in your heart. If clots enter the bloodstream, they can block blood flow to other organs, including the heart and brain.
- Valve problems: Because heart muscle disease causes the heart to enlarge, the heart valves may not close properly. This could lead to a return of blood flow.
- Cardiac arrest and sudden death: heart muscle disease can lead to an irregular heartbeat. These abnormal heart rhythms can lead to fainting or sudden death in some cases if your heart effectively stops beating.
Can heart muscle disease be prevented?
Although heart muscle disease is one of the less common forms of heart disease, it is still important to be aware of the role that genetics plays in the disease and to recognize its symptoms.
Check your family’s medical history to see if you are at risk. Even if no one in your family has had heart muscle disease, you need to know the warning signs:
- Unexplained shortness of breath
- Chest pains
On the off chance that you have any of these manifestations, see your PCP. Also, because drinking a lot of alcohol, eating foods that do not contain the right vitamins, and exposure to toxins can all cause cardiomyopathy, you can reduce your risk of leading a heart-healthy lifestyle.