Cardiomyopathy occurs if the walls of the heart chambers are overly stretched, stiff or thickened. These changes disrupt with the ability of the heart to propel blood throughout the body.
What is dilated cardiomyopathy?
If an individual is diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, the muscular walls of the heart are stretched out and thin. As a result, they could not contract efficiently to propel blood all over the body.
With this form of cardiomyopathy, the individual is at higher risk for heart failure where it could not propel adequate blood around the body at the right pressure. The individual is also at risk for blood clots, heart valve issues and arrhythmias. As a part of treatment, regular appointments with the doctor are required to monitor the disease.
What is the hypertrophic form?
If diagnosed with the hypertrophic form, the heart muscle cells become enlarged while the walls of the heart chambers become dense.
The chambers grow smaller in size where they could no longer accommodate much blood while the walls could not relax properly and become stiff.
Many individuals with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can lead a normal life. Some individuals without symptoms do not require treatment but it does not necessarily mean that the condition could not become serious.
This form is the usual cause of abrupt unexpected death in childhood as well as among young athletes.
Management of cardiomyopathy
Remember that there is no available cure for cardiomyopathy but there are measures that can effectively control the symptoms and prevent any complications.
Not all cases of cardiomyopathy require treatment. Some individuals only have a mild form that can be controlled after a few lifestyle changes.
- A healthy diet and mild exercises
- Adequate sleep
- Cessation of smoking
- Cut down weight if overweight
- Limit or avoid alcohol
- Proper management of stress
- Any underlying conditions such as diabetes should be properly controlled
Drugs might be required to regulate the blood pressure, fix an erratic heart rhythm, get rid of excess fluid or prevent the formation of blood clots.
- High blood pressure medications
- Medications to treat heart failure
In some cases, a surgical procedure might be necessary especially with obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. As for those with heart rhythm issues, a pacemaker might be implanted to regulate the erratic rhythm. A heart transplant might be recommended as the last option.