Cardiomyopathy is a disease that hardens the heart muscle. The heart is enlarged and becomes thick and tight. All these cause varying symptoms and dangers. The treatment approach is different for every person and the causes also vary. Cardiomyopathy is a progressive condition. When the heart is gripped with such a condition, it is unable to pump blood and maintain its normal functions. As a result it can end in arrhythmia or heart arrest. A heart failure also causes fluids to collect in lungs, liver, abdomen, ankles and feet. There are hundreds of other repercussions, such as heart valves weakening and change in the shape of the heart.
There are four types of cardiomyopathy, and each type has different causes and shows different signs and symptoms. It can be an inherited condition or an acquired condition. It affects people from all age groups. Treatments are limited for this condition and it includes change in lifestyle, surgery, medications or using external devices as implants.
Dilated cardiomyopathy is the most common kind and affects people from the age of 20 to 60. Men are more likely to get afflicted than women. It deteriorates the condition of atria and ventricles. They are the upper and lower chambers of the heart. When the heart is pumping blood, these muscles begin to dilate and that is they stretch and become thinner. The heart can get enlarged when this happens. Also, when the chambers dilate, the heart does not contract back into the original shape. Symptoms of this condition are swelling in feet and ankles, shortness of breath and an enlarged abdomen.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is also a common condition that thickens the walls of the ventricles. It causes them to bulge and blood flow to them is blocked. It affects the mitral valve and is also one of the most common reasons for a heart arrest. The symptoms of this condition are chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness and fainting.
Restrictive cardiomyopathy is a rare condition and only affects the older people. It is caused due to scar tissue that replaces the heart muscle. The atria become enlarged as the ventricles cannot function fully. This leads to heart failure. The symptoms are chest pain, and a blue tinge.
Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) is a very rare disorder. The right ventricle dies and is replaced by scar tissue. It causes arrhythmia and heart attack. The symptoms of this disease are palpitations and dizziness along with fainting.
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