Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM is a state where the heart muscle thickens, especially the septum wall located between the left and right ventricle of the heart chamber. Due to this, the wall becomes stiff, causing trouble to the normal operation of the aortic and mitral valve functioning. These two valves ensure that the blood pumped by the heart is flowing at the usual rate.
Symptoms of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Before heading to understand how to detect its presence, recognizing the symptoms in the first will be helpful. The reason is that many people suffering from HCM do not show any signs. On the contrary, a few with symptoms see steady progress in the same, which worsens the functionality of the heart.
The symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy occur irrespective of age, gender, and ethnicity. These include:
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Increased palpitations
- Sudden death due to cardiac arrest
What is the Cause behind the Development of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy or HCM?
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy has no known cause. In other words, it can develop at birth or a later stage in the life. The critical factors that cause a significant impact on the growth are aging and high blood pressure.
How Can You Detect Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy?
Detecting or diagnosing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is essential to take the necessary course of action. A doctor will seek information about the family history, performs a physical examination, and conducts a few tests to understand the presence and its severity. Tests include:
- Chest X-ray
- Blood tests
- Genetic tests
- Treadmill stress test
- Cardiac Catheterization
- CT scan
Treating Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Providing treatment to a patient diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy relies on the narrowness at the path where the blood leaves the heart, functionality of the heart, and presence of arrhythmias (if any).
The primary goal of the treatment provided by the doctor aims at reducing the symptoms and complications. Additional include detecting risk factors, regular follow-up, use of medicines, and lifestyle changes.
Necessary Lifestyle Changes To Prevent Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Diet – diet plays a crucial role in maintaining good overall health and reduces the symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Drinking eight glasses of water, reduction of sodium salts, avoiding processed foods, increasing the intake of fresh vegetables and fruits, and other changes are necessary. Speaking with the concerned doctor will be helpful in preparing a useful menu that prevents the growth of the symptoms and the risk factor.
Exercise – a sedentary life leads increases the risk factor for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. However, a doctor will decide whether a person is capable of participating in exercises or not. Many patients suffering from HCM participate actively in non-competitive aerobic activities. Allowing a patient to participate in exercise depends on the symptoms and the severity.
Follow-up Visits – a regular follow-up visit is essential for a person. It will help the doctor to monitor the situation and understand the changes. The frequency of the visits is high when a person tests positive for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Doctors prescribe medicines to provide relief to the heart by reducing the stress, controlling the heart rhythms, and preventing blood clots. Calcium blockers and beta-blockers are the essential classes that the doctor prescribes to reduce the level of obstruction. A person suffering from arrhythmia receives medicines that reduce the occurrence of the same. Besides, the specialist will further ask to avoid certain drugs such as nitrates, as they minimize digoxin and lower blood pressure.
Detecting hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is possible by understanding the symptoms as explained in the above paragraphs. Making subtle changes to lifestyle and following medication management as prescribed by the doctor will be useful in slowing down the germination of the symptoms.
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