Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition that occurs due to the heart’s inability to pump the blood because of the enlarged left ventricle, which is the pumping chamber. The enlargement causes weakness, making it difficult for the heart to pump out the blood. In a few situations, the weakness of the left ventricle prevents the heart from receiving oxygen-rich blood. Over a period, it affects other chambers.
The Symptoms Of Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Many people experience no symptoms of dilated cardiomyopathy. Even if a few people suffer them, they are minor and continue to lead a healthy life. For others, they may develop symptoms that get worse over a period. Symptoms of dilated cardiomyopathy include the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of the legs
- Weight gain
- Loss of consciousness
- Increased palpitations
- Formation of blood clots in the left ventricle
- Chest pain
What are the Causes Of Dilated Cardiomyopathy?
It is possible for an individual to develop dilated cardiomyopathy as an inheritance. Apart from this, the occurrence is also due to other things, which includes:
- Thyroid disease
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart valve abnormalities
- Viral infections
- Drugs that cause damage to the heart
- It is also possible for the appearance of dilated cardiomyopathy in women after delivery.
Diagnosis of Dilated Cardiomyopathy
The doctor will confirm the presence of dilated cardiomyopathy after considering things like:
- Family history
- Physical examination
- Blood tests
- Chest x-ray
- Exercise stress test
- Cardiac catheterization
- CT scan
The rare form of diagnosis or test that confirms the presence of dilated cardiomyopathy is the myocardial biopsy or heart biopsy. Under this, the doctor collects tissue sample from the heart and examines it under the microscope. If a person in the family suffers from dilated cardiomyopathy, it is preferable to ask the doctor to screen for the same. Genetic testing is helpful in looking at the presence of abnormal genes.
Treatment of Dilated Cardiomyopathy
The treatment provided by the doctors change from one person to another. The course of action depends on the severity of the symptoms and the results obtained from the tests. The primary purpose of the therapy is to improve the strength of the heart and remove the substances from the bloodstream that are responsible for enlarging the heart. Treatment includes:
Medicines: The doctor prescribes medicines that are helpful in protecting the heart from a heart failure using beta-blocker, diuretic, and ACE inhibitor. If the patient has arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat, the doctor provides medicine to control the heart rate. Use of anticoagulants is helpful in preventing the formation of blood clots.
Lifestyle Changes: Apart from the medicines, it is also necessary for patients to modify lifestyle that helps in improving the overall health. Lifestyle changes include following a diet that consists of consumption of products that contain low fat and less sodium. In addition to the diet, the doctor also prescribes participation in aerobic exercises to improve the circulation of blood. However, one should not participate in heavy lifting or strength training activities.
Patients suffering from a severe condition of dilated cardiomyopathy receive any one of the following surgery:
Cardiac resynchronization with the help of by ventricular pacemaker – in a few situations stimulating the left and right ventricle will help in contractions of the heart get stronger.
Implantable cardioverter defibrillators – placing such systems is helpful for patients who are at high risk of acquiring arrhythmia.
Surgery – surgery involves treating coronary artery disease or valve disease.
The causes for the development of dilated cardiomyopathy are different factors. Diagnosing the presence at the earliest will be helpful in seeking medical attention that helps in prevention of escalating the situation.
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention, Prognosis
- How Is Dilated Cardiomyopathy Treated?
- Is Dilated Cardiomyopathy Reversible?
- How is Dilated Cardiomyopathy Inherited?
- What is the Difference Between Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Dilated Cardiomyopathy?
- Can Dilated Cardiomyopathy Go Away On It’s Own?