Cardiomyopathy is a condition in which muscles surrounding the heart suddenly become inflexible, broad and enlarged in size. In some very rare case, the heart muscles become scarred. If left untreated the problem starts to spread making the muscles weak and inefficient to pump required amount of blood to different parts of the body. This ultimately affects the normal electrical rhythm of the human body, which leads to problems like heart failure, arrhythmias and various problems related to valve.
Cardiomyopathy can be broadly classified in to following:
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
- Restrictive Cardiomyopathy
- Arrhythmogenic Cardiomyopathy
- Stress-Induced Cardiomyopathy
- Unclassified Cardiomyopathy
Cardiomyopathy is a problem that can either be acquired or can be inherited from last generation. Research reveals that people from different age groups are equally exposed to this type of heart problem.
What is the Difference Between Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Dilated Cardiomyopathy?
This is a very commonly found problem equally affecting both male and female. This is one of the very common causes for cardiac arrest. This problem occurs when the cells surrounding the heart become enlarged in size and the ventricles become thick. This abnormal thickening hinders the normal flow of blood from the ventricles. In medical terms, this problem is referred to as obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. At times, the septum (walls that divides left and right side of the heart) abnormally thickens blocking the blood flow from the left ventricle. Some of the symptoms of this problem include:
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can also have severe effect on the mitral valve; this can cause blood leakage and movement of blood in the backward direction. There are times when even the thickened heart muscle does not create any hindrance in the blood flow; this condition is known as non-obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in medical terms. There are also variations in thickening, it can either occur in the whole ventricle or may limit only in the bottom area of the ventricle. Similarly, right ventricle is also affected. In both the cases i.e. in obstructive and non-obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the inner surface of the heart reduces drastically which in turn lessens the blood holding capacity of heart.
Causes of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Usually, this problem occurs because of certain changes in the genes present in heart muscles. This problem falls in the category of inherited cardiomyopathy. In addition, the problem can also develop with age and as an outcome of high blood pressure, thyroid or diabetes.
This type of cardiomyopathy is mainly found in the adults between twenty to sixty years of age. This directly affects the ventricles and lower & upper chambers of the heart. The problem first starts from the left ventricle which is the prime blood pumping chamber of the heart. Slowly the heart muscles starts stretching and become thinner, this condition is known as dilation. Further, the problem starts to affect the right ventricle. Dilated heart chambers fails to pump blood efficiently and this can also lead to heart failure in the long run. Some of the symptoms of heart failure are:
- Swelling in different parts of the body
- Blood clotting specially in heart
Causes of Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Till date the actual cause of dilated cardiomyopathy is not known, but study has revealed that majority of people inherit the problem from their family members.
Some of the health conditions and substances that can lead to this problem are:
- Infection in the heart muscles
- Excess consumption of alcohol
- Intake of toxins like cobalt
- Problem like heart attack, diabetes, thyroid, and HIV
Complications in pregnancy
In both the types of cardiomyopathy i.e. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Dilated Cardiomyopathy seeking medical help is very important; In case the problem is left untreated for a prolonged period of time then it can lead to some serious heart related problem such as heart attack, heart failure and even can lead to death of the individual.
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