Hypertrophy of heart muscles can occur when there is increased workload on heart muscles due to various reasons. Right ventricular hypertrophy is a very rare condition in which there is enlargement of right ventricles of the heart. Right ventricular hypertrophy is mostly attributed to pulmonary causes as right ventricle is connected to the lungs via pulmonary artery. When left ventricle is overloaded, it increases work capacity; however, when right ventricle is overloaded, it attenuates itself. This is the reason why, left ventricular hypertrophy is more common than right ventricular hypertrophy.
Best Diet For Right Ventricular Hypertrophy
The best diet for right ventricular hypertrophy is a diet that keeps heart healthy and functioning and that does not aggravate the underlying cause of right ventricular hypertrophy or does not worsen the symptoms of right ventricular hypertrophy. The best diet should be rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy products, fish, nuts and poultry. A healthy meal for patients with right ventricular hypertrophy should contain 60% fruits and vegetables. A healthy diet should have limited red meat and sugary foods along with salt and alcohol in moderation.
Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolate, which can cause palpitations in some people, so caffeine intake should be limited, if one is suffering from right ventricular hypertrophy.
Salt has a potential of retaining water and causing swelling. Excessive salt is a cause of systemic hypertension too, that could lead to right ventricular hypertrophy. In right ventricular hypertrophy, there is peripheral swelling, so excessive salt intake can worsen edema, thus salt intake should be minimized.
Excessive alcohol consumption can cause sudden cardiac death, so its consumption should be moderated.
Obesity has been linked to every possible disease and even to right ventricular hypertrophy and its etiological factors such as obstructive sleep apnea, thus along with a healthy diet free from excessive fats, cholesterol, sugars and junk food, it is advisable to exercise daily to lose those extra pounds.
People suffering from right ventricular hypertrophy should follow a healthy diet rich in vitamins, nutrients and minerals and devoid of excess salt, alcohol and fats.
Causes of Right Ventricular Hypertrophy
The most common cause of right ventricular hypertrophy is pulmonary hypertension. It can occur as a congenital heart disease in the form of tetralogy of Fallot, which leads to blue baby syndrome. Pulmonary valve stenosis is another common cause of right ventricular hypertrophy in which there is abnormality of blood flow from right ventricle to pulmonary artery leading to decreased blood flow to the lungs. Ventricular septal defect also leads to right ventricular hypertrophy. Other causes include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obstructive sleep apnea, cardiac fibrosis and exposure to high altitude.
Symptoms of Right Ventricular Hypertrophy
There are no presentable symptoms of mild right ventricular hypertrophy. However, severe right ventricular hypertrophy may present with symptoms of shortness of breath, chest pain, chest pressure, palpitations, tachycardia, dizziness and lightheadedness. The patient may also present with fatigue along with swelling in extremities. The symptoms of right ventricular hypertrophy are similar to heart failure symptoms and not classical of right ventricular hypertrophy.
Diagnosis of Right Ventricular Hypertrophy
Right ventricular hypertrophy diagnosis requires complete medical history, family history, risk factors and symptoms along with clinical examination. The patient is auscultated with a stethoscope to note any abnormal heart rate, rhythm or murmur that will point toward any underlying pathology. The diagnosis is confirmed with the assistance of an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram or cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. These imaging will show abnormality that will point toward right ventricular hypertrophy.
Treatment of Right Ventricular Hypertrophy
The treatment of right ventricular hypertrophy is based on the underlying etiology responsible for right ventricular hypertrophy. If the right ventricular hypertrophy is caused secondary to pulmonary hypertension, it can be treated with vasodilators such as Revatio or epoprostenol. If right ventricular hypertrophy is caused due to systemic hypertension, then antihypertensive drugs are used such as ACE inhibitors, beta blockers or calcium channel blockers. If it is a result of obstructive sleep apnea, then it is treated with CPAP. If it is caused due to the pulmonary valve defect or any congential anomaly, then surgery is the best option.
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