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Cardiac Care

August 3rd, 2010

Cardiomyopathy can be rated as mild to severe.  Millions of people will be diagnosed with this condition at some point in their life.  Depending on the severity at the time of diagnosis, changes can be made to help the individual cope with this condition.  Cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart muscle weakens and the heart muscle enlarges.  If you are diagnosed with the more severe type, the only health treatment available is a heart transplant.  With the help of medications and other devices that can be implanted surgically to help the heart function better and adequately will provide you with a better outcome.

The symptoms of Cardiomyopathy may include shortness of breath with activity or at rest, swelling of the legs, ankles and feet, bloating of the abdomen related to fluid build up, fatigue, irregular heart beats or palpitations, dizziness, light-headedness or fainting.  If the Cardiomyopathy is left untreated the symptoms will get worse.  You should seek the advice of the physician when having any of the symptoms listed above.  Early intervention is crucial to keep the symptoms at bay.

Sometimes the cause of Cardiomyopathy may be unknown.  But there may be some contributing factors including hypertension for a long time, heart valve problems, tissue damage from a previous heart attack, diabetes, thyroid problems, alcohol abuse, abuse of cocaine, and viral infections can damage the heart leading to cardiomyopathy.  Cardiomyopathy can lead to sudden cardiac arrest, heart murmurs, blood clots, and heart failure.  There are a few tests that can be performed to diagnose Cardiomyopathy.  They are Chest X-ray, Ultrasound of the heart, EKG, and a heart catheterization.  A blood test can also help aid in the diagnosis.  The blood test is BNP.  If the values are very high it indicates Cardiomyopathy.

Once again, depending on the type of Cardiomyopathy you have been diagnosed with, also depends on the types of treatments and medications that are prescribed.  Medications may include Zestril, Cozaar, Coreg, Lopressor, Digoxin, and diuretics.  A Pace-maker may be another option for Cardiomyopathy.  The pace-maker will help with the contractility of the weakened heart muscle.  Other treatment options may include surgery.

Always consult with your primary care physician if you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of Cardiomyopathy.  You may need to be evaluated by a cardiologist, who specializes in disorders of the heart.  Early diagnosis and treatment are highly encouraged to help the condition from progressively getting worse.  Cardiomyopathy can be manageable if caught early.

Cardiac Care