Understanding A Cardiomyopathy Prognosis

Understanding A Cardiomyopathy Prognosis

So, you have been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy.  Now what?  Cardiomyopathy is a condition that can affect men and women, and the young and the elderly.  It is a condition that makes it more difficult for your heart to pump blood throughout your body.  Left untreated, cardiomyopathy can lead to heart failure, which is very dangerous.  There are various types of cardiomyopathy and, fortunately, various treatments as well.  Speaking with your doctor will help you better understand your form of cardiomyopathy along with how to best treat your condition.

Cardiomyopathy can be difficult to diagnose because there are not always symptoms that accompany the condition.  However, when symptoms are present, they come in the form of feeling out of breath, swelling in the legs and ankles, fatigue, rapid heartbeats, and dizziness, and lightheadedness.  People who notice symptoms appear should see a doctor immediately.  Once these symptoms start, they tend to get worse until receiving treatment.

Cardiomyopathy is also a difficult condition because the cause is often unknown.  In some cases, it may be genetic, particularly when a parent has also developed the condition.  In other situations, it may be a result of another disease.  While the cause varies from person to person, people who suffer from cardiomyopathy may have shown signs of chronic high blood pressure, drinking too much alcohol, iron buildup, heart valve problems, and many other conditions.  There are four categories of cardiomyopathy: dilated, hypertrophic, restrictive, and arrhythmogenic.  While these categories describe the different ways the condition manifests, they all result in the same thing: difficulty for the heart to properly pump blood through the body.

Cardiomyopathy by itself is not typically life-altering.  However, once a person develops cardiomyopathy, there are many life-threatening complications that can occur as a result of the condition.  Heart failure can occur because the heart is unable to pump enough blood to the rest of the body.  Blood clots can form when the blood is pumping too slowly.  These can enter the bloodstream and spread to the rest of the body.  Cardiomyopathy can lead to an enlarged heart, which can, in turn, create heart valves that are unable to fully close.  As a result of the heart’s inability to pump blood to the body, irregular heartbeats can occur.  This can end in cardiac arrest and, thus, death.

Cardiomyopathy can create a lot of complications for the affected person.  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent cardiomyopathy from occurring.  However, if it does occur, prompt treatment is key to a positive outlook.  Various medications can be used to control cardiomyopathy in early stages.  However, if it progresses, surgically implanted devices or various ablation techniques may be needed to allow for proper blood flow to the body.  In recent years, stem cell therapy has shown a lot of promise for those suffering from cardiomyopathy.  While cardiomyopathy can be a scary diagnosis, it is not a reason to panic.  Following your doctor’s orders, making healthy lifestyle changes, and getting treatment as soon as possible is key to giving you the best prognosis possible.

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