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Cardiomyopathy – Causes and Symptoms of Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is a disorder of the heart muscles where the heart loses its ability to pump blood and deliver it to the other parts of the body. It weakens and enlarges your heart muscles and it can be caused by coronary artery disease and valvular heart disease. This can lead to cardiac heart failure and this affects about 50,000 Americans. The muscle tissue becomes thick or rigid and is rarely replaced with scar tissue. This weakening of the heart can cause other severe complications.

Causes of Cardiomyopathy
The exact cause of cardiomyopathy is not known. There are some contributing factors that may cause this heart disease. They include:

  • Heart valve problems
  • Chronic rapid heart rate
  • Nutritional deficiencies of essential vitamins or minerals
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Use of some chemotherapy drugs to treat cancer
  • Iron buildup in your heart muscles
  • Long-term high blood pressure
  • Heart tissue damage from a previous attack
  • Metabolic disorders like thyroid disease or diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Abuse of certain drugs like cocaine and antidepressants
  • Viral infections may injure the heart and trigger cardiomyopathy

Symptoms of Cardiomyopathy
The signs and symptoms include:

  • Breathlessness with exertion
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty in breathing after exercise and when lying down
  • Sleeping problems
  • Swollen feet
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Swollen legs
  • Tiredness
  • Weight gain
  • Palpitations
  • Swollen ankles
  • Bloating of the abdomen
  • Rapid and fluttering type of heart beats
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Complications
The complications that occur when a person is suffering from cardiomyopathy include:

  • Heart failure: When the heart muscles become thickened or stiffened, it can block the flow of blood. This can lead to heart failure if left untreated.
  • Blood clots: If a person is suffering from cardiomyopathy, then a person is more likely to have blood clots.
  • Heart murmurs: When the heart gets enlarged, the valves of the heart do not close properly leading to a back flow of the blood. When this occurs there are certain sounds called the heart murmurs.
  • Cardiac arrest and death: If this disorder is left untreated, then the heart may stop functioning and may result in the sudden death of the patient.

When to consult your Doctor?
Consult your doctor when you find the above signs and symptoms immediately before the condition of the patient worsens.

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