Cardiomyopathy – Treatment, Prevention and Natural Remedies for Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy refers to a group of disorders of the heart muscles where they become enlarged, thick and rigid. The heart loses its ability to pump blood and disturbances in the heart rhythm lead to irregular heart beats or arrhythmias. This disorder affects about 50,000 Americans a year and in rare cases the heart tissue gets replaced with scar tissue. The heart muscles weaken and the ability to pump blood throughout the body also reduces. This can result in heart failure which is one of the complications of this disorder.

Treatment for Cardiomyopathy
The treatment pattern includes medicines, lifestyle changes, surgery and certain nonsurgical procedures. These treatments can control the symptoms, reduce the complications and stop the disease from getting worse. The various interventions include:

Medical Management:
The doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the symptoms. They include:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors can be given to improve the heart’s pumping capability.
  • Angiotensin receptor blockers may be given for those who cannot take ACE inhibitors.
  • Betablockers are those group of drugs that help in improving the heart function.
  • Diuretics, also called water pills, reduce the fluid collection in the body by making a person urinate frequently.

Surgical Intervention
If medications don’t work, then a doctor may advice you for a surgical intervention. The various options include:

  • Septal Myemectomy: This is an open-heart surgery where a surgeon removes the hard, thickened and overgrown heart muscle that separates the two bottom heart chambers. This improves the blood flow and relieves the symptoms.
  • Septal Ablation: This is also called septal alcohol ablation in which the thickened heart muscle is destroyed through the injection of alcohol through a catheter into an artery that supplies blood to it.
  • Pacemaker Implantation: A pacemaker is a tiny device that is inserted under the skin which sends electrical impulses to the heart and regulates your heartbeat. This is not very as effective as other surgical options, but is sometimes used in older people.
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD): This is a device which is a pager-sized one which is implanted in the chest like a pacemaker. This device continuously monitors the heart rhythm and many doctors recommend this procedure.
  • Heart Transplant: This is a time consuming procedure where a person has to wait for a donor. In this type of surgery, the diseased heart is removed and replaced with a healthy one. But, because of the shortage of hearts, even people who are critically ill have to wait for a donor.

How can Cardiomyopathy be Prevented?
If this disease is an inherited type, then you can take steps to lower the risk for conditions that can lead to cardiomyopathy. Your doctor may advise you to follow certain changes in your lifestyle. This includes:

  • Eat a well balanced diet.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Avoid the use of alcohol and illegal drugs.
  • Do regular checkups with your doctor.
  • Eat a low salt diet.
  • Do exercises as it keeps you active and helps in burning calories.
  • If you are obese, lose excess weight.

Natural Remedies for Cardiomyopathy
The common natural remedies include:

  • Taurine: Take two grams of taurine in supplemental form for at least 12 months.
  • L-Carnitine: Two grams of L-Carnitine is taken in supplemental form and is found to be beneficial for cardiomyopathy.
  • Selenium: Selenium is also taken in supplemental form as deficiency of selenium occurs in many of the patients suffering from cardiomyopathy.

Consult your doctor before taking any medications as they can cause side effects in some cases.

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