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Cardiomyopathy is a disease that makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood throughout the body. This can either be due to the heart muscle getting thicker, such as in the case of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or a buildup of scar tissue that interferes with the heart’s regular function. Preventing this condition means knowing the cardiomyopathy causes and risk factors.
As the condition gets worse, the heart can get weaker, which means it pumps less and less blood into the body and has a difficult time maintaining its normal rhythm. This can eventually lead to heart failure.
Before we discuss cardiomyopathy causes and risk factors, it’s important to understand the different types of this condition
Dilated cardiomyopathy or DCM affects the ventricles and the upper and lower chambers of the heart. It is the most common type of cardiomyopathy. DCM occurs when the heart muscle starts to dilate, or stretch, making it unable to pump blood normally.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a type of cardiomyopathy that is hereditary. It occurs when the heart muscles start to become thicker than normal, and as a result, the heart becomes stiff, which limits the amount of blood it can pump throughout the body.
This type of cardiomyopathy usually occurs in older people, and happens when scar tissue replaces the muscles of the heart. This makes it stiff and unable to function normally.
This is a rarer type of cardiomyopathy that’s similar to restrictive cardiomyopathy in that it is caused by a buildup of scar tissue. However, ARVD affects the heart’s electrical signals, causing arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat.
ATTR-CM is a type of cardiomyopathy that is caused by a protein called transthyretin. This protein causes the left ventricle to become thick and stiff, making it unable to pump blood normally.
Also known as Broken Heart syndrome, this is an acute type of stress-induced cardiomyopathy that mostly affects the left ventricle of the heart.
Cardiomyopathy can be caused by a number of things, and it can vary depending on which type of cardiomyopathy a person has.
Here are some of the possible causes:
In some cases, the exact cause of cardiomyopathy cannot be identified, since the condition can be caused by a number of factors, and cannot be traced to a single cause. It’s best to consult a doctor to identify which tests will confirm the disease.
The risk of cardiomyopathy can be caused by a number of things. Here are some of the possible risk factors:
You may not be able to prevent some factors, but you can avoid some modifiable risk factors like the use of illicit drugs and heavy alcohol consumption. As for diseases, it’s best to keep them under control with the help of your doctor.
Cardiomyopathy in its early stages might not show any symptoms at all. However, as the disease progressively gets worse, someone with cardiomyopathy might experience the following:
To prevent these symptoms, it’s important to know the cardiomyopathy causes and risk factors to watch out for.
Treatment for cardiomyopathy varies depending on the cause and the severity of symptoms. For those who do not experience any symptoms, treatment might not even be required.
However, for those with more pronounced symptoms, here are some common treatments under the supervision of the doctor:
Learn more about heart health, here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.