Causes of PPCM
Experts are still unsure of the causes of PPCM, as it can happen even to women without a history of heart diseases. However, it is important to emphasize that not all pregnant women will develop PPCM.
Some experts hypothesize that the condition stems from an increase in pressure on the heart due to pregnancy. They also believe that genetic factors can cause it. This means that women with families that have a history of cardiomyopathy have more chances of experiencing it.
Other risk factors include obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), being over 30 years of age, pregnancy with multiple fetuses, a history of preeclampsia and/or eclampsia, maternal cocaine use, and other lifestyle factors that may damage heart health.
Women who also have other heart conditions, such as a viral infection of the heart, coronary artery disease, or cases of PPCM in past pregnancies, are more at risk of developing postpartum cardiomyopathy.
How To Treat PPCM
The primary focus of PPCM treatment is to prevent fluid from accumulating in the lungs, thus helping heal the heart as soon as possible. Many can recover with the help of medications prescribed by the experts, including beta blockers, diuretics, or ACE inhibitors.
Besides rest, physicians typically recommend a diet low in salt, as well as certain restrictions in fluid intake (depending on the patient).
In severe cases, mechanical support or transplant surgery may be necessary.
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