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Cardiomyopathy: types and how to live with it

Friday, 23 July 2010

the topic iam writing about today is an important one and more people need to be awared about. Today we will talk about
Cardiomyopathies are a group of diseases that affect the myocardium (which is the muscular layer of the heart) and weakens it. Besides it causes enlargement in the heart's size. 
There are three main types of cardiomyopathy: dilated, hypertrophic and restrictive. We will try to summarize each type in a simple way

First let us talk about the causes of cardiomyopathy which are:
1. Genetic
2. High blood pressure (long-standing)
3. Heart valves problems

4. Metabolic disorders
5. Pregnancy
6. Excess alcohol intake
7. Viral infections

Now lets talk about each type in brief.

1. Dilated cardiomyopathy:
This is the commonest cardiomyopathy. What happens is the left ventricle (the pumping chamber of the heart that pumps blood to the body) gets dilated and enlarges. This causes decrease in the contracting effect of the left ventricle.

2. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: 
In this type, the heart muscle thickens and becomes more stiff. This interferes with the pumping function of the heart. 

3. Restrictive cardiomyopathy:
This type is the least common. As it name suggests, the heart becomes rigid and doesn't receive the normal amount of blood.

Many people having cardiomyopathy do not have symptoms. However others can complain of 
1. Chest pains
2. Dyspnea
3. Fainting

I would like to talk about Prevention from having cardiomyopathy. 
1. Avoid alcohol intake
2. Avoid cocaine abuse
3. If you are a hypertensive patient, then make sure you are having your blood pressure in the normal range.
4. Have a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle

However if you have a cardiomyopathy, you can learn how to deal with it. There are guidelines for how to live with a cardiomyopathy:
1. Pay attention to your cholesterol level. Avoid excessive salt intake. And maintain a normal body weight
2. Quit smoking (very important)
3. If you are overweight, you need to reduce your weight
4. Discuss with your doctor about having some exercising, as this can help many patients
5. Get rid of alcohols 

Cardiomyopathy can lead to more serious conditions like:
1. Heart failure
2. Formation of blood clots
3. Cardiac arrest
4. Sudden death
Let's all try to control these diseases for a better quality of life. 
Last but not least, thanks to Graham who suggested this topic on our facebook fan page


  1. This is an eye opening post, Thanks for the info. appreciate the hard work and time taken to do this write up.



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