What's the treatment for cardiomyopathy?
Do not smoke: Smoking puts a strain on the heart and can contribute to artery blockages. Reduce salt intake: Salty foods can cause fluid build-up and increase the risk of heart failure. Choose low salt bread and cereals, other low salt foods (food with sodium content of 120mg/100g or less), and avoid seasonings, processed foods, salty drinks such as packaged
vegetable or tomato juice; and snack and takeaway foods that are high in salt. Avoid adding salt in cooking.
One drink a day may be all right in mild cases. However, avoiding alcohol altogether is highly recommended. Healthy eating is about choosing mainly plant-based foods such as bread, cereals, rice, pasta, vegetables, fruits and legumes (dried peas, beans and lentils), and moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry, fish (fresh and canned) and reduced-fat dairy products. Lean meat and reduced fat dairy products are important to keep up your levels of iron and calcium. You can help lower your blood cholesterol level and limit artery clogging by reducing the amount of saturated fat you eat. Saturated fat is found in fatty meats, full cream dairy products, butter, two vegetable oils (coconut and palm oils), most fried take-away foods and commercially baked products. Replace saturated fats with moderate amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated spreads, margarines and oils such as canola, olive, sunflower and soybean oils.
Undertake regular physical activity: Physical activity is important for health and well being. Check with your doctor before commencing a new exercise program. Listen to your body before, during and after exercise. Do what you can without getting breathless or over-tired; as an indicator you should be able to talk comfortably while doing the activity. Walking is a very good activity; but you can also try swimming, dancing or cycling, following discussion with your doctor. Several short sessions of an enjoyable activity of 5 or 10 minute intervals spread throughout each day, may be best. Avoid strenuous activities unless your doctor has approved these.
Drugs for cardiomyopathy
Beta-blocker medicines (such as propranolol), and calcium antagonist medicines (especially verapamil) are the mainstay of treatment. These can slow the heart rate, make the heart contract less forcefully, and can allow more time for the ventricle to fill each heartbeat. These medicines may be used to treat chest pain, breathlessness and palpitations. Various other medicines called 'anti-arrhythmic' medicines (for example, amiodarone) are used to treat and to prevent arrhythmias. They work by interfering with and helping to correct the electrical impulses in your heart. Warfarin may be advised if you develop atrial fibrillation (a common arrhythmia). With this arrhythmia a blood clot is a possible complication. Warfarin is an anticoagulant which means it helps to prevent blood clotting. Antibiotics may be advised before you have dental treatment or certain other procedures such as cystoscopy or colonoscopy. During these procedures, some bacteria may be 'pushed' into the bloodstream. The antibiotics kill any bacteria which may get into the bloodstream and help to prevent endocarditis (described above).
Surgery for cardiomyopathy
If drug treatment is inadequate, surgery may be indicated for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Sometimes, this involves removal of excess muscle tissue. Selected cases of congestive cardiomyopathy with end-stage heart failure can be treated effectively with heart transplantation. Ventricular assist devices may be employed for some patients. At the present, ventricular assist devices are used to keep a critically ill patient alive until a suitable heart organ can be identified. Doctors called this bridge to transplant. In the future, as the technology in assist devices and artificial hearts improves, they may replace heart transplantation in some patients.
More information on cardiomyopathy
What is cardiomyopathy? - Cardiomyopathy is an alteration in the function of the heart muscle. Cardiomyopathy is the deterioration of the cardiac muscle of the heart wall.
What're the symptoms of cardiomyopathy? - The symptoms of cardiomyopathy include fatigue, shortness of breath, fainting, leg swelling, and an enlarged and tender liver.
How is cardiomyopathy diagnosed? - Cardiomyopathy can be diagnosed by characteristic physical findings, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, cardiac catheterization and radionuclide angiography.
What is dilated cardiomyopathy? - Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the commonest form of cardiomyopathy, and one of the leading indications for heart transplantation.
What causes dilated cardiomyopathy? - No exact cause can be found for cardiomyopathy. Up to 30% of cases of dilated cardiomyopathy can be linked to heavy drinking.
What're the symptoms of dilated cardiomyopathy? - Typical signs and symptoms of dilated cardiomyopathy include fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, and swelling of the legs and feet.
What're the treatments for dilated cardiomyopathy? - Treatment for dilated cardiomyopathy is focused on relieving the symptoms and the extra load on the heart. Lifestyle changes, medicines, and surgery may be needed.
What is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy? - Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the second most common type of cardiomyopathy and results in excessive thickening of the heart walls.
What causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy? - Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is caused by the mutation in one of a number of genes that encode for one of the sarcomere proteins.
What're the symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy? - Symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy include shortness of breath, chest pain (angina), palpitations, dizziness and fainting attacks.
What's the treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy? - Treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is directed towards decreasing the left ventricular outflow tract gradient and to abort arrhythmias.
What's arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia? - Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) is a type of nonischemic cardiomyopathy that involves primarily the right ventricle.
What causes arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia? - The cause of arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia is largely unknown. Apoptosis appears to play a large role.
What's the treatment for arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia? - Pharmacologic treatment of arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia involves arrhythmia suppression and prevention of thrombus formation.
What is restrictive cardiomyopathy? - Restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM) is the least common cardiomyopathy. Restrictive cardiomyopathy can be caused by a number of diseases.
How restrictive cardiomyopathy is diagnosed? - The diagnosis of restrictive cardiomyopathy is usually based on a physical examination, echocardiography, and other tests as needed.
What's the treatment for restrictive cardiomyopathy? - There is no effective treatment for restrictive cardiomyopathy. Treatment of a causative disease may reduce or stop the damage to the heart.
How is cardiomyopathy treated? - Beta-blocker medicines, and calcium antagonist medicines are the mainstay of treatment for cardiomyopathy. Surgery may be indicated for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.