Cardiomyopathy is a condition of the heart muscle where your pumping organ (heart) finds it difficult to pump the blood to the rest of the body. If left unattended, it can cause heart failure. So, if you notice any signs of cardiomyopathy, it is advisable to consult the best cardiologist near your place.

Signs and symptoms of cardiomyopathy

In the early stages of this disease, a person may not experience any signs or symptoms. But with the advancement of this condition, a person might feel the following signs and symptoms-

  • Breathlessness with any physical activity or even when you are at rest
  • Swelling of the legs and feet
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Cough while lying down
  • Feeling discomfort while lying down flat during sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid heartbeats
  • Chest discomfort or pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness or fainting

If these symptoms are ignored and untreated, they can worsen. In some people, this heart disease worsens quickly, while in others, it may be under control for a long time. A cardiologist may provide the needed treatment, including medications, surgically implanted devices, heart surgery, etc. In severe cases, a person may be asked to undergo a heart transplant depending on the type of cardiomyopathy he is suffering from.

When to consult a doctor for cardiomyopathy?

Don’t hesitate to contact your health care provider if you have one or more symptoms of cardiomyopathy. For example, seek immediate care if you have severe difficulty breathing, fainting or chest pain, etc.

In some patients, cardiomyopathy can be passed down through families. That means the disease can be inherited. So, if you or your loved ones in the family have or have had this condition, you should visit a cardiologist regularly.

Causes of cardiomyopathy

Mostly, the cause of this heart disease is unknown. However, this disease occurs in some people due to another condition (inherited or acquired). In addition, there are certain health problems or behaviors that can lead to acquired cardiomyopathy, including:

  • High blood pressure for the last few years.
  • Damage to heart tissue due to a heart attack.
  • Long-term rapid heart rate.
  • Any health problem related to the heart valve.
  • COVID-19 infection.
  • Certain infections can lead to inflammation of the heart.
  • Metabolic disorders. For example- obesity, thyroid disease, or diabetes.
  • Deficiency of essential vitamins or minerals in the diet. For example- Thiamin (vitamin B-1)
  • Pregnancy complications.
  • Iron overload in the cardiac muscle
  • The growth of inflammatory cells in the heart and lungs
  • Excessive drinking and smoking
  • Overuse of cocaine or anabolic steroids

Risk factors of cardiomyopathy

Some factors can increase your risk of cardiomyopathy. They are listed below-

  • Family history of any heart condition, including cardiomyopathy or heart failure.
  • Long-term high blood pressure.
  • Heart conditions such as coronary artery disease or an infection in the heart.
  • Obesity.
  • Long-term alcohol drinking.
  • Use of illicit drugs such as cocaine.
  • Treatment with some chemotherapy drugs.
  • Some health conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disease, storage of excess iron in the body, amyloidosis, sarcoidosis, and connective tissue disorders can also increase your risk of cardiomyopathy.

You might have already heard the phrase “Prevention is better than cure.” Cardiomyopathy is a serious health condition, so it is always best to see a cardiologist if you suspect you have cardiomyopathy. Get the required treatment on time and stay healthy!