About heart disease and restrictive cardiomyopathy
What is heart disease and restrictive cardiomyopathy?
What Is Restrictive Cardiomyopathy?
Restrictive cardiomyopathy, the rarest form of cardiomyopathy, is a condition in which the walls of the lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles) are abnormally rigid and lack the flexibility to expand as the ventricles fill with blood.
The pumping or systolic function of the ventricle may be normal but the diastolic function (the ability of the heart to fill with blood) is abnormal. Therefore, it is harder for the ventricles to fill with blood, and with time, the heart loses the ability to pump blood properly, leading to heart failure.
What are the symptoms for heart disease and restrictive cardiomyopathy?
Many people with this have none or just minor ones, and they live a normal life. Other people have ones that get more severe as the heart gets worse.
Symptoms can happen at any age and may include:
- Shortness of breath (at first with exercise, but eventually at rest, too)
- Inability to exercise
- Swelling of the legs and feet
- Weight gain
- Nausea, bloating, and poor appetite
- Palpitations (fluttering in the chest due to abnormal heart rhythms)
- Chest pain or pressure
What are the causes for heart disease and restrictive cardiomyopathy?
Its cause is often unknown but may include:
- Buildup of scar tissue
- Buildup of proteins in the heart muscle (your doctor may call this amyloidosis)
- Chemotherapy or chest exposure to radiation
- Too much iron in the heart (also called hemochromatosis)
- Other diseases
What are the treatments for heart disease and restrictive cardiomyopathy?
Treatment of restrictive cardiomyopathy is difficult. Treatment is usually focused on treating the cause of this condition. Doctors recommend lifestyle changes and medications to treat heart failure.
What are the risk factors for heart disease and restrictive cardiomyopathy?
There are various heart diseases that affect the working of the heart and the body and pose life risks to the patients. Restrictive cardiomyopathy is one of the multiple forms of cardiomyopathy- which is heart disease also known as Heart Muscle Disease. This rare condition is where the walls of the heart’s lower chambers become rigid and inflexible and are unable to expand while the ventricles fill with blood. This makes the heart lose its capacity to pump blood properly, and thus the heart fails. The symptoms of restrictive cardiomyopathy include shortness of breath, fatigue, weight gain, swelling in the legs, nausea, bloating, etc. Apart from this, chest pain and fainting can also be a symptom. The risk factors that cause restrictive cardiomyopathy include- Building up of the scar tissue, mostly due to idiopathic Accumulation of abnormal proteins such as amyloidosis in the heart muscle Chemotherapy, or the exposure of the chest to radiation Presence of excessive iron also called hemochromatosis in the heart Other systematic diseases such as sarcoidosis. There are many other heart diseases which pose a great risk to the heart and the life of an individual. They include Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Valve Disease, Heart Arrhythmias, Congenital Heart Disease, etc. Risk factors of such heart problems include- High levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or cholestrol in the blood Diabetes Smoking, or exposure to passive smoking High blood pressure Obestiy Lack of physical activity or exercise UnheaObesitylthy diet
Is there a cure/medications for heart disease and restrictive cardiomyopathy?
The condition where the walls of the chambers of the heart become stiff and rigid over time is known as restrictive cardiomyopathy. It is a very rare condition in the different types of cardiomyopathy or heart muscle diseases. If not cured in time, this problem eventually reaches heart failure. The diagnosis of cardiomyopathy include- Electrocardiogram or ECG to check the rhythm of the heart Chest X-Ray to see and assess the size and anatomy of the heart Blood tests to assess the type of condition Echocardiogram to examine the flow of blood in the heart and the rest of the body. Cardiac MRI to assess the condition of the coronary arteries Heart Biopsy to check the tissue sample from the heart for better assessment Cardiac Catheterization to check the arteries and measure the pressure of the blood in the heart. Treatment of Restrictive Cardiomyopathy The treatment includes- Lifestyle changes to reduce the symptoms such as swelling, by taking upon yourself practices such as reducing salt intake Medicines such as Diuretics or water pills to reduce swelling Calcium channel blockers or beta-blockers to increase the efficiency of the heart ACE Inhibitors, to assist the heart in pumping blood better Anticoagulants or blood thinners to prevent clotting of blood Medicines to normalise heart rhythms Heart transplant, which is the last option when no medication or lifestyle change shows adequate results.