The following describes the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of cardiomyopathy. For specific information regarding your health and treatment options, please contact your Hurley physician or medical professional.
What are the symptoms of cardiomyopathy?
At first, symptoms of cardiomyopathy may be so mild that they go unnoticed. However, as the condition progresses, you may experience shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness or lightheadedness, fainting spells, rapid or irregular heartbeat, swelling of the feet, ankles or legs, or bloating in the stomach (as the result of fluid build-up).
How is cardiomyopathy diagnosed?
Your Hurley cardiologist will focus on determining the underlying cause of your cardiomyopathy. Your physician will likely conduct a number of tests, including echocardiograms, electrocardiograms (EKG or ECG), and cardiac catheterization, among others. You may also be asked to wear monitors that can track your heartbeat and blood pressure for up to 24 hours while you are at home.
How is cardiomyopathy treated?
Cardiomyopathy is a progressive disease, meaning it will get worse over time and without proper treatment. Treatment for cardiomyopathy will depend upon the underlying condition that is causing the problem, as well as the severity of the specific symptoms you are experiencing. These options may include medication, implantation of a pacemaker or defibrillator, or heart surgery. In the most severe cases, a heart transplant may be necessary. Your Hurley cardiologist will review treatment options with you so that, together, you can determine the best course of action.
What causes cardiomyopathy?
Since cardiomyopathy involves a range of specific conditions, the causes of cardiomyopathy are equally varied. In some cases, such as an enlargement of the heart muscle of the left ventricle, there appears to be a genetic or hereditary connection. However, age, coronary artery disease, excessive use of alcohol, and may all be contributing factors.