A disease of the heart muscle is referred to as cardiomyopathy. There are three main types of cardiomyopathy:
- Dilated cardiomyopathy. The lower chambers of the heart — called ventricles — increase in size and get weaker.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The heart walls get thicker, while the heart chambers stay the same size.
- Restrictive cardiomyopathy. The heart chambers become rigid and stiff.
Dignity Health offers quality care for all types of cardiomyopathy in Arizona. If you would like to learn more about treatment or request an appointment, Find a Doctor today at Dignity Health.
The early stages of a heart muscle disease may not cause any noticeable symptoms. As the problem gets worse, you may have symptoms of heart failure.
Since a disease of the heart muscles makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood, the main symptoms of cardiomyopathy include:
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue, causing a person to become tired quickly with activity
- Swelling in the legs, feet, ankles, abdomen, and neck veins
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or coughing when lying down
- Feeling of a fluttering in the chest
If you or a loved one is experiencing severe chest pain, fainting, or difficulty breathing, call 9-1-1 for emergency medical care.
Dignity Health’s Chandler Regional Medical Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center are Accredited Chest Pain Centers designated by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. This recognition is given to hospitals that have achieved a high level of expertise in treating patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack.
The causes of cardiomyopathy depend on the type.
The cause of dilated cardiomyopathy is often unknown. However, it can be caused by these conditions:
About three out of 10 people with dilated cardiomyopathy inherit it from a parent. The condition can also be caused by toxins, alcohol, and certain drugs.
Most people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy inherit it from a parent, but some conditions also cause it.
Restrictive cardiomyopathy is often the result of another condition, disease, or treatment, including:
- Connective tissue disorders
- Some cancer treatments
At Dignity Health, our cardiologists can diagnose all forms of cardiomyopathy through a variety of diagnostic tests. These include:
Your medical history, risk factors, and a physical exam also help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.
Cardiomyopathy Treatment at Dignity Health
If your doctor determines you need treatment for cardiomyopathy, there are several options to choose, dependent on the type and severity of your condition. Treatment for cardiomyopathy can include medication, lifestyle changes, or procedures and surgery.
At Dignity Health, our heart doctors focus on helping people with cardiomyopathy:
Cardiology departments at Dignity Health specialize in advanced diagnostic evaluation and treatment for all stages of cardiomyopathy in Arizona.
- Reduce symptoms
- Prevent complications
- Manage conditions that cause the disease
- Return to maintain a normal lifestyle