Diseases that affect the heart muscle are referred to as cardiomyopathy. These typically fall into three categories: dilated, hypertrophic, and restrictive.
With dilated cardiomyopathy, the lower heart chambers grow larger, which weakens the heart muscles. In hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the heart walls become thicker. With restrictive cardiomyopathy, the two main chambers of the heart (ventricles) grow rigid and stiff.
Cardiovascular specialists at Dignity Health North State take every consideration into account when diagnosing cardiovascular conditions, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, in Northern California. If you’d like to discuss your symptoms, Find a Doctor and make an appointment today.
Early on, there are no symptoms of cardiomyopathy. As time goes on and the disease gets worse, signs of heart failure typically start to appear and include:
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling lightheaded
- Swelling in the feet, legs, ankles, belly, and veins in the neck
- Coughing when lying down
- Fluttering in the chest or abnormal heartbeats
You should call 911 immediately if you experience fainting, severe chest pain, or difficulty breathing.
In some cases, people with cardiomyopathy never have any symptoms.
Diseases of the heart muscle have specific causes.
Restrictive cardiomyopathy is caused by other diseases and conditions, including:
- Connective tissue disorders
- Some cancer treatments
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can be the result of:
- Inherited condition
- Other conditions
- Unknown causes
Dilated cardiomyopathy is caused by an inherited condition in about 30 percent of cases. While many causes are still unknown, the following conditions have been confirmed to play a role in its development:
Cardiomyopathy Treatment at Dignity Health North State
Treatment for cardiomyopathy depends on the disease type. Doctors use a variety of diagnostic tests, including blood tests, chest X-ray, stress testing, and cardiac catheterization, to confirm or rule out a diagnosis. If your doctor recommends therapy, it may include lifestyle changes, medication, or minimally invasive procedures and surgery.
The goal of treatment at Dignity Health North State will be personalized to meet your individual needs, but may include:
- Managing conditions that cause cardiomyopathy
- Relieving your symptoms
- Preventing complications
- Stopping the disease from getting worse
- Helping improve your quality of life
Talk with a cardiovascular specialist near you to learn more about your treatment options.
Dignity Health North State focuses on the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of care when treating cardiomyopathy in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.