Among the many conditions that can affect the heart, cardiomyopathy is one of the most common—and one of the least understood by the general public.There are many variations of this condition, each requiring specialized heart care.
If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with this condition, read on to learn more from Premier Heart & Vein Care.
What Is Cardiomyopathy?
Cardiomyopathy is a family of disorders that affects the myocardium, or heart muscle. Depending on the type of condition you have, the disorder can cause the muscle to harden, grow bigger, or thicken and develop scar tissue.
These changes can impair normal heart function, causing other vascular problems and increasing the risk of heart failure. That is why seeking medical care and having a personalized plan from a specialist is so important.
With proper medication and support, the progression of the disease can be slowed and become manageable.
Signs & Symptoms
- Feeling your heart racing or skipping a beat (palpitations and arrhythmia)
- Chest pain (angina)
- Swelling in the legs or ankles (edema)
- Fainting (syncope)
Patients often notice symptoms as their disease progresses, while others have none and only need monitoring rather than interventions. The important thing is to see a doctor for diagnostic testing if you suspect there is a chance you have cardiomyopathy; a history of the condition in your family is just cause to seek out a professional’s opinion.
How Treatable Is It?
While it is not curable, cardiomyopathy is manageable. Patients who get early care and follow their specialist’s recommendations can lead normal, healthy lives. The right treatment will depend on the type of cardiomyopathy you have and its level of severity.
As you age, your needs may change, and your doctor can adjust your treatment to support your health at each stage of life.
Schedule an Appointment at Premier Heart & Vein Care
Dr. Stevens is board-certified in cardiology, internal medicine, and vascular care. He is interested in offering his patients a broad scope of care for their conditions, including non-surgical options to make managing their health easier.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Stevens in San Luis Obispo, CA, please call 805-540-3333, or complete the online form.