Information and facts on Cardiomyopathy

Home Page Information Centre Health Centre Vegetarian Recipes External Links


Previous Next

Cardiomyopathy involve physical changes in the heart such as enlargement or dilation of one or more of the chambers of the heart. It can also involve rigidity of the heart muscle. The disorder maybe related to inherited defects or can be caused by a number of different diseases. Often the cause is unknown.

Cardiomyopathy is difficult to treat. Beta-blockers such as Metoprolol "Lopressor" or  Propranolol "Inderal" may help in some cases by slowing the heart rhythm and allowing better filling of the heart chambers between beats. Fluid retention may be treated with diuretics. Ultimately,  heart transplantation may be the only option. However, the cost, limited availability, trauma of massive surgery, and the suppression of the body's immune system caused by the anti-rejection drugs needed after surgery make this the very last resort.

Cardiomyopathy is a type of heart disease in which the heart is abnormally enlarged, thickened and/or stiffened. As a result, the heart muscle's ability to pump blood is usually weakened. The condition typically begins in the walls of the heart's lower chambers (ventricles), and more severe cases may affect the walls of the upper chambers known as the atria, as well. This damage to the heart walls inhibits the ability of the heart to function effectively, which commonly results in congestive heart failure. It may also cause arrhythmias - which are potentially dangerous irregular heart rhythms. According to the American Heart Association's 2001 Heart and Stroke Statistical update, over 28,000 deaths each year are caused by cardiomyopathy. Death rates are highest in older adults, men, and black people.

There are two general types of cardiomyopathies: ischemic which results from a lack of oxygen and nonischemic. Ischemic cardiomyopathy is a chronic disorder caused by coronary artery disease CAD - a disease in which there is hardening of the arteries "atherosclerosis" , on the surface of the heart. CAD often leads to episodes of cardiac ischemia , in which the heart muscle is not getting enough oxygen-rich blood. Eventually, the heart muscle enlarges from the additional work it must do in the absence of enough oxygen-rich blood, leading to ischemic cardiomyopathy.

Nonischemic cardiomyopathies are less common, progressive diseases. Unlike ischemic cardiomyopathies, which tend to develop in older adults, nonischemic cardiomyopathies frequently occur in young people. Nonischemic cardiomyopathies affect about 50,000 people in the USA, according to the "National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute", and are a leading factor necessitating heart transplant surgeries. Nonischemic cardiomyopathies can be difficult to diagnose because many are idiopathic (meaing the cause is unknown). However, known causes include genetic factors, viral infection, the build-up of fat and proteins (known as amyloidosis) in the heart muscle and an excess of iron in organs such as the heart. The excessive use of alcohol or other substances can also play a role in the development of the disease.

There are three major types of nonischemic cardiomyopathies:

  1. Dilated cardiomyopathy - including peripartum cardiomyopathy and alcoholic cardiomyopathy), which involves dilation or enlargement of the lower-left chamber of the heart (the left ventricle). According to the American Heart Association, 87% are of this form of cardiomyopathy. 

  2. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy -  which involves an abnormal growth of muscle fibers in the heart muscle.

  3. Restrictive cardiomyopathy - which involves restriction of blood flow into the lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles) because their walls are too rigid.

Symptoms include: a sudden loss of consciousness, episodes of rapid palpitations, central chest pain, unexplained breathlessness All forms of cardiomyopathy mean that there is a risk of cardiac arrest If any of these symptoms occur, a doctor should be called. The most serious complication is cardiac arrest. It is therefore important that all staff in a school/sports center should be trained in the standard basic resuscitation procedures to be followed in the event of a cardiac arrest


Nutrient / Supplement Importance
( 1 - 10 )
Helpful notes
Carnitine 10 helps in the transporting of long chain fatty acids which aides in prevention of heart disease, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular disease. Often combined with omega fatty acids
and flax seed or borage seed.
Coenzyme Q10 10 increases oxygenation to the heart and has been shown to prevent recurrences in people who have had a heart attack. A good Cardio supplement will have many of the ingredients listed here.
Magnesium 8 low intake of magnesium has been linked to high blood pressure and a good source of magnesium is a quality multi-vitamin & mineral supplement especially one that also includes calcium, zinc, and garlic.
Arginine 8 important amino acid for cardiovascular health
Hawthorn 9 herb that helps heart and cardiovascular system 
Calcium 7 important for proper functioning of the cardiac (heart) muscle and it is a companion to magnesium
Omega fatty Acids 9 important for reducing blood pressure and also increasing blood circulation as well as preventative aid on general heart health. Fatty acids are found in omega fatty acids from fish and flax and borage seed oils from plants.
vitamin C 8 vitamin C helps with high blood pressure, hypertension, heart, and cardio-vascular problems by improving adrenal function. Can be taken in a good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement.
Multi-vitamin & Mineral supplement 7 vitamin B complex, inositol, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin E all serve to help lower blood pressure and reduce its effects. The nutrients in a daily supplement are required for good general health and well being.
Potassium 6 needed for electrolyte balance especially if you take blood pressure medication.
Selenium 6 low intake of this mineral has been linked to heart disease and cardiovascular problems a good source for selenium is a natural multi-vitamin with complete mineral supplementation.
Garlic 9 the herb garlic has been shown to help lower high blood pressure and to help prevent or treat other cardiovascular disease.


Other Changes To Make

  • drink 6-8 glasses of steam distilled or filtered water a day

  • eat 50% raw fruits and vegetables (organic is best)

  • nuts, seeds, and whole grains are good

  • juice is good (make your own with a juice machine)

  • do not worry as much about calories as eating the right foods

  • carrot and celery sticks are good to use as a snack

  • a colon cleansing can be very helpful - (do several times each year)

  • do not drink coffee, alcohol, soda pop, other junk food drinks

  • do not eat processed foods white sugar, white flour, etc...

  • use stress relief like going for walks in the park (or the 10/90 rule - see Stress)

  • brown rice is good to eat

  • avoid red meat and animal fats

  • reduce dairy products cheese, milk, and others

  • fast a few days a month

  • get at least 8 hours of sleep 

  • exercise light to moderate amounts

  • avoid artificial sweeteners like Aspartame and NutraSweet

  • do not smoke and avoid second hand smoke

  • do not skip meals - just eat better and not as much at each meal

  • do not chew gum - it can cause you to feel hungry

  • do not watch too much TV try reading a book or something else


All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or to administer to any physical ailments.
In all matters related to your health please contact a qualified, licensed Medical Consultant or Doctor.
Symmetry herbal and nutritional products for Women, Children, and Men includes vitamins, herb supplements, skin care, weight loss, water filters, sport's nutrition, and health maintenance. Giving you and your family an alternative natural way for prevention and healing treatment of disease - also to aid in well being of mind, body, and spirit.

I accept payment through PayPal!, the #1 online payment service!


........Symmetry herbal and nutritional products for Women, Children, and Men includes vitamins, herb supplements, skin care, weight loss, water filters, sport's nutrition, and health maintenance. Giving you and your family an alternative natural way for prevention and healing treatment of disease - also to aid in well being of mind, body, and spirit.