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
- 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
, 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:
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.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - which involves an
abnormal growth of muscle fibers in the heart muscle.
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
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||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
and flax seed or borage seed.
||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.
||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.
||important amino acid for cardiovascular health
||herb that helps heart and cardiovascular system
||important for proper functioning of the
cardiac (heart) muscle and it is a companion to
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
||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.
& Mineral supplement
||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
||needed for electrolyte balance especially if
you take blood pressure medication.
||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
||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
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