Friday, November 25, 2011

Cardiomyopathy - Ischemic

Cardiomyopathy is a heart muscle condition or series of diseases that can cause heart failure. There are different kinds of cardiomyopathy and ischemic cardiomyopathy is one of the leading types. Ischemic cardiomyopathy occurs when the arteries in the heart that bring in blood and oxygen become blocked up. This may be the result of taking foods with high cholesterol or even substances that contain plaque. With ischemic cardiomyopathy, when the arteries become blocked, they are unable to bring in the oxygen need for the heart to pump blood.

Ischemic cardiomyopathy is usually the cause of congestive heart failure. It can also lead to other kinds of heart failure which are not deadly. Ischemic cardiomyopathy is one of the several types of cardiomyopathy that have been identified in the medical world. It is also the most common kind of cardiomyopathy in the United states that affects most middle to elderly aged men, according to estimates, approximately 1 in 100 men may suffer from ischemic cardiomyopathy.

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Because ischemic cardiomyopathy is commonly found about middle aged men, its most common symptom or cause can be traced to someone who has had a heart attack, or unstable angina before.  Ischemic is also hereditary can be traced to a history of coronary artery disease or heart attacks and possible high blood pressure or diabetes in the family history.

Other symptoms include shortness of breath when involved in activities, fatigue and tiredness, lack of or decreased concentration, chest pains under the chest bone, palpitations and irregular pulse,  overall body swelling and excessive urination especially at night.

Diagnosing ischemic is not always easy but there are some tests that a doctor might run to determine what the disorder is. a physical examination maybe required to determine where the fluid buildup is as well as sounds in the neck, lungs and heart. In many cases, a patient is only diagnosed with ischemic cardiomyopathy is test results show that the heart pumping function is lower than normal, this is referred to as decreased ejection fraction.  A normal ejection fraction is about 55-60% and there are certain tests that are run to determine the ejection fraction such as an echocardiogram (ECHO), a Gated SPECT or MRI of the chest, a venriculogram may also be performed or the biopsy of the heart in rare instances.

Treating & Preventing Ischemic Cardiomyopathy

Once a patient has been diagnosed with Ischemic cardiomyopathy, the cardiologist or doctor may recommend any of the following treatments to be administered to relieve the symptoms and also treat the cause of ischemic: medication such as captopril, lisinopril, beta-blockers such as well as spironolactone and eplerenone. If the diagnosis requires that you have a pacemaker, one might be inserted to assist your heart on the left and right side of the heart in order to maintain the heart’s pumping function. In rare or severe cases, you might require heart surgery or a transplant.

Unlike idiopathic cardiomyopathy disorders where the cause is not known, ischemic cardiomyopathy can be traced to certain genetic or lifestyle choices that lead to heart disease. It is better to prevent getting hearts disease by doing things such as changing your diet, putting an end to smoking and excessive alcohol intake, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and regular doctor checkups and these things can all also help prevent a person contracting ischemic cardiomyopathy.