Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cardiomyopathy is a serious disease in which the heart muscle becomes inflamed and doesnt work as well as it should. Dr. Edward Hill discusses cardiomyopathies in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the heart muscle or a change in heart muscle structure. It is often associated with inadequate heart pumping or other heart function problems. It can have many causes. It may be caused by coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, infections, certain medicines, diabetes, thyroid disorders or drinking too much alcohol. Sometimes it can happen during the last trimester of pregnancy or the first few months after having a baby, but that is rare.

Symptoms may be the same as for heart failure. These include shortness of breath, low energy, coughing, trouble breathing while lying down, edema, chest pain and passing out.

Treatment depends on the cause of the cardiomyopathy. For example, if you have high blood pressure, your doctor will prescribe medicine to help control it.

If you smoke or drink alcohol, your doctor may tell you to quit. You should also eat less than 2,400 milligrams of salt per day. Exercise is important, but check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.