What is Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy?
Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a heart condition where some of the muscles in the heart grow unusually large and thick. In many people, this condition is harmless and causes no symptoms. In some others, however, hypertropic cardiomyopathy can become a dangerous condition that needs to be medicated.
Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy is a genetically inherited cardiac disease, meaning that it is passed from parents to children at birth. While a child is born with the genetic mutation that causes Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy, they may not ever develop a malignant strain of the condition. Many other genetic cardiac conditions, like Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, can be managed and mitigated through healthy living and heart habits. Many cases of hypertropic cardiomyopathy are found through cardiac genetic testing, which allows doctors to examine the genetic material for any mutations.
Symptoms of Genetic Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy?
If you experience these symptoms, they may be a sign you are suffering from a genetic Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy.
- Chest pain or shortness of breath: especially during or after after exercise or rigorous physical activity, chest tightness, chest pain, or abnormal shortness of breath might be a sign that your heart is having to work harder than normal to bear the physical strain.
- Fainting: also after exercise or rigorous activity, fainting can be a sign your body is not getting blood to important organs or your brain.
- Sense of rapid or fluttering heartbeats: A feeling of abnormal heartbeats could be a concerning sign that you have a cardiomyopathy. Talk to your doctor for a heart screen.
These symptoms can be serious and should be treated with caution. Most cases of Hypertropic Cardiomyopathies are undetected until they are symptomatic. From there, a cascade of genetic testing helps identify other family members with the disease.
Treatments for Genetic Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy
There are several ways to help manage hypertropic cardiomyopathy and live a full life. Many include heart-healthy lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy, balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight. Several medications also exist which help alleviate the stress that hypertropic cardiomyopathy causes on the heart. Finally, a few surgeries are available that help reduce the thickness of the heart muscle. Ask your doctor about recommendations for you. Additionally, for those in an older demographic, there are assisted living services that are equipped to handle many types of medical conditions.