What is Restrictive Cardiomyopathy?
Restrictive Cardiomyopathy is a heart condition where some of the muscles in the heart grow stiff and inflexible over time. This causes the heart to be unable to relax and take in new blood to pump. Eventually, this condition can lead to fluid buildup and heart failure. Restrictive Cardiomyopathy can become a dangerous condition that needs to be medicated.
Restrictive 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 Restrictive Cardiomyopathy, they may not ever develop a malignant strain of the condition. Many other genetic cardiac conditions, like Restrictive Cardiomyopathy, can be managed and mitigated through healthy living and heart habits. Many cases of restrictive cardiomyopathy are found through cardiac genetic testing, which allows doctors to examine the genetic material for any mutations.
Symptoms of Genetic Restrictive Cardiomyopathy?
If you experience these symptoms, they may be a sign you are suffering from a genetic restrictive 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 and fatigue: 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 restrictive 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 Restrictive Cardiomyopathy
There are several ways to help manage restrictive 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 restrictive cardiomyopathy causes on the heart. 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.