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Cardiomyopathy Explained

man clutching his chest

Cardiomyopathy is a weakened muscle within the heart. It causes the muscle to fail to meet the needs of the individual’s body. This includes pumping the blood that has been oxygenated out to the rest of the body, and the removal of carbon dioxide and other kinds of waste from the body. This is due to the fact that the heart is not able to maintain the normal cardiac output or ejection fraction.

Causes of Cardiomyopathy

There are a few causes that are associated with the chest pain that comes along with cardiomyopathy. They are as follows:

* Rib fracture
* Shingles
* Gastritis
* Anxiety
* Hyperthyroidism
* High blood pressure
* The use of cocaine
* GERD
* Diabetes
* Atherosclerosis

The Way the Heart Functions

Blood is pushed through the body by the heart, which acts as a muscular pump that functions through a sort of electrical impulse. There are specific cells that are in the atrium (upper chamber) of the heart that serve as a pacemaker to create this impulse.

The electrical impulse starts out as a stimulation by electrical means, and then it contracts in just the same manner. The atrium contracts to send the blood to the lower chambers, which are termed ventricles. The electrical signal is delayed just slightly, so that the ventricles can have a chance to get filled.

The ventricles contract to push the blood through the body. There is a short delay, which allows the blood to flow back to the atrium and refill to perform the next cycle.

Cardiac Output

The cardiac output is how the amount of blood that is pumped during a
certain period of time is measured. It is a good indicator of how the
individual’s heart functions.

One measurement is known as the stroke volume. This is determined by how much blood is pumped by the heart in a single contraction. This volume is then multiplied by how many times the heart beats in a minute to figure out the cardiac output. An adult typically will have around 5 liters of blood pumped throughout his or her body each minute.

The heart’s effectiveness when it comes to pumping blood is known as the ejection fraction. This is the percentage of blood to be pumped from the heart with ever contraction. The base percentage that the normal heart will have for the ejection fraction is 60 to 70 percent. If the person’s heart is not able to contract properly, the percentage will decrease.

Treatments for Cardiomyopathy

There are several types of treatments that can be conducted for patients who have cardiomyopathy issues.

For one, the individual can opt to have surgery. A particular surgery that is conducted is known as coronary artery bypass. This is done by blocking off the artery that is no longer functioning properly.

One type of procedure that is done is called revascularization. This is a means of improving the form and strength of the heart muscle.

There also are devices that may be used for this purpose. One such device that has been successful for many patients is the inplantable cardioverterfibrillator.

Medication also may be an option. Some of the more common ones include diuretics, beta blockers, and ACE inhibitors.

This site is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individuals. Through this site and links to other sites, CMS provides general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this site, or through links to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care.

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