Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Do you have Cardiomyopathy? Common Symptoms to Watch Out For.

It was a sunny Monday afternoon, one of the busiest days at any major hospital in the city. Anthony went to visit the doctor with his wife, Elaine. She was able to convince him to finally see the doctor. They waited patiently for their number to be called. She tried to make him smile by cracking jokes despite the knot of worry that was persistently nagging her own mind. He tried to act nonchalant about the appointment, convinced it was a waste of time. He was OK  or was he? He just focused on holding her warm comforting hand. He loved her and his kids, he had to make sure he did all that he could to be better and to live longer.

People tend to disregard the life threatening symptoms of any disease or ailment thinking that knowing about it would speed up their decline. Most hoped that the symptoms would naturally go away and they could move on with their lives.

The doctor’s assistant called out the numbers until it was their time to go. The couple stood up and bravely entered the office. They were about to learn more about his condition and the life threatening symptoms that if ignored could cost Anthony his life.

Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Cardiomyopathy is a life threatening condition in which the heart is damaged and can no longer function properly, often not curable but has many treatment alternatives that can effectively control the disease. Most patients with cardiomyopathy have congestive heart failure. Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood throughout the body. Congestive heart failure is not a diagnosis in itself. It is the result of the heart damage due to underlying conditions like cardiomyopathy.

Top 5 Symptoms of Cardiomyopathy

1.      Fluid accumulation
·     Bloating of the abdomen due to fluid build up
· Fluid buildup in the lungs may cause combined complications to heart & lungs

2.      Persistent coughing

3.     Shortness of breath or dyspnea with exertion or even at rest
·   Dizziness, light-headedness and fainting

4.  Irregular heartbeats that feel rapid, pounding or fluttering or arrhythmia

5.      Patient may develop orthopnea or cardiac asthma
·         Patients need several pillows to sleep on to prevent shortness of breath
·         Consistent need to go stand up by a window to breathe better
·         Person awakens in the middle of the night
·         Shortness of breath is positional, caused by positional changes in blood flow

Having knowledge is power, so to say the least. The more you know about the symptoms and how to prevent the catastrophic deterioration in the person's condition, the better. To improve your personal condition once diagnosed with this illness, you would need discipline and commitment in improving your quality of living for a longer better healthier life. Family becomes a motivation and a support system in keeping you aligned with your goals of getting better.
Heart failure generally develops slowly, and the patient is often unaware of the condition until symptoms appear. So watch out for these symptoms and consult your doctor regularly.

After the checkup, Anthony’s wife hugged him. Elaine was confident that with the right diet, maintenance, blood pressure monitoring, weight control and regular walking exercise, Anthony’s condition will improve in the next couple of weeks, months and years. They wanted to spend time raising their children and she was committed in helping him keep up with his new lifestyle as determined in Anthony was in prolonging his life for the future of his loved ones. They were glad they did this together, they we glad to find out what they needed to know to fight this disease and what it would take to get better.

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