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The Ins and Outs of Cardiomyopathy 

Cardiomyopathy is a disease that can lead to heart failure. It is a disease that affects your heart muscles making it difficult for your heart to pump blood to the rest of your body.

Symptoms:

The early stages of cardiomyopathy may have little or no symptoms. However, as the disease progresses the symptoms can become severe. Be sure to always be aware of your numbers, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

Symptoms include:

  • Loss of breath after exertion or at rest
  • Swelling of legs, ankles or feet
  • Fluid buildup in the abdomen causing bloating
  • A cough caused by laying down
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid heart beats
  • Chest pressure or discomfort
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting

Risk Factors:

Some risk factors you can’t help, like family history of cardiomyopathy. However, there are ways to reduce your risk and the first step is to know the risk factors:

  • Long-term high blood pressure
  • Other heart condition such as: past heart attacks, coronary artery disease
  • Obesity
  • Long-term alcohol and/or drug use
  • Diseases such as under or overactive thyroid gland, or a disease that causes an excess of stored iron in the body
  • Diabetes

Prevention

Now that you know what risk factors to avoid, try these steps to reduce your risk of cardiomyopathy as well as many other heart related issues:

  • Avoid using alcohol or drug use
  • Control high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels
  • Eat a healthy diet. For more tips on how to start your healthy diet click here:
  • Regular exercise. The AHA recommends 160 minutes a week
  • Regular sleep patterns
  • Control on stress

Sources: American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institut

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