Your heart beats approximately 72 times per minute. It weighs only about 11 ounces. Still, it pumps blood through some 60,000 miles of blood vessels throughout your body each day! When influences interfere with proper function, the consequences are severe. In this section, more causes of these disruptions are explained.
The less your heart successfully pumps blood throughout your body and/or maintains a normal electrical rhythm, the more you’re susceptible to heart failure or arrhythmia. Heart failure causes fluid build-up in your lungs, abdomen, legs, ankles, and/or feet. One consequence of arrhythmia is a heart attack.
Cardiomyopathy is a form of heart disease involving the heart muscle, causing it to become enlarged, thick, and/or rigid. In some (but rare) cases, the heart’s muscle tissue is replaced with scar tissue. As this gets worse, it further weakens your heart.
You can develop or inherit cardiomyopathy, and it can affect every age group. Strangely, some with it might have no signs or symptoms, and require no treatment. However, others have severe cases, promoting serious complications.
There are four main kinds of cardiomyopathy: dilated, hypertrophic, ischemic, and restrictive. Except for peripartum, which happens during pregnancy or within the first five-months post-partum, any other types are referred to as “unclassified.”
Many different medical conditions cause dilated cardiomyopathy. It happens when the chambers of your heart get too large, inhibiting enough blood being pumped throughout your body.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is usually inherited. It’s a condition whereby your heart muscle becomes thick, making it more difficult for blood to leave your heart.
Ischemic cardiomyopathy occurs when the arteries that supply blood to your heart become too narrow. In turn, your heart’s walls can’t pump well because they’ve become so thin.
Restrictive cardiomyopathy is the result of your heart muscle becoming stiff. This causes your heart’s chambers not to fill properly with blood. The result is your heart operates poorly. Mostly, it’s from scarring of your heart from other reasons (a heart attack or disease are but a few).
Congenital heart defects develop within the womb. Some begin one month after conception. That’s when the heart begins to form. There are a variety of causes for this anomaly. The most prevalent are pharmaceuticals taken by the mother, medical conditions, and genes.
Each year, more than one million people in the United States have a heart attack. It is a serious, life-changing matter.