Cardiomyopathy is a term used to refer to a group of heart disease disorders that are related to the heart muscle. There are 4 specific types of cardiomyopathy including restrictive, dilated, hypertrophic and alcoholic cardiomyopathy. Each type can have various causes such as alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders, hereditary or genetic disorders or even pregnancy. In cases where the cardiomyopathy cause is not clearly known, the patient may be diagnosed with idiopathic cardiomyopathy. Idiopathic refers unknown etiology or unknown cause.
The most common kind of idiopathic cardiomyopathy is dilated cardiomyopathy in which the heart muscles are enlarged and sometimes weakened muscles that become enlarged and stretched over time and this causes the heart to fail to meet the blood flow pumping needs of the vital organs of the body. Because it happens overtime and is usually undetected, dilated cardiomyopathy is usually referred to as idiopathic. Other forms of idiopathic cardiomyopathy include hypertrophic and ARVD, a rare type of idiopathic cardiomyopathy that is often found in younger teenagers and children.
As with other kinds of cardiomyopathy, all forms of idiopathic cardiomyopathy can be inherited genetically or as a result of several things such as alcohol and drug abuse. It is common in most age groups particularly between adolescence and late adulthood. Idiopathic refers to unknown cause and since this heart muscle disorder has most people that have this disorder do not really know about it until it is too late, there are various symptoms that can indicate the possibility of cardiomyopathy.
Symptoms & Diagnosis
The best way to detect idiopathic cardiomyopathy of all kinds is to check the symptoms early even if the cause is not known. Symptoms can range from difficulty in breathing such as shortness of breath, fluid retention or even swelling of the ankles, feet and abdomen. Some other symptoms might also include fatigue and a high urine outtake. These symptoms should be taken seriously as all forms of dilated or idiopathic cardiomyopathy can result in heart failure and untimely death.
A doctor or cardiologist should be able to diagnose the symptoms to provide a clear diagnosis of the heart condition that a patient is suffering and recommend treatment. In many cases, there might be a need to elaborate on family genetic history to examine if the disorder is inherited or is the result of other causes. Since the disorders’ exact cause is unknown, a doctor or cardiologist might recommend several types of treatment to resolve the disorder.
How to Treat Idiopathic Cardiomyopathy
Treatment for idiopathic cardiomyopathy can range from being put on a life support system or pacemaker to having heart surgery or just being put on medication. The medication that is given might help to lower blood pressure and assist a patient in regaining normal blood pressure and blood flow. For long term results, the best approach would be to have heart surgery or being assisted by a pacemaker. A heart transplant may be a last resort is the heart muscle has been severely damaged.
Dealing with idiopathic cardiomyopathy earlier than later is always the best way to guarantee some kind of reversing this disorder before it is too late.