Living with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

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If you have been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or have a friend and loved one  suffering from the condition,  then this post is for you.

Firstly, it is important to remember that despite having a diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, most patients can leave a completely normal life. Most patients will live  a normal lifespan and very rarely do patients die suddenly.

Taking the right steps

Below are certain simple measures that one must observe  if they have this condition.

1. Controlled physical activity

Individuals who suffer from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are strongly recommended NOT to participate  in strenuous  sporting activities. This is because the stress on the heart can be too much and  may cause serious problems. In particular the thickened heart muscle does not get sufficient amount of oxygen during strenuous activity and this can cause a heart attack or irregular heart rhythms.

Avoid heavy lifting. Individuals are therefore requested to participate in light physical activity that does not  do much stress  on the body and the heart.

2. Following a healthy diet

Eating unhealthily can make a person overweight  and placed them at risk of developing coronary artery disease. Having a healthy heart can reduce the chances of a patient with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy developing any problems. Drinking adequate amounts of fluid and staying well hydrated is strongly recommended. Keep the salt intake low  and overall fatty food intake low as well.

3. Maintaining a healthy body weight

As mentioned above, being overweight can place  the heart at a higher risk of developing problems. Furthermore, in patients who have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, surgery may not be offered as a treatment if the patient is obese. Bear this in mind and do your best  to ensure  you have a healthy body weight.

4. Stop smoking

Smoking increase the risk of coronary artery disease amongst  numerous other illnesses. Patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy who smoke are at a higher risk of developing heart problems. Smoking must be avoided at all costs.

5. Avoid alcohol

Alcohol can irritate the heart and make it stand beating irregularly. An irregular heartbeat can be life threatening in a patient with  hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It is strongly recommended that all patients with this condition completely abstain from alcohol  but if one has to consumed, seeking professional medical advice is recommended before doing so.

6. Keep your appointments

If you are under the care of a cardiologist, make sure you keep your appointments as arranged.

If you have a family member who suffers from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and are worried if you have it, then this post should help you.

Dr Vivek Baliga B
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