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Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a serious disease that leads to an increase in the thickness of the heart muscle, making it more rigid and with greater difficulty in pumping blood, which can lead to death.
Although there is no cure for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, treatment helps to relieve symptoms and prevent the problem from getting worse, preventing complications such as atrial fibrillation and even cardiac arrest, for example.
See 12 signs that may indicate heart problems.
In most cases, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy does not show any signs or symptoms, and is often identified in a routine heart exam. But some people may feel:
- Feeling short of breath, especially when exercising;
- Chest pain, especially during exercise;
- Palpitations or feeling of rapid heartbeat;
So, when any of these symptoms appear, it is advisable to go to the doctor to do the necessary tests, such as echocardiography or chest X-ray, which help to identify the problem and start the appropriate treatment.
Normally, with advancing age and hardening of the heart, it is also common for high blood pressure and even arrhythmias to arise, due to the change in electrical signals in the heart muscle.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is usually caused by a genetic change that causes the heart muscle to develop excessively, which becomes thicker than normal.
The alteration that causes this disease can pass from parents to children, with a 50% chance that the children will be born with the problem, even if the disease only affects one of the parents.
How the treatment is done
Thus, the cardiologist usually starts the treatment with the use of medicines such as:
- Remedies to relax the heart, such as Metoprolol or Verapamil: decrease stress on the heart muscle and decrease heart rate, allowing blood to be pumped more effectively;
- Medicines to control heart rhythm, such as Amiodarone or Disopyramide: keep the heart rhythm stable, avoiding overwork by the heart;
- Anticoagulants, such as Warfarin or Dabigatran: these are used when there is atrial fibrillation, to prevent the formation of clots that can cause a heart attack or stroke;
However, when the use of these drugs is not able to relieve the symptoms, the doctor can use surgery to remove a piece of the heart muscle that separates the two ventricles of the heart, facilitating the passage of blood and reducing the effort over the heart.
In the most severe cases, where there is a great risk of cardiac arrest due to arrhythmia, it may be necessary to implant a pacemaker in the heart, which produces electric shocks capable of regulating the heart rhythm. Understand better how the pacemaker works.