Q:

How do you heal a damaged heart muscle?

A:

Quick Answer

It is not possible to actually heal or regenerate the heart muscle once it has been damaged, according to National Geographic and the American Heart Association. While the heart can recover from damage by forming a scar, it isn't possible to heal tissue that has already died.

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Full Answer

Healing after a heart attack or other form of injury to the heart takes weeks to naturally occur, according to the American Heart Association. Overall, the area and degree of damage as well as the length of time before treatment impacts the degree of cell death. When scar tissue forms to heal a damaged area of the heart, this area does not work as well as healthy tissue. This causes the overall function of the heart to lessen. As a result, lifestyle changes concerning diet, exercise and medication are often required to avoid heart failure.

Many heart conditions, such as a fast heartbeat or a heart valve that doesn't function properly, can be treated before permanent damage occurs, according to Mayo Clinic. In many cases, the heart actually becomes stronger than before, as long as cell death is prevented. Eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight are ways to help prevent a heart condition from worsening.

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