What Is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy?


Quick Answer

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart muscle becomes thick, interfering with the normal flow of blood from the heart, explains WebMD. People with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy live a normal life because the condition rarely causes symptoms. However, some people may experience symptoms, which normally exacerbate with time.

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Symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy include fatigue, shortness of breath that often occurs after straining, chest pain that occurs after a physical activity, and fainting, according to WebMD. In rare instances, the condition may lead to an unexpected sudden death. Causes include aging, high blood pressure and a family history of the disease.

Medical or family history, physical inspection and echocardiography may help in diagnosing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, states WebMD. Further tests, including magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography scans, cardiac catheterization, chest X-ray and blood tests may help determine the exact cause and nature of the disease. Exercise stress and electrocardiogram may be helpful as well.

Treatment depends upon the exact cause and aids in alleviating symptoms and reducing complications, states WebMD. Certain prescription medicines, including beta blockers, and surgery may help reverse the problem. Performing noncompetitive aerobic exercises, regulating the intake of fluids per day, and frequent monitoring of the disease may also aid in counteracting the problem. The patient must consult with his doctor prior to undertaking any treatment.

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