Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a disease of the heart muscle where to heart becomes enlarged. The reason for this is unclear but it seems that the process of enlargement of the heart is slow and that dilated cardiomyopathy symptoms occur only in later stage of the disease. As a result of the increase of the heart occurs weakening of the heart with thin walls that cannot adequately pump blood throughout the body.

This results in fluid accumulation in the body i.e. the lungs, which therefore become more crowded, and the feelings of lack of oxygen occur, which is called the failure of the left heart side. Also due to this right side heart failure is caused by fluid accumulation in tissues and organs such as the hands and feet, abdomen and liver.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy

In most cases the cause is unknown and the disease is then called idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. There are real causes of dilated cardiomyopathy such as other heart disease and hypertension. In many cases, dilated cardiomyopathy is a genetic disease so it is recommended to do additional tests to determine whether it is a genetic cause.

Dilated cardiomyopathy may have a caused by virus infection. If a heart is attacked by a viral infection then it is called mitral myocarditis, and often it is without consequences, but if the virus makes a serious damage consequences can occur as a result of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy.

Dilated cardiomyopathy, which is caused by viral infection, is often a consequence of the body’s reaction to the attack of the virus which can cause auto immune reactions (occurring when the body instead of defending itself against foreign body attacks itself) that can destroy the heart.

One of the causes of dilatation cardiomyopathy may be consuming alcohol in large quantities. Apart from alcohol some anti-cancer therapies of cancer affecting the development of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy Treatment

Most common used medication used for dilated cardiomyopathy treatment is:

  • ACE-inhibitors (group of drugs that can prevent further heart failure in case of shortness of breath. Drugs have side effects like redness, dry cough or a metallic taste in mouth. If a patient has difficulties with tolerance of ACE-inhibitors then the treatment dilated cardiomyopathy are Angiotensin receptor blockers.)
  • Diuretics (group of drugs that can contribute to improving the treatment of heart failure but does not fall within the core group of drugs for cardiomyopathy. Diuretics are also known as water pills, whose purpose is to reduce fluid in the body, and therefore increase the amount of urine.)
  • Beta blockers (one of the most abundant group of drugs when it comes to cardiomyopathy.)

Similar to restrictive cardiomyopathy and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy is treated in different ways. The first thing is to follow cardiologist’s advices, the second one is to be patient.