Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic disorder affecting the heart muscle in which the heart muscle walls thicken. The condition is brought about by changes or mutation in one or several genes that is passed in families.
If an individual has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the muscular wall of the heart or myocardium becomes dense which causes it to stiffen. This resulting thickening causes the heart to strain in pumping the blood out of the heart and throughout the body.
The area of muscle affected or ensuing thickness tends to vary from one individual to another. In most cases, the left ventricle is typically affected and some also have thickening of the muscles of the right ventricle.
Indications of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Some individuals might find it difficult to manage the condition due to the worsening symptoms or become difficult to control later in life. The area of the heart muscle affected by the condition and the degree of stiffness will determine how the symptoms affects the individual.
Even today, there is no available cure for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy but there are treatment options to control the symptoms and prevent complications from developing. The treatment usually depends on how the heart is affected and the symptoms present.
Based on studies conducted, proper management and follow-up will ensure that the individual leads a normal life. Nevertheless, due to the small risk for developing a dangerous abnormal heart rhythm, some individuals are at risk for sudden cardiac death. The individual should discuss this with a doctor so that medications are prescribed or recommend an implantable cardioverter defibrillator for those at higher risk.
Minor changes to the lifestyle must be observed such as avoiding strenuous sports but the individual can continue with his/her work.