Every day your heart pumps the equivalent of 2,000 gallons of blood throughout your body and creates enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles! It’s no wonder the heart is the most important muscle in the body. But certain conditions can affect how well it works. Weakening or disease of your heart muscle is called cardiomyopathy.
The most common types of cardiomyopathy are:
• ischemic cardiomyopathy—caused by heart attack and coronary artery disease
• dilated cardiomyopathy—caused by a variety of heart toxins, including viruses and genetic conditions
• hypertrophic cardiomyopathy —caused by genetic conditions and hypertension, and results in a thickening of the heart muscle
• restrictive cardiomyopathy —caused by a variety of conditions and results in the heart muscle becoming stiff
Each type makes it difficult for your heart to pump blood effectively and can lead to heart failure.
Depending on the type you have, cardiomyopathy can be something that runs in families (inherited), or it can be caused by things such as heart or kidney disease, alcoholism, or infections. Treatment can also vary and may include medications, lifestyle changes (like diet and exercise) and use of a pacemaker. Use the condition center to learn more about cardiomyopathy, its different types, and common symptoms and treatments.