Recognize Weak Heart Disease (Dilated Cardiomyopathy)
What is weak heart disease?
Weak heart or dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition that occurs when the heart muscle becomes thinner, looser and weaker so that it is unable to pump blood around the body properly. Our heart muscle is responsible for pumping blood to meet the needs of oxygen and nutrients for all of our organs. When the pumping power of the heart is weakened, the supply of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body will automatically decrease. If not treated immediately, heart failure will cause heart failure and even death
What causes weak heart disease?
Weak heart disease often has no known cause. However, there are several factors that can cause a person to be more at risk of having a weak heart, including:
- Advanced age (over 65 years)
- Family history or parents who suffer from weak heart
- Side effects of drugs (eg drugs used for chemotherapy in malignancy / cancer)
- Smoking habits and consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Certain diseases, such as coronary heart disease and heart attacks, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart rhythm disorders, thyroid, heart valve disease and certain viral infections such as Covid-19
- Complications in pregnant women and childbirth (occurring mainly in the 1st month before birth up to 5 months after delivery)
What are the characteristics or symptoms of weak heart disease?
In the early stages, the characteristics of a weak heart are usually not clearly visible or even asymptomatic. When it enters a more advanced or severe stage, the characteristics of a new heart failure are seen and can be felt. The following are its characteristics:
- Swelling of the legs, ankles, abdomen, and veins in the neck
- Easily tired and tired when doing activities
- Frequent coughing and sudden shortness of breath when lying on your back
- The heart rate is very fast and pounding
- Chest feels heavy or tight
- Shortness of breath
Frequent fainting, especially after physical activity
How do you make sure someone has a weak heart disease?
To determine whether the symptoms you are experiencing are signs of a weak heart, you need to see a doctor. In diagnosing heart weakness, the doctor will carry out a physical examination and supporting examinations, such as:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) is a recording of heart rhythm. In some cases, heart failure is caused by an irregular heart rhythm
- Echocardiography: Ultrasound of the heart, to assess the structure of the heart and the pumping strength of the heart muscle
- Relevant blood tests
- Chest X-ray photo
- Cardiac angiography: examination to see blockages in the heart arteries
- Heart muscle biopsy
After the diagnosis of weak heart is confirmed, the treatment of weak heart will be adjusted to the severity of symptoms, the course of the disease, and the patient's co-morbidities. Handling weak heart can be done using drugs or through heart surgery in certain cases. Weak heart patients are advised to limit strenuous physical activity, reduce water and salt consumption and take medication regularly.
What are the steps to prevent heart failure?
Weak heart generally cannot be prevented, especially if the cause is genetic or hereditary factors. However, the risk of developing this disease can be reduced by adopting a healthy lifestyle, such as:
- Do not consume alcoholic beverages and drugs
- Check blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels regularly
- Sufficient sleep time
- Control stress
- Do regular exercise
- Eat healthy and nutritionally balanced food, reduce salt consumption
If you experience the characteristics of a weak heart or are at risk of developing a weak heart, don't hesitate to consult a doctor so that examination and treatment can be done properly and quickly. Healthy Greetings