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Cardiomyopathy
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Cardiomyopathy

When I was a teenager i took amphetamines and ectasy over period of about 18 mths.  Probably 1-2g (prob only 10% pure) of speed and 1 ectasy tablet every week to every other week sometimes with a few weeks break inbetween. I also tried cocaine once. After stopping taking all drugs at the age of 18 i became very health conscious. Since that time i have lived a very active life, hill walking etc and have always had a pulse in the 60's. I am now 26 and i had a baby 11 weeks ago. Apart from feeling faint once due to not eating, my pregnancy went fine up to the last couple of weeks when i was found to have a blood pressure of 120/100, proteinuria and some ankle odema. During labour my blood pressure went up to 190/110 and i had twitching in my legs i was rushed in for an emergency cs. 5 days later i was discharged without any bp medication, bp 160/100 and a hgb level of 9. The night after my mum had to call the doctor because my heart was racing.  bp 170/115 sent back to hospital. i was prescibed lebetalol. a week later i collapsed. echo revealed lv dilated to 6cm and a ej of 54%. taken off lebetalol and told that is what made me collapse. diagnosed with pcm and told it was due to the prelampsia and high bp. bp now 100/60 and not on any medication. could my past have anything to do with my condtion? how common is it for amphets to cause cm? from what i have read on medline there are isolated cm but these were addicts who took it every day for years? also could i have gone thru a preg with no probs if i had already had cm? my only sym is a fast heart beat when i stand up 92-100.
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Dear kirstin,
It is unlikely that your sporadic drug use as a teenager has had any long-term effect on your heart.  Although cocaine can cause heart attack in young persons with only a single use this is something that is seen at the time of use.  Long term chronic amphetamine or alcohol abuse can lead to cardiomyopathy (cm) but this is not usually seen with only casual use.  

Preeclampsia is a toxemia of late pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure, proteinuria and leg swelling.  When it is accompanied by seizures it is called eclampsia.  The high blood pressure usually resolves after delivery and does not usually require continued medication.  

Pregnancy induced cardiomyopathy is something different that is not related to preeclampsia.  This involves a decrease in the heart's pumping function.  An EF of 54% is normal so I'm not sure why they made this diagnosis in your case.  

In any case be sure to follow-up with your doctor and keep watch on your blood pressure.  Your doctor will probably want to repeat the echocardiogram in a few months to see if there has been any change in your heart's function.
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