I was diagnosed back in July with a dilated cardiomyopathy with a mildly dilated left ventricle and an EF of 47%. I went to a cardiologist because I was experiencing constant fatigue and lightheadedness. I just constantly feel out of it and everything is kinda a blur. Also tachycardia upon standing and a pulse rate that jumps while exercising. As well as being able to feel my pulse in my stomach, back of my head and in my eyes and palpitations while laying down. I was also told by my doctor that these symptoms have nothing to do with the cardiomyopathy, with an EF that high. He claimed that he had patients with an EF in the 20s doing half marathons.
Recently I saw a heart failure specialist who said she didn't agree with the previous doctor and that I don't have a cardiomyopathy. She said my LV was normal and my EF was 52% and "low normal" she said normal is 50-75. I've visited other primary care doctors who think all my symptoms are viral and that I'd feel better in a couple weeks. Well I've felt like this since May and no improvement at all
I guess my question is, would what I'm experiencing be symptoms of a cardiomyopathy? I'm so confused as to what doctor to listen to because they're both telling me two completely different things. I'm not sure if I should seek a third opinion or what.
Did any of the doctors order blood tests to determine if you have had a heart attack (troponin) or heart failure (BNP) or heart viral infection?
the difference between a EF of 47% and 52% is what I think would be considered insignificant and within the realm of a standard deviation, statistically.
If I were in your shoes, I'd pick the Cardiologist I had the most faith in and follow his/her regimen to determine your heart health. If you jump from doctor to doctor, you are going to get a lot of opinions, but following a single medical source you probably will reach a better conclusion.
I'll just mention that words like 'mild' when discussing heart health mean there is a very small deviation from the norm, and worthy of attention, but not immediate concern, in my opinion. If I were you, I'd concentrate on exercising daily and eating a heart-healthy diet.
Thank you for the reply. I've had blood work for troponin but not BNP or a heart viral infection. Can doctors do blood with for a heart viral infection? The first cardiologist believed (based on an echo) that I had a myocarditis or was currently in the ending phase of a viral myocartitis. But the only blood work he ordered was blood cultures to test for endocarditis.
He has me currently on a beta blocker (Coreg) which if anything makes me more fatigued and out of it. My second cardiologist doesn't want me on a beta blocker. Both doctors are great and very well respected around my area. Which is why I question if I should seek a third opinion to get a fresh set of eyes on me.
I've been on a very heard healthy diet since the start of all this and recently started walking for an hour a day. I'm only 22 so since all of this started I was working out 5x a week with no troubles but lately I'm extremely lightheaded while just walking, which makes me question what exactly is going on with me
Coreg is a very powerful beta blocker, but in my opinion very good at restoring heart function. It usually is started with 3.175mg twice a day dose, and it takes a couple of weeks to get used to it. In my case, it knocked me sideways until my body got used to it. Eventually I was taking 50mg with no side effects, but it was a difficult journey. I have Congestive Heart Failure, and close to 3 1/2 times your age.
I'd talk to your doctor about taking a less invasive Beta Blocker. Coreg is extremely potent, and unless you have serious heart failure, it might be too strong for you. I'm not a health professional, so take what I say with a grain of salt. Keep us informed.
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