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Please share your experience with cardiomyopathy.

Cardiomyopathy is diseased heart muscle that cannot function (contract) adequately. Cardiomyopathy results in the failure of the heart muscle to meet the needs of the body for oxygen rich blood and removal of carbon dioxide and other waste products. There are many causes of cardiomyopathy, but the end result is a heart that is weak and cannot maintain a normal ejection fraction or cardiac output.  How does the heart function? The heart is an electrically-innervated, muscular pump that pushes blood throughout the body through blood vessels. A specialized group of cells located in the upper chamber (atrium) of the heart, acts as a pacemaker that generates an electrical impulse. This impulse begins a sequential electrical stimulation of heart muscle that then contracts in a coordinated way. Accordingly, first the upper chamber of the heart is stimulated to contract and send blood into the lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart. There is a slight delay in the electrical signal that allows the ventricles to fill. Then the ventricles contract pumping blood throughout the body. Another slight delay then occurs, allowing blood to return to the upper chambers of the heart, refilling the heart for the next cycle. Cardiac output is a measurement of heart function that measures the amount of blood that the heart pumps in a specific period of time.   The stroke volume is the amount of blood that the heart pumps with one contraction.  The stroke volume multiplied by the number of heart beats per minute is the cardiac output.  Normally, the adult heart pumps about 5 liters of blood through the blood vessels of the body every minute.  The ejection fraction is a measurement of the heart's effectiveness in pumping blood. It is the percentage of blood in a filled ventricle that is pumped out of the heart with each contraction. A normal heart will have an ejection fraction of 60%-70%. This number can decrease if the heart muscle cannot squeeze or contract adequately.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
My husband, 39 years old, was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in December 2017. Six months later they did a follow up ultrasound and found ejection fraction had dropped significantly, from 43 to 25 percent. So now we were referred to a heart failure specialist (who is still 'reviewing' his file; it has been over a week). In the meantime, he was put on blood pressure medicines to help out (his blood pressure now drops to 75 to 95 because of it). The doctor says it is normal and his body will get used to it, but I disagree. It is way too low, but no one is listening.
Avatar universal
I have viral cardiomyopathy and have been told to walk or do some exercise along with drug therapy. I get so short of breath that I find it difficult to exercise. I wonder what other people do.
Avatar universal
I wonder if there is any connection between cardiomyopathy and sleep apnea. A lot of the issues and conditions seem to be the same or relevant with both diseases, such as overweight, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, especially the heart stoppage due to the lack of oxygen. It may be interesting to look into, and at least see if patients with cardiomyopathy are also sleep apnea sufferers.
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