Cardiomyopathy results when your heart cannot effectively pump blood to the rest of the body. Its symptoms may include shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or fatigue.
To briefly define the condition is a disease in the heart muscles that makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood to other parts of the body. Typically, there are no symptoms in the early stages, but as the condition advances, symptoms become evident.
Cardiomyopathy can get worse over time, but treatment (e.g., heart surgery, surgically implanted device, and heart transplant) can slow the progression and improve your quality of life.
There are different forms; however, dilated and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy have similar symptoms as they both show signs of tiredness, fatigue, pounding heart, chest pain, and shortness of breath.
The critical difference between the two forms is that the left ventricle dilates and restricts blood pumping in dilated, while the ventricle and interventricular septum constrict, thicken, and limit blood pumping to the body in hypertrophic.
First of all, let’s get to understand what dilated, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is. Dilated cardiomyopathy is an illness of the heart muscle in the left ventricle, the main pumping chamber. When this condition occurs, the ventricles enlarge, weaken, and restrict the pumping mechanism of blood. Both ventricles may be damaged over time.
Though dilated cardiomyopathy doesn’t cause any significant symptoms, it is life-threatening and one of the major causes of heart failure. However, if symptoms occur, they present as chest pain, fatigue, tiredness, shortness of breath, pounding heart, and sometimes heart murmurs.
On the other hand, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is when the heart muscles become abnormally thick. It mainly affects the ventricles and interventricular septum.
Those with this condition will show various symptoms, including fatigue, palpitations, chest pain, fainting, leg swellings, and shortness of breath.
Knowing the two forms, let’s now see the difference between them. The significant difference is that the left ventricle restricts and widens blood pumping in dilated. In contrast, in hypertrophic, the ventricles and interventricular septum become constricted and thick, limiting blood pumping to the body.
Some other differences are;
- Diabetes, obesity, heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, and excess iron in the heart and other organs can cause dilated cardiomyopathy, while gene mutations can cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
- Diagnosis of dilated cardiomyopathy can result from enlargement and weakening of the left ventricle. In contrast, the thickening of the ventricles and interventricular septum can lead to its diagnosis.
- Smoking and consumption of alcohol reduction, a healthy diet with low salt intake, stress management, and getting enough sleep can help to reduce the occurrence of dilated cardiomyopathy. At the same time, echocardiograms regularly and genetic testing can prevent hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Cardiomyopathy is a severe condition that, without treatment, is life-threatening. Book an appointment to speak with a doctor if you notice any signs or symptoms of the condition.