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Cardiomyopathy Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy Cardiomyopathy refers to a number of diseases that weaken the heart muscle. The cardiomyopathies are classified by the way they affect the anatomy and function of the heart.

In dilated cardiomyopathy, the chambers of the heart are large and the heart cannot pump blood effectively due to weakness from loss of muscle. In hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the heart muscle thickens, reducing the size of the left heart ventricle. Usually, the septum (dividing wall) between the ventricles enlarges more than the outside walls of the heart. The ventricles can't expand well and fill with enough blood and therefore cannot pump blood effectively. In restrictive cardiomyopathy, the inside of the ventricle walls become stiff and unable to expand. Again, enough blood cannot fill the ventricles which therefore cannot pump blood effectively.

Restrictive Cardiomyopathy

Several diseases may cause the ventricle walls to become rigid, although often the cause is unknown. Diseases include cystic fibrosis (the formation of tough, fibrous tissue in the heart), collagen-vascular autoimmune diseases (connective tissue disorders of the heart), and amyloidosis (the accumulation of protein fibers on the heart).

Dilated Cardiomyopathy

This may be caused by alcohol or infections. Other conditions associated with it include high blood pressure, pregnancy, and cigarette smoking. Sometimes there are no associated factors. Dilated cardiomyopathy is generally found in middle-aged people, more commonly men.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

This is also knows as idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis and the cause is not known. However, the disease is found in blood relatives in over half the cases. Whether this relates to common lifestyle factors or heredity is unknown. Other family members of a patient with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy should be examined to determine whether they have signs of the disease. Most patients with this disease who experience symptoms are young adults, but hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is found in all ages and equally in men and women.

It is considered an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body's immune system, which is meant to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign product, malfunctions and produces antibodies against healthy tissue, cells and organs.

Conventional treatment involves the use of Prednisone and other corticosteroids. Often patients are unable to tolerate the toxic side effects of these drugs.

The alternative, nutritional medicine approach is to identify hidden allergies by blood test and avoid those allergens (primarily foods). Also enzyme potentiated desensitization holds hope for putting the disease in long term remission.

As with all autoimmune disorders, detoxification and dietary changes are usually helpful. For best results this should be done under the supervision of a doctor experienced in nutritional medicine.

Also, Chelation Therapy can increase the aerobic capacity of the heart muscle and ameliorate the symptoms of this disease.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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