Defining Postpartum Cardiomyopathy

Postpartum CardiomyopathyDuring pregnancy some women experience heart enlargement, this is because the blood volume has increased significantly and the heart is strained on how to pump the additional blood to the baby and other vital organs of the body. This condition is very rare as it affects one percent of pregnancies. The causes for the enlargement of the heart during pregnancy include high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, and anemia and thyroid disorders. In case you feel these signs it is important that you talk to your doctor who will run some tests to determine the condition of your heart. Postpartum cardiomyopathy is a medical condition used to describe a heart disorder that affects women during their final month in pregnancy or a few months after delivery. This condition will also affect other vital organs like he lungs, liver and kidneys because the heart muscles cannot circulate blood efficiently. The risks factors are obesity, unhealthy lifestyle which includes smoking and drinking, family history, malnutrition and multiple pregnancies.

Symptoms: They include fatigue, palpitations, shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing, increase urination at night times, swelling of the feet and ankles, dizziness and fainting. During your appointment with your doctor, he will do a practical examination on you to check for any fluids in the lungs, a stethoscope will be used to check for the heart beat. He will measure your blood pressure so as to know the kind of medication to give you, because pregnant women and nursing mothers are restricted on taking some drugs as it may be harmful to the baby.
Postpartum Cardiomyopathy
Other Tests: they include Echocardiogram which will show images of the heart and its heart beat rates, in cases of enlargement the doctor will be able to clearly see the areas. Chest x-ray and CT scan will also show the condition of the heart. Lastly a heart biopsy will be able to interpret the root cause of cardiomyopathy.

Treatment: This condition is severe and rare so the woman will be admitted in the hospital until the treatments begin to show positive results. The doctor will prescribe medications that are not harmful to the pregnant woman and the baby which will restore the enlarged heart to its right size. They include diuretics which aids in removals of excess fluid in the body that is causing edema. Heart transplant is done when there is a possibility of heart failure, this is whereby the heart is overwhelmed and cannot properly circulate blood throughout the body.

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Posted by on May.20, 2011, under Information

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