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Heart Disease Health Center

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Heart Disease and Restrictive Cardiomyopathy

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What Is the Treatment for Restrictive Cardiomyopathy?

Treatment of restrictive cardiomyopathy is difficult. Treatment is usually focused on treating the cause of this condition. Doctors recommend lifestyle changes and medications to treat heart failure.

What Lifestyle Changes Are Recommended for Restrictive Cardiomyopathy?

Lifestyle changes can help restrictive cardiomyopathy. They might include:

Diet. Once you have symptoms such as shortness of breath or fatigue, you should restrict your intake of salt (sodium). Your doctor will tell you how strict you need to be. Follow this diet even when your symptoms abate.

Exercise. Your doctor will tell you if you may exercise or not. While exercise is generally good for the heart, people with this form of cardiomyopathy may experience fatigue and shortness of breath, even with minimal exertion. Therefore, experts recommend that you take frequent breaks, exercise at a time of day where you have the most energy and start slow, gradually building up strength and endurance. Heavy weight lifting is not recommended.

What Medications Are Used for Restrictive Cardiomyopathy?

Often, medications are used to treat symptoms of restrictive cardiomyopathy and prevent further complications. To manage heart failure, some people may improve by taking a beta-blocker and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. If symptoms occur, digoxin, diuretics, and aldosterone inhibitors may be added. If you have an arrhythmia, your doctor may prescribe a medication to control your heart rate or lessen the occurrence of arrhythmia. Therapy may also be given to treat certain conditions, such as sarcoidosis, amyloidosis, and hemochromatosis. Your doctor will discuss what medications are best for you.

Can Surgery Treat Restrictive Cardiomyopathy?

In some cases, if the condition is severe, heart transplant surgery may be considered for restrictive cardiomyopathy.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on February 10, 2014
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