Restrictive Cardiomyopathy - Topic Overview
How is it treated?
Most of the time, treatment focuses on relieving symptoms, improving heart function, and helping you live longer. You may also have other treatment for the problem that is causing restrictive cardiomyopathy, such as medicines to get rid of too much iron in the heart muscle (hemochromatosis).
You will probably need to take
several medicines to treat heart failure caused by restrictive cardiomyopathy.
It's important to take your medicines exactly as your doctor tells you to
and to keep taking them. If you don't, your heart failure could get worse.
Your doctor may suggest a mechanical device to help your
heart pump blood or prevent life-threatening irregular heart rhythms. Such
devices include a
an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), or a combination pacemaker and ICD. If your
condition is very bad, a heart transplant may be an option.
Self-care is an important part of your treatment. Self-care includes the things you can do every day to feel better, stay healthy, and avoid the hospital.
- Take your medicines as prescribed. This gives you the best chance of being helped by them. Some medicines for heart failure include:
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). These make it easier for blood to flow.
- Diuretics. These help remove excess fluid from the body.
- Beta-blockers. These slow the heart rate and can help the heart fill with blood more completely.
- Live a healthy lifestyle. This can help slow down heart failure. Limit salt, and don't smoke. Ask your doctor about how you can exercise safely. People who have heart failure from restrictive cardiomyopathy need to avoid doing too much, because their hearts can't increase blood flow during exercise.
- Watch for signs that you're getting worse. Weighing yourself every day to watch for sudden weight gain is a good way to do this.
- Find out what your triggers are, and learn to avoid them. Triggers are things that make your heart failure worse, often suddenly. A trigger may be eating too much salt, missing a dose of your medicine, or exercising too hard.
What can you expect with restrictive cardiomyopathy?
Most of the time, restrictive cardiomyopathy leads to heart failure.
Heart failure usually gets worse over time. But treatment can slow the disease
and help you feel better and live longer. If your doctor finds the cause of
your restrictive cardiomyopathy, then the cause will also be treated, if
Some people develop other problems, including:
- Heart attack.
- A blood
clot in the lung, called a
- Sudden cardiac death,
which means the heart suddenly stops working. This may be more likely to happen
to people who have serious rhythm problems (arrhythmias) in
one of the lower heart chambers (ventricles).
If your disease is getting worse, you may want
to think about making end-of-life decisions. It can be comforting to know that
you will get the type of care you want.