Cardiomyopathy is a generic term that may be used to indicate any kind of heart muscle diseases. But it is reserved for the deterioration of the myocardium (muscles of the heart) that largely affects the pumping of blood from the heart. This is a serious condition of the heart that also affects the normal functioning of other vital organs such as the lungs, liver and kidneys.
According to NHLBI, Cardiomyopathy is prevalent in approximately 50,000 Americans (at any given time) with a prevalence rate of 1 in 5439.
· Intrinsic Cardiomyopathy
· Dilated Cardiomyopathy
· Restrictive Cardiomyopathy
· Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
· Arrythmogenic right ventricular Cardiomyopathy
· Extrinsic Cardiomyopathy
The Intrinsic form of the disease is caused due to weakness of the myocardial muscles; the extrinsic form is caused due to oxygen deficiency. The most common form of Cardiomyopathy is Dilated Cardiomyopathy.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a condition where a portion of the heart gets enlarged and weakened to pump blood efficiently to other parts of the body. In this type of Cardiomyopathy, the systolic pump function of the ventricles is impaired leading to enlargement of the heart muscle progressively. This process is called remodeling.
In most of the cases, the etiology remains unidentified; the other causes include the influence of toxins, stimulants, alcohol and infectious agents. It may also be acquired as a sequel of severe viral infections caused by enteroviruses. Autoimmune diseases, Diabetes, Pregnancy and nutritional deficiencies are also identified to cause Dilated Cardiomyopathy.
About 25-30% of the patients affected by this disease carry familial patterns which had been acquired genetically. The mutations are found to affect those genes encoding the cytoskeletal proteins.
The symptoms of this disease may not be significant in most of the patients during the early stages. Continued negligence would lead to acute conditions where the rhythm of the heart is disturbed. The patient becomes breathless and suffers from Palpitation and pulmonary Edema. The affected person is often found to have swollen feet and ankles. As the heart loses its efficiency to pump oxygen-rich blood to other parts of the body, gradually the other organs suffer from oxygen deficiency which results in further complications.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy is an acute condition of the heart and should never be self-treated. It is always advisable to consult your physician about the type of treatment to be followed. Treatment through herbs is found to be very effective for Dilated Cardiomyopathy. There are a few herbs that are being popularly used for treating this health condition. The Herbs for Dilated Cardiomyopathy are:
Coleus forskohlii is known for its rich concentration of forskolin. This compound extracted from the leaves and roots of the Coleus plant is widely used for treating Dilated Cardiomyopathy. The standardized extract increases the heart contraction rate, thereby improving the pumping efficiency of the heart. It also helps in dilation of the coronary artery which aids in supplying blood to all the other parts of the body. Patients suffering from Osteoporosis are not advised to consume forskolin.
Hawthorn has been traditionally used for treating heart ailments.It is a small thorny shrub, similar to the rose plant. The sprigs of the shrub are rich in anti-oxidant Phytochemicals such as quercetin. The extract from the fruits of Hawthorn lowers Blood pressure. The Phytochemicals help in improving the functions of the heart. This herb is well known for treating congestive heart diseases.
Dan Shen belongs to the mint family . It is commonly known as cinnabar root or RED ROOT SAGE because of its dark purple roots. It is a Chinese herb that is widely used for treating Coronary Heart Disease and Angina. Its coarse roots are helpful in improving the contraction rate of the heart. It also soothes the coronary artery and prevents damage to the myocardium.
Arjuna is a native Indian evergreen tree. The barks of the Arjuna plant are harvested for medicinal use. They have been proved effective in the treatment of congestive Heart disease. The medicine prepared from Arjuna’s bark is said to strengthen the coronary artery and improve the heart’s contraction rate. It is also used to relax the myocardial muscles to relieve from Chest Pain. The herb is believed to be very strong and is not advised without medical supervision.
Natural treatment through herbs proves to be a promising measure for the treatment of heart ailments. It is always advised to take proper medical advice before taking any form of medication for heart diseases