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Peripartum Cardiomyopathy

Dr. Nabi Darya Vali (AIIMS)MBBS

February 20, 2023

February 20, 2023

Peripartum Cardiomyopathy
Peripartum Cardiomyopathy

During pregnancy, a woman needs to take more care of herself. During this, they remain at risk of many health problems. Some of these are normal, while some are risky. Peripartum cardiomyopathy is one of them. This problem can occur in the last month of pregnancy or after delivery. This problem can be due to being overweight or having diabetes. In this condition, the woman may feel swelling in the ankles or difficulty breathing.

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Today in this article you will know what are the symptoms, causes, and treatment of peripartum cardiomyopathy -

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What is Peripartum Cardiomyopathy

Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a rare type of heart failure condition. This problem can occur during pregnancy or immediately after delivery. In this condition, the muscles of the heart become weak and the size of the heart increases. As a result, the heart is unable to pump blood properly to the rest of the body. It is detected during the last month of pregnancy or within 5 months after delivery.

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Peripartum Cardiomyopathy Symptoms

The symptoms of peripartum cardiomyopathy can be similar to those of heart failure. These are as follows -

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Peripartum Cardiomyopathy Causes

A woman's heart pumps 50 percent more blood during pregnancy. This is because, along with the pregnant woman, the baby also needs oxygen and important nutrients. There is no definite cause of peripartum cardiomyopathy. Doctors believe that this condition occurs when extra pumping of blood is combined with other risk factors. This creates extra pressure on the heart. These risk factors are as follows -

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Peripartum Cardiomyopathy Treatment

If a woman has peripartum cardiomyopathy, the doctor may prescribe the following types of medicines to control the problem -

  • Beta-blockers - medicines that lower blood pressure and improve blood flow by blocking the hormone adrenaline.
  • Digitalis - This strengthens the heart so that the process of pumping and circulation can be normal.
  • Diuretics - These medicines can normalize blood pressure by removing excess water and salt from the body.

Apart from medicines, the doctor may also ask for dietary changes, such as reducing the amount of sodium. Apart from this, the doctor may ask the pregnant woman to stop any particular type of physical activity, regularly check blood pressure and weight, and get periodic checkups done. In some severe cases, a balloon heart pump can be installed after surgery or even a heart transplant can be done.

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How to Reduce the Risk of Peripartum Cardiomyopathy

The risk of peripartum cardiomyopathy can be reduced by making lifestyle changes. It goes something like this -

  • Low-fat diet
  • Consuming limited amounts of salt or foods containing salt
  • Exercise regularly, take medical advice before exercising during pregnancy, and exercise only under the supervision of an expert.
  • Abstaining from smoking.
  • Abstaining from the consumption of alcohol.

(Read More - How Does Heart Disease Affect the Body)

Takeaway

Any woman can develop peripartum cardiomyopathy during pregnancy. Symptoms include excessive fatigue and rapid heartbeat. At the same time, the main reasons behind this have been considered as malnutrition and excess weight, etc. In such a situation, on seeing the symptoms mentioned in this article, the doctor should be contacted immediately and any kind of serious complication should be avoided.

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