Is It Dangerous to Have an Enlarged Heart?

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A computer containing the dangers of an enlarged heart

Introduction

Diseases should be nipped in the bud early. The longer you keep it, higher is the risk of aggravating consequences. The enlarged heart is not a disease. Rather, it is a condition, stepping up as a symptom of grislier diseases. The condition is termed as cardiomegaly. Physicians confirm after the organ appears larger in size on performing imaging tests like X-ray. What’s interesting to learn is that enlarged heart shoots up when the organ overworks due to a certain reason. A human heart is more like a muscle. The more it works, the greater it bulks up. Consequence? Pumping out blood which is also the primary function of the organ is largely affected. Anything from amplified blood pressure to abnormal heartbeat lends to this severe condition of the enlarged heart. Keener on learning about the causes? Let’s delve deeper!

What causes enlarged heart?

Conditions of enlarged heart might spring up when there is amplified stress cast on the body. For instance, pregnancy. It could also show up when serious medicinal condition strikes. Coronary artery disorders, problems in the heart valve and arrhythmia for instance. Here’s a quick view of the potential causes of an enlarged heart.

  1. Consequences of the arteries in the heart being blocked.
  2. Boosted up blood pressure.
  3. High cholesterol.
  4. Cardiomyopathy (a disease of the heart).
  5. Alcohol abuse or amplified intake of tobacco and cocaine.
  6. Pulmonary hypertension caused due to increased blood pressure in the artery.

Signs and symptoms that must be noticed.

Disorders like the enlarged heart are quite a threatening condition. Every sign must be noted to proceed on with proper diagnosis. Frankly, symptoms of enlarged heart might go unnoticed for days. This is because the condition progresses gradually. However, some of the symptoms ascertaining that you are putting up with enlarged heart include:

  • Palpitations and skipped heartbeats.
  • Fatigue and lethargy.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Inflamed legs that might also be painful.
  • Developing a hoarseness in voice, especially when lying flat.
  • Unexpected weight gain around the abdominal area.

There are times when the condition might worsen and lead to cardiac arrests. Some of the crucial symptoms to take note of include:

  • Severe chest pain.
  • Experiencing black-outs and fainting.
  • Encountering difficulty in taking normal breaths.

It has been repeatedly mentioned that conditions as grave as enlarged heart must be treated right away. If not, it could aggravate consequences and beef up riskier aftermaths.

What are the risk factors that contribute to this abnormal enlargement of the heart?

  1. Congenital heart disease – Usually the condition is diagnosed right from the time a child is born. It highlights the presence of an abnormal structure that causes the heart to magnify in size.
  2. Surplus iron in the body – Elements like iron when not metabolized, pile up in the heart and cause enlargement of the left ventricle.
  3. Anemia – The condition reflects a serious dearth of red blood cells that transports oxygen to the blood. It casts an impression on the heart, allowing it to beat faster and overworking the organ. Result? Enlargement of the heart.
  4. Diseases in the heart valve – Valves in the organ could be struck by congenital defects, rheumatic fever, and offshoots of medications and radiation treatments. When the valves are affected, enlargement of the heart is obvious.
  5. Fluids stacking up around the heart – Sometimes, fluids in the body just flood around the heart. This pushes the organ to pump harder. Consequence? Enlarged heart.
  6. Connective tissue disorders – This chiefly refers to Marfan Syndrome that paves way for magnified heart size.
  7. Heart attack History of cardiac arrest in the past could increase chances of an enlarged heart.
  8. Amyloidosis – Describing it as a rare condition would be appropriate. It leads to an increased buildup of protein that causes enlargement of the heart.

Things you could do to prevent aggravated conditions of the enlarged heart:

  1. Monitor blood pressure frequently – Since blood pressure casts a direct impact on the heart, it is imperative to establish control on the blood pressure.
  2. Practice ways to encourage fine fettled heart health – It is key to keep a close watch on your diet. Include more of fresh fruits and veggies. Stick to food items that are rich in potassium and vitamin B1. Cut-down the intake of alcohol and tobacco.
  3. Ensure adequate rest – This is undeniably one of the crucial steps. One must indulge in quality sound sleep for at least 8 good hours. This helps in the body to function better.
  4. Follow what’s prescribed – If medications are prescribed to you, ensure that every dosage is maintained and taken on time. Adhere to the instructions if you wish to keep high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol in control.

What are the expected consequences if the condition is left untreated?

An enlarged heart can cast a damage on the left ventricle. This obviously weakens the heart and abates its functional role of pumping blood into the body. Thinking what it could lead to? Well, absolute heart failure is guaranteed. The condition also disrupts the rhythmic order of the organ, paving way for cardiac arrest. Complications are too many. Hence, get the condition treated at the quickest.