Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is a condition which occurs due to excessive and regular intake of alcohol.
This makes the heart muscles weak and as a result it cannot pump blood efficiently. Toxic cardiomyopathy affects the heart in the same manner but it occurs due to excessive and habitual alcohol and cocaine use.
Usually people suffering from alcoholic and toxic cardiomyopathy do not show any symptoms until the disorder has reached an advanced stage. It is only then that symptoms will begin show as a result of heart failure and they include ankle swelling, feet swelling, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, loss of concentration, cough with mucus, reduction in urine, irregular pulse, palpitations and a need to urinate at nights.
When you suffer from alcoholic and toxic cardiomyopathy, the treatment procedure that the doctors may prescribe would be as follows:
- Placing you on a low salt diet.
- Reducing your liquid intake.
- If you have heart failure, you will be put on ACE inhibitors, beta blockers and diuretics.
- If you have congestive heart failure and your heart muscles have been weakened extremely, you will have to have a defibrillator implanted to ensure that you can live for a longer period of time; or else the doctor might recommend implanting a biventricular pacemaker.
- You will also need treatment for deficiency of thiamine, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.
Alcoholic and toxic cardiomyopathy does not only damage the heart. It also causes damage to other organs and tissues due to the inability of the heart to pump sufficient blood through the body. Although the disorder is more common in men aged between 35 years and 55 years, it can develop in anyone who drinks a lot of alcohol and uses a lot of cocaine over a long period of time.
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