In medical terms, enlarged heart is known as cardiomegaly. Certain underlying diseases can cause this condition. If the heart is forced to pump harder than normal, the heart can become enlarged. By treating the underlying health disorders that increase the pumping function of the heart, enlarged heart could be healed.
Causes of enlarged heart
Enlarged heart usually develops in people born with heart problems. The congenital heart diseases cause the heart to pump harder, consequently developing enlarged heart. Heart diseases, rheumatic fever, connective tissue disorder and side effects of certain medications can damage the heart valves, leading to enlarged heart. The valves of the heart can also be damaged by endocarditis, which is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the endocardium or the inner lining of the heart. If the muscles of the heart become thick due to some reason, the heart would be forced to pump harder, causing enlarged heart.
The heart can become enlarged due to abnormal heartbeat or arrhythmia. Untreated high blood pressure increases the risk of enlarged heart. Pulmonary hypertension, or increase in the blood pressure in the artery that connects the heart to the lungs, is often associated with enlarged heart. Untreated chronic anemia could increase the risk of developing enlarged heart. Protein accumulation in the heart can cause this condition. If the body is unable to use the iron absorbed by it, the excess iron will deposit in the heart, causing enlarged heart. An under active or overactive thyroid gland could increase the risk of this condition.
Symptoms of enlarged heart
People with enlarged heart suffer from breathing difficulties, edema, abnormal heart rhythm, dizziness and cough.
Living with enlarged heart
To reduce the discomfort caused by enlarged heart, people with this condition should modify their lifestyle. Losing body weight would help enlarged heart patients to cope with the symptoms of this health disorder. People with enlarged heart would find it difficult to cope with extensive physical activities. Mild to modest exercise, as advised by your physician, could help to maintain normal heart function. You should quit smoking. A low salt diet is necessary to lower the blood pressure and prevent edema or water retention. People with enlarged heart should frequently check their blood sugar and blood pressure levels. They also need plenty of rest to reduce their discomfort.