Many people may not know that there are a number of different afflicts that can directly affect their heart. One of these, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, is a disease that takes place within the heart’s muscle and causes the lining of this muscle to thicken without any known cause or origin. In fact, this problem is one that is well known for causing sudden cardiac deaths in a wide number of people. However, most people who have heard of this disease most commonly associate it with athletic deaths in relatively young people, but the truth is that it can affect people in any age group at any time.
The reason that hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can be so dangerous and deadly is the fact that the cells within the heart muscle suddenly begin to increase in size. This is turn causes the walls of the muscle to thicken and this disrupts the growth cycles of normal cells within the heart. If you have been afflicted with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, then you are likely to also have problems with the electrical currents and functions of the heart. This can be dangerous as it is this electrical current that keeps your heart operating at a constant pace, and it is one reason why the disease is considered to be so dangerous.
Doctors and researchers have found that hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is caused by a mutation in our genetic code. The genes that are often at the root of this problem are the ones that are the basis for encoding the sarcomere proteins. In fact, almost sixty percent of patients who had this disease were identified as having the necessary mutation in their genetic code, so this has proven to be a good indicator to some extent. While this does not fully explain the development of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in everyone, it has helped them to understand why a number of younger, relatively healthy individuals may have succumbed to this troubling heart disease.
More than thirty thousand children are believed to be affected with a type of cardiomyopathy (some of those being hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), but even so, the research into the area of children who are diagnosed with this disease is somewhat limited as almost all of the studies have focused on the affects that can be seen in adults diagnosed with the disease. One thing that is recommended is that if you have an adult in your family that has been diagnosed with some form of cardiomyopathy that you will most likely want to make sure that you take your child to a pediatric cardiologist to get examined and tested.
Since it is commonly held by many physicians and researchers that hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic anomaly, having a member of your family diagnosed with the illness will increase the risk that you (and your children) will also have a problem with the disease. The reason that it is important to see a pediatric cardiologist instead of an adult one is that these doctors specialize in dealing with heart conditions in children. Sometimes the symptoms of the disease may be different in children, and often it is reported that the patient showed no signs that they were sick until they suffered from sudden cardiac arrest.
By trusting a specialist in the field of pediatrics to look at your child you are helping to make sure that if there is a problem that it is correctly diagnosed and treated with minimal problems. In fact, if your child is sick then one of the first things that are prescribed to treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is beta blockers. Beta blockers are drugs that are commonly used to treat heart diseases in adults, but it is believed by some that a modified dosage can work to treat children suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
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