Diagnosis, Causes & Treatment Options for Left Ventricular Hypertrophy(LVH)

The enlargement and thickening of the heart’s main pumping chamber i.e. left ventricular is known as Left Ventricular Hypertrophy. The left ventricle works harder in the case of a heart condition in which case the muscle tissue in the chamber wall thickens causing the size of the chamber itself to increase. The enlarged heart muscle loses its elasticity and becomes weak. Since the heart is unable to pump blood as before this might lead to heart failure, among other dire consequences.

Causes

LVH occurs when the heart works harder and isn’t able to pump a sufficient amount of blood. There are some factors that contribute to such a condition. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is one of the main causes of LVH. Another cause of LVH could be Aortic valve stenosis which is the narrowing of the aortic valve that separates the left ventricle from the large blood vessel leaving your heart (aorta). Now the heart has to work that much harder to pump blood into the aorta. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic disease and can also lead to LVH. This occurs when the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick on its own without the heightened blood pressure making it difficult for the heart to pump blood. Intense and prolonged athletic training could also be one of the factors leading to LVH as the heart gets used to handling the extra workload, but more studies to yet to be conducted to prove this.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms only begin to surface gradually. As the hypertrophy heightens, you may experience fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain followed by physical exertion, palpitations, dizziness and even fainting. People suffering from LVH are very vulnerable to heart attack and stroke, which is why it is important to ease these symptoms once they start to show.

Treatment

Keeping blood pressure levels in check would mean the prevention of LVH. Once the high blood pressure is treated, Left Ventricular Hypertrophy can even be reversed. Your doctor is likely to recommend a regular appointment to monitor your heart, even when the symptoms start to subside.

Age, weight and family history also play a role in any sort of heart abnormality. Patients with high blood pressure as well as diabetes need to be especially careful. To avoid such a malady to take place, make sure you’re doing enough amount of physical activity or exercise to help the heart perform its tasks. Quit smoking and take to a healthy diet. Even if your heart is functioning optimally, making half-yearly visits to the doctor would be advisable.

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