Enlarged Heart: Symptoms, Causes and So Much More!

Enlarged heart, or cardiomegaly, is the term used to describe a heart that has a thickened wall or dilated chambers. Having a heart that is enlarged is not a disease but a symptom of an underlying medical condition. When there is an increase workload on the heart due to disease, viruses, inflammation or high blood pressure, the heart must work harder to maintain normal function, which can result in an enlarged heart.

Enlarged Heart Symptoms

An enlarged heart can result from either a pathological or physiological condition. A physiological condition occurs when athletes or pregnant women have an enlarged heart without symptoms of heart disease/failure. While an enlarged heart caused by the inability of the heart to pump the volume of oxygenated blood to the body is the result of a pathological condition.

An enlarged heart tends to affect the heart ventricles, or the lower chambers of the heart. However, if the condition goes untreated, the upper chambers of the heart may also enlarge. The symptoms of an enlarged heart are observed when the heart can no longer pump the amount of the blood the body needs to function adequately. Here are some of the signs and symptoms of an enlarged heart:

Risk Factors for an Enlarged Heart

There are several factors that put an individual at greater risk for developing an enlarged heart. Here are some of the risk factors:

Causes of an Enlarged Heart

After knowing the enlarged heart symptoms, you should know why this condition happens. An enlarged heart can result from a variety of different causes. Hypertension or high blood pressure and coronary artery disease are the most common underlying problems that result in heart enlargement. Over time, high blood pressure causes the heart to work harder to deliver oxygenated blood to the body, which leads to a thickened heart muscle. Coronary artery disease, on the other hand, creates fatty blockages in the blood supply to the heart that result in narrow heart vessels. The heart has to work harder to pump blood through these narrow heart vessels, which causes the heart muscles to over-stretch.

Besides, other conditions may also lead to an enlarged heart. These conditions include:

Diagnosis and Tests of an Enlarged Heart

Treatments for an Enlarged Heart

If you want to know about enlarged heart, symptoms and causes only are not enough. Treatment is another vital part. Treatment for an enlarged heart depends on the underlying medical condition contributing to heart enlargement. A two-prong approach, centering on medical treatments and home remedies is the most effectively way to treat patients with an enlarged heart.

Medical Treatments for an Enlarged Heart

1. Medications

2. Medical procedures

Home Remedies for an Enlarged Heart

When to See the Doctor

If you are having any of the enlarged heart symptoms mentioned above or have a strong history of heart disease in your family, you should schedule an appointment with your family physician. Early identification and treatment of heart disease is an important factor in effectively managing the disease.

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