What Is Viral Cardiomyopathy? Its Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Viral cardiomyopathy is a condition which is associated with diseased cardiac muscle cells, which don’t function appropriately, increasing the risk of cardiac failure. While there are different forms of cardiomyopathy, damage caused to cardiac cells due to coxsackie virus B, is referred to as viral cardiomyopathy, is frequently observed.

The symptoms of viral cardiomyopathy range from shortness of breath to chest pain and the treatment often depends upon the severity of the condition, though there are certain alternative therapies that are considered to be helpful. This article provides information about the causes, symptoms and the treatment regimen for the management of viral cardiomyopathy.

Cardiomyopathy is associated with damaged and diseased cardiac muscle cells, which fail to contract adequately resulting in eventual cardiac failure. When cardiomyopathy is attributed to a viral cause, it is referred to as viral cardiomyopathy. In most cases, if the condition is not treated promptly, the cardiac muscle functioning deteriorates with time, which in turn impacts the cardiac output.

Viral infection of the cardiac muscle cells results in severe inflammation of the muscles which in turn causes the atria and the ventricles to get enlarged or dilated. The enlargement of the chambers of the heart eventually results in poor ejection fraction, which results in cardiac failure.

Causes And Symptoms Of Viral Cardiomyopathy

The leading cause of viral cardiomyopathy is the infection of the walls of the heart by a virus called cox-sackie virus B.

This virus infects the cardiac muscles and the myocardial sac which results in weakness of the cardiac muscles.

The weak cardiac muscles get stressed as they attempt to cope with the demand of blood supply by the body, which in turn results in the dilation of the chambers of the heart. Dilated heart muscles interfere with cardiac pumping activity and eventually result in cardiac failure.

Viral Cardiomyopathy Symptoms

The symptoms of viral cardiomyopathy would vary depending upon the severity of the condition. However there are certain set of symptoms that are commonly observed,

  • Severe chest pain radiating to the back of the left arm or the shoulder is a prominent symptom, which is indicative of angina.
  • Abnormal cardiac rhythms may also be experienced especially when the heart is under severe strain.
  • Shortness of breath, weakness and fatigue, uneasy sensation, dizziness, etc are some of the other symptoms that are observed.

Cardiac murmurs may be heard by the doctor on examination and cardiac enlargement may be observed on echocardiograms or chest X rays.

Treatment For Viral Cardiomyopathy

While conventional treatment therapy involves prescription of antibiotics and blood thinners, if the symptoms are not very severe certain alternative therapies may be tried in conjunction with conventional treatment therapy to hasten recovery. However please bear in mind that viral cardiomyopathy cannot be treated completely with alternative therapies,

  • Increase the consumption of pungent vegetables like onions and garlic. These are natural blood thinners and reduce the risk of blood clots or myocardial infarction.
  • Homeopathic drugs like Aurum Met and Cactus taken in low dosage may also be very beneficial.
  • Deep breathing exercises or pranayama yoga may help in regulating heart beats and also control the abnormal heart beats or arrhythmias.
  • Avoid smoking, consumption of alcohol and exercise regularly to stay healthy and fit and prevent the recurrence of the disease.