Three Ways to Naturally Treat Cardiomyopathy
Cardiomyopathy affects as many as 1 in 500 adults living in developed nations. It results in an enlarged heart and reduced blood flow, but there are certain steps you can take to reduce your chances of experiencing the condition and recovering if you already have it.
Of course, not all cases of cardiomyopathy are preventable, but you can reduce your risk of developing an enlarged heart, heart disease, or other cardiovascular issues. Some simple ways to reduce your chances of cardiomyopathy include lifestyle and diet changes, like exercising, limiting alcohol and drug use, and treating existing health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
You can also look into natural ways to manage cardiomyopathy to reduce or avoid the amount of medicines that you must consume.
What Is Cardiomyopathy?
The term cardiomyopathy covers a group of diseases of the heart muscle where the heart becomes enlarged, thicker, and more rigid than normal. This condition can be serious.
Cardiomyopathy can lead to irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) and less elastic blood vessels, which can make it more difficult for your heart to pump blood throughout your body. Additionally, you may be at risk for other conditions, like blood clots, heart valve problems, heart attack, or heart failure.
Cardiomyopathy types include:
- Dilated cardiomyopathy – The left ventricle becomes enlarged and can’t pump blood out of the heart.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – This is the most commonly inherited or genetic heart disease and is when the left ventricle becomes abnormally thick. It can occur in people of all ages, including children.
- Restrictive cardiomyopathy – The heart is unable to fill with blood between heartbeats due to rigidity and decreased elasticity.
- Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia – A rare condition in which healthy tissue is replaced by scar tissue in the right ventricle.
- Stress-induced cardiomyopathy (also known as “broken heart syndrome”) – When stress hormones affect the heart’s rhythms due to a traumatic and stressful event, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, betrayal, or romantic rejection.
- Unclassified cardiomyopathy – This refers to all other types of cardiomyopathy that do not fall into the above categories.
How Do You Reverse Cardiomyopathy?
The American Heart Association notes the importance of lifestyle changes in the treatment and prevention of cardiomyopathy. These six natural remedies are helpful in handling the condition and feeling – and being – healthier.
One: Anti-Inflammatory, Heart-Healthy DIet
Your diet is so important in your overall health, whether you have a heart condition or not, but it’s especially important if you do have a condition affecting your health. Your dietary choices can either damage your heart or can help reduce your chance of heart disease, so choose wisely.
While we’ve presented an outline below for an anti-inflammatory, heart-healthy diet, you should visit your chiropractor to get a more personalized diet plan that fits your current state of health.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, especially high-antioxidant types like oranges, leafy greens, kiwi, strawberries, red and green peppers, and broccoli.
- Avoid refined grains, choosing 100 percent whole grain products instead.
- Select foods low in saturated and trans-fats and those without processed or refined vegetable oils. Instead of sunflower, canola, or corn oils, choose olive oil along with healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and seeds.
- Avoid anything with added sugar, including beverages.
- Don’t eat foods that are high in salt (sodium), particularly if you suffer from high blood pressure.
- Proteins should be healthy options, like grass-fed meat, pasture-raised poultry, wild-caught fish, and organic dairy products.
- Probiotic foods are a wise choice, including fermented veggies and yogurt.
- Consume foods with omega-3 essential fatty acids, like in mackerel and salmon as well as flax seeds and walnuts.
- Bone broth, which contains minerals that your body can easily absorb, is not only healthy, but also delicious. It is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulphur, silicon, and glucosamine, which can help reduce inflammation.
- Limit your caffeine intake, as it is related to arrhythmias, acts as a stimulant, and increases adrenaline.
Two: Control Contributing Conditions
An important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including treating conditions like cardiomyopathy, is controlling other conditions you may have, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Some steps that you can take to help with such conditions is to eat a nutrient-dense diet, which will help you to lose weight and help prevent obesity and diabetes. Also, quit smoking, decrease the amount of alcohol you drink, manage your stress levels, and maintain a regular fitness regiment.
Other ways to ensure that contributing conditions are controlled is to visit your doctor regularly and discuss side effects of current medications. Do research to understand the pros and cons of taking any medication.
Three: Maintain a Healthy Weight and Exercise Regularly
People with cardiomyopathy, if cleared by their doctor, are expected to maintain a regular, moderate exercise routine. If you are taking medications, have heart problems, or have chest pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath, exercise may need to be adjusted to suit your current health condition.
Speak to your chiropractor about an exercise routine that will suit your needs, as they may be able to provide stretches and exercises that won’t overtax your heart and your body. People with cardiomyopathy may need to avoid intense or competitive sports or exercises that involve sudden bursts of exertion, including sprinting, fast weight lifting, and similar activities.
Why exercise with a condition such as cardiomyopathy? It can help with numerous conditions and may:
- Control weight
- Reduce inflammation
- Prevent and improve certain conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure
- Improve mental well-being through the reduction of stress and depression
- Build stamina
- Increase the heart’s ability to pump oxygen through the body
- Reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure
- Potentially help prevent heart failure
Your doctor or chiropractor will recommend that you do both strength-building and aerobic exercises regularly. Exercises may include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, low-impact aerobics, and weight lifting. For the best results, you should aim for thirty minutes of exercise four to five times per week.
Some patients may require cardiac rehabilitation, which combines monitored exercise with tests to see how the heart copes with the activity. This will help your doctor determine what types and how much exercise is suitable for your situation.
How Can I Strengthen My Heart With Cardiomyopathy?
Other ways to strengthen your heart if you have cardiomyopathy include:
- Get enough sleep
- Manage stress
- Avoid the use of alcohol, smoking, and illegal drugs
- Try vagal maneuvers for irregular heartbeats
- Use natural diuretics for swelling, such as exercising, stretching, and elevating the swollen areas
Coughing may be another problem you deal with if you have cardiomyopathy. To treat this naturally, start by drinking plenty of water – at least eight glasses per day. Use a humidifier, particularly in your room at night while you sleep. This can help loosen mucus and relieve wheezing associated with cardiomyopathy.
Take an Epsom salt bath to soothe chest pain and muscle soreness and apply warm compresses, heating pads, or ice packs to your chest and painful areas to relieve aches and inflammation.
Also consider visiting a chiropractor for help relieving the tightness in your chest, which can improve breathing. Your chiropractor can do a lot to help treat symptoms associated with cardiomyopathy, from utilizing manipulation of muscles and joints to providing exercises and stretches that suit your particular needs.
To learn more about how chiropractors can help with managing cardiomyopathy, schedule a chiropractic appointment online or call us today.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.