Left ventricular hypertrophy! The name itself can invoke panic in people. And like the name, the issue is also serious. It is a problem affecting your heart. So, you need to watch out for the signs and symptoms. Ignoring the problem can result in fatal complications. The heart is the most significant organ in your body that helps pump the blood. The oxygenated blood is required for the proper functioning of all your vital organs. Therefore, your heart must have efficient pumping to keep the body working properly. But, left ventricular hypertrophy can result in inefficient pumping of blood in your heart’s left chamber. It results in prevention of healthy blood flow to all your major organs. Many underlying health issues can result in the problem. So, you need to gather information to take the right steps. Interesting in knowing more about the major health risk? Then, read ahead!
What Is Left Ventricular Hypertrophy?
Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH) refers to the thickening and enlargement of your heart’s left ventricle. The term hypertrophy means thickening. Due to the health problem, your left ventricle pumping chamber in the heart cannot pump blood effectively. Uncontrolled high blood pressure or aortic stenosis can lead to overworking of heart’s muscle. So, it increases the pressure on your heart muscles. The muscles respond to the condition by thickening. It results in the inner hearts walls to go stiff. The final result is weakening and loss of elasticity of the heart chamber.
Different heart problems or high blood pressure can make you more prone to the issue. The condition can cause your left ventricular chamber to increase in size. Hence, the heart fails to pump the blood with the necessary force required to send to other parts of the body. It is a serious condition that results in the deprivation of oxygen-rich blood to vital organs. So, developing left ventricular hypertrophy can make you more prone to problems like stroke or heart attack. Getting treatment for the underlying heart condition or maintain the blood pressure at the correct level is important to avoid the issue. Therefore, you need to take the right steps to keep yourself healthy.
Symptoms Of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
The condition may not occur overnight. The left ventricular hypertrophy can affect you gradually over a period of time. So, you never experience any signs or symptoms at first. But, as the issue progresses, you can see several changes. The main signs you may experience as a part of the problem are:
Shortness Of Breath
The difficulty to take a breath without hassle is the first sign that something is wrong. Even the mild shortness of breath accompanied by palpitations needs medical assistance. So, if you feel breathless, then see your doctor immediately.
The increase in the heartbeat is known as palpitations. If you experience a sudden, rapid sensation of heartbeats, then it points to heart problems. With the left ventricular hypertrophy, you can feel pounding or fluttering heartbeats.
Feeling exhausted without performing any strenuous activity is another sign indicating a heart issue. Most people having an underlying heart problem feel extreme fatigue.
You can experience severe lightheartedness or dizziness with the LVH. In some cases, people lose consciousness. The fainting spells can become frequent making to prone to injuries.
The glaring symptom that indicates the heart problem is having chest pain. You can experience chest pains that last from for more time. So, experience chest pain that does not subside quickly means you have a heart problem.
The signs and symptoms can is your body’s way of signaling to you that something is wrong. So, you need to heed to signs and take necessary action immediately. The failure to take immediate action can result in severe life-threatening complications.
Causes Of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
Some underlying health issues can trigger the working of your heart harder. The excess pressure on your heart to pump the blood to your body can lead to the ventricular hypertrophy. So, some of the common conditions that make your heart pump faster than its normal rate are:
High Blood Pressure
It is the major factor that causes the majority of the left ventricular hypertrophy cases. The majority of the patients with left ventricular hypertrophy have hypertension. The uncontrolled blood pressure can put stress on your heart chambers. Therefore, people with high blood pressure need constant monitoring of their heart. Keeping the blood pressure control under control can reduce your risk of getting LVH. Therefore, make appointments with your doctor to check blood pressure as well as your heart health. The constant monitoring is necessary to avoid the issue completely.
Aortic Valve Stenosis
The condition can lead to the narrowing of your aortic valve. The aortic valve is present in your heart. Its main purpose is to separate the aorta and the left ventricle. The aorta is the largest blood vessel in your heart. So, the narrowing of the aorta valve makes it difficult for your left ventricle to pump blood. It put great pressure on the heart walls to pump blood into the aorta. Therefore, it results in left ventricular hypertrophy.
It is the genetic condition that can affect heart health. The problem can lead to your heart muscles becoming thick. The abnormal thickness of the heart muscles can make it difficult to pump blood normally. So, even with normal blood pressure, your heart finds it difficult to pump blood. The result is LVH.
Athletes have to train harder to reach their goals. The intense training sessions for a prolonged period of time can put extra stress on your heart muscles. The strength and endurance training for a long duration can cause changes in your heart functioning. The extra work out can lead to stiffening of heart muscles and ultimately left ventricular hypertrophy.
Risk Factors Of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
Some health factors make you prone to the problem compared to other people. So, the common risk factors associated with the issue are:
As you age, the chances of getting LVH increases. Old people are at risk of the heart problem compared to others.
The body weight plays an important part in increasing your risk of getting the issue. Excess body weight can increase blood pressure. As discussed earlier, the blood pressure can make you vulnerable to left ventricular hypertrophy.
Genetics plays an important role in getting the heart condition. If people one or more members of your family have the issue, then you are at more risk. So, your genes can play a significant role in developing LVH.
The high levels of sugar in your blood can increase the heart complication. So, uncontrolled diabetes can put at risk of getting affected by left ventricular hypertrophy.
People belonging to the African-American race have higher chances of getting the LVH compared to others. Even with the same blood measurements, African-American have a high risk of heart problems.
Smoking is a bad habit that can affect your lungs and other vital organs. It can also increase your risk of getting heart problems like LVH.
Even with the same level of blood pressure measurements, women face a high risk of left ventricular hypertrophy. So, compared to men, women get affected by the LVH more.
Other Health Problems
Some people may have other health issues that can elevate blood pressure levels. In such cases, individuals are more prone to heart problems.
Complications Of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
Any heart problems pose serious risks. Left ventricular hypertrophy also has severe complications. So, it needs immediate medical treatment. Without proper medical care, you have chances of facing serious health complications. It is due to the fact that the LVH can change your entire heart structure as well as it’s working. So, the enlarged heart can cause the following complications in your life:
- Weaken your heart structure.
- Make your heart stiff and lose the elasticity. It prevents the heart chamber from filling up properly. So, it ultimately elevates the pressure on your heart muscles.
- It compresses the blood vessels of your left chamber. So, the coronary arteries can narrow leading to the restricted blood supply.
You may wonder how it can affect your health. The change in the heart structure due to the left ventricular hypertrophy triggers other problems like:
The changes in the physical structure of the heart can lead to abnormal heart rhythm. It is known as arrhythmia in medical terms.
The left ventricular hypertrophy can lead to the ineffective pumping of the blood. It can put immense pressure on the heart walls triggering heart failure.
Less Blood Supply
The LVH causes the reduced blood supply to your heart.
The structural change of the heart can cause irregular and rapid heartbeat. The problem known as atrial fibrillation can reduce the blood flow to the other parts of the body.
Ischemic Heart Disease
The LVH can reduce the oxygen supply to the heart. The insufficient oxygen to the organ can cause the complication called ischemic heart disease.
The untreated LVH can cause a stroke. It can affect your health adversely.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest
The thickening or change of the heart structure can cause a sudden loss of heart function. The unexpected problem can affect your breathing. So, you can become unconscious and fall down.
Diagnosis Of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
Once you observe the changes in your heartbeat or breathing, you need to contact your doctor. The health professional can perform a thorough analysis of your condition. So, your doctor can determine the actual problem with the following methods:
Your doctor conducts a physical examination that can shed light on the underlying problem causing the symptoms. During the examination, your medical history and family history gets assessed. It is to check the underlying genetic or health complications. So, your doctor also conducts tests to check the heart function and measures the blood pressure. Based on the test results, your doctor can suggest further examinations.
Also known as the EKG or ECG, it is the screening examination that can help your doctor understand the heart function. It involves recording the electricals signal traveling through the heart. The results can provide information regarding your abnormal heart function. So, the patterns can indicate the presence of enhanced muscle tissue in your left ventricular region.
The echocardiogram can reveal the live images of your heart using the sound waves. So, the echo can show the different functions of the heart like:
- Blood flow
- Left ventricle muscle tissue thickness
- Heart abnormalities (like aortic valve stenosis or left ventricular hypertrophy)
The magnetic resonance imaging is a sophisticated screening technique that can diagnose left ventricular hypertrophy precisely.
Treatment Options Of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
The medical professional can develop a treatment plan based on the underlying issue. So, your doctor tries to identify the actual cause that leads to left ventricular hypertrophy.
Medical Treatment To Overcome Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
Depending on the root cause, the proper treatment is developed. Therefore, the treatment options available to treat LVH are:
Aortic Valve Stenosis Treatment
As discussed earlier, aortic valve stenosis can cause LVH. So, it requires surgery to overcome the issue. The surgical intervention aims to repair the valve that gets narrowed due to the issue. In some cases, your doctor can replace the valve. Hence, tissue valve or artificial valve replaces the damaged valve.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Treatment
The genetic issue like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy requires treatment to overcome the LVH. Your doctor can treat the condition with the following methods:
- Implanted Devices
- Non-surgical procedures
- Invasive surgeries
- Lifestyle Changes
Blood Pressure Management
In the majority of the cases, the high blood pressure results in the left ventricular hypertrophy. So, it is important to take steps to manage hypertension. Therefore, your doctor can adopt techniques to control your blood pressure levels. The most common treatment methods to control hypertension are:
The medications can lower the pressure levels. It also prevents the enlargement of the left ventricle. So, your doctor can prescribe medications that have the ability to shrink the hypertrophic muscles. The common medications that can reduce LVH are:
- ACE Inhibitors (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme)
- Calcium Channel Blockers
- ARBs (Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers)
- Beta Blockers
Another factor your doctor may recommend to control high blood pressure is lifestyle modification. Some small changes can transform your quality and quantity of life. So, you can follow pointers like:
- Include regular physical exercise in your life.
- Have a healthy diet, which consists of fruits, vegetable, whole grains, and good fats.
- Avoid processed foods,refined carbs, and saturated fats.
- Consume less salt.
- Stop smoking to prevent other health complications.
The steps can help you maintain the normal blood pressure levels that do not cause any negative effects on your health.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Snoring at night can lead to irregular breathing. The condition known as sleep apnea can trigger other health issues. Sleep Apnea can prompt high blood pressure in your body. People with sleep apnea are more prone to the left ventricular hypertrophy. Therefore, good treatment is necessary to overcome the issue. The CPAP is the ideal treatment plan adopted by the doctors. It uses a machine to provide normal airway pressure continuously. So, while sleeping, it helps get oxygen by keeping the airways open. It aids in maintaining normal blood pressure.
Home Remedies For Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
Apart from the medications and treatment methods from the doctor, you can also follow some tips at home. The steps you take at home can bring drastic changes to your blood pressure levels. So, it can avoid left ventricular hypertrophy.
- Shed the excess weight. Weight loss can reduce your chances of getting left ventricular hypertrophy. Therefore, losing the excess fat from your body can help you overcome the LVH.
- Control salt in your diet. The excess sodium levels in your body can increase the blood pressure levels. So, controlling the salt content can make a big difference.
- Stress can disrupt the regular balance in your body. It is the negative emotion that triggers several problems in your body. So, practice stress management techniques to enhance your health.
Prevention Of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
Better than getting treatment for a health complication, you can take steps to avoid it completely from your life. So, you can prevent left ventricular hypertrophy with simple steps rather than suffer the distress caused by it. The ideal step is to maintain a normal blood pressure that does not cause any adverse effects on your body. Therefore, you need to adopt the following steps:
Include Healthy Diet
A good diet can cure several body ailments. So, include foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients essential for your body. Avoid processed foods or items containing artificial preservatives.
Quit Bad Habits
Smoking and alcohol consumption are two of the worse habits that can affect your health. So, quit smoking and drink alcoholic beverages in moderation. It will keep your immune system strong and ward off complications.
Monitor High Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure, you need to monitor it constantly. Taking medications at the right time and consulting a doctor regularly can reduce the sudden increase in the blood pressure. You can also keep track of the blood pressure at home. So, you need to purchase a blood pressure measuring device at home to monitor hypertension.
Left ventricular hypertrophy symptoms can reverse with good treatment plans. So, it is important that you seek the help of the doctor. It can improve your outcomes. Getting good treatment and making some changes to the lifestyle can help you improve your health.
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