Peripartum cardiomyopathy or pregnancy-associated cardiomyopathy is a serious condition that damages your heart muscle and prevents your heart from pumping blood to the rest of your body. This condition affects people in the last month of pregnancy or up to five months after delivery and it can occur at any age but is most common in people over 30 years old.
In PPCM the heart chambers enlarge and the heart muscle weakens. This causes a decrease in the amount of blood the heart pumps with each heartbeat. The percentage of blood ejected from the heart with each contraction is called the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). Normally, your LVEF is 55% to 70%. Peripartum cardiomyopathy reduces your LVEF to less than 45%. The lower your LVEF, the more serious your condition.
A weakened heart can cause fatigue and low blood pressure due to less blood flow to your body, and can cause swelling in legs and abdomen due to fluid buildup in organs like the lungs and liver. Some time the patient might present with Hypertensive cardiomyopathy, mitral value leakage (regurgitation).
As your left ventricle gets weak and tired, it can’t pump blood as efficiently to your lungs, liver and other organs that rely upon it. This slowdown affects your whole body. It leads to heart failure and raises your risk of blood clots and thrombosis.
The symptoms of peripartum cardiomyopathy are easy to miss because many of them are similar to what you feel from being pregnant. But because the condition is so serious, it’s important to watch for the following symptoms:
There’s no specific test designed to diagnose peripartum cardiomyopathy. Instead, your health provider will use other tests along with the history of the patient.
The best way to prevent peripartum cardiomyopathy is to do whatever you can to keep your heart healthy. While some risk factors can’t be avoided, others can be managed through lifestyle actions such as:
With a number of homeopathic remedies, this condition can be treated depending on the individualist presentation of symptoms of the patient.