Enlarged Heart

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I have had heart problems for 18 months now, i havent been diagnosed with a specific cause yet but the cardiologist is looking at Myocarditis or Heart failure. My symptoms are worse so i went the docs and he had a xray done the results said i had an enlarged heart so he now wants me to have a echo again to see what is happening. I cant seem to find much about enlarged hearts and the mortality so i was hoping some one here could answer my question, how long do people survive with enlarged hearts 

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  • Posted

    Ive had heart trouble since 1986 when l was 40. I'm now 70. I've had a Heart Ablation where extra electrical pathways that had developed in my heart were Lasered out. I have had 2 Major Heart Attacks both with Cardiac Arrest. I had a Triple Heart By Pass and my Main Aorta which was in a very bad state repaired, my Suregeon said that in his opinion it had been leaking for 20 years. Over all those years l had SVT ( Supra Ventricular Tachycardia) and  AF ( Atrial Fibrillation ) and Chronic Angina. !!   14 months after my By Pass surgery l had to have a Scaffold ( the latest , most modern kind of Stent ) inserted into my 4th Artery because in that short space of time that Artery which was completely clear when l had my By Passes had clogged up very badly, that was why l was still having horrendous Angina. I couldn't even go into the Cold Aisles in the Supermarket, l had to stand at the end and tell my husband what to get. I also have End Stage 5 Kidney Disease and have Dialysis 3 days a week. I also have Osteoporosis and Osteo Arthritis, all my life l have suffered with Bi Polar  and with Borderline Persoality Disorder.   I tell you all this because l've always found that seldom do diagnosis or prognosis go straightforward. There are often differing soft opinion whereas one doctor or specialist/ Cardiologist will tell you one thing or and another one , or even two will tell you something completely different. My Cardiologist blamed a lot of my trouble ei. Weight gain , fluid retention etc. on my Kidneys and my Nephrologist would blame it all on my heart. I had to have my first Major Heart Attack before they would sort themselves out and agree. I often felt that l was banging my head on a brick wall trying to get through to them. My advice is to talk to your GP and ask for as many tests that they can do. A 7 day ECG where you would have the machine( they are tiny now compared to the bricks l had to carry around years ago)  attached to you for 7 days which gives a much longer and more thorough picture/ reading of the behaviour of your heart.  Ask to go on the Treadmill,  Ask for an Angiogram. The best way to put your mind at ease or at least know what you're coping with is to persist and really drum it home to them how worried you are. One of my friends who had absolutely no signs or symptoms of any kind of heart trouble did this because her father sat down one day and just died !!! He was only 50 years of age.  She asked for an Angiogram and it was discovered that even though she was fit as a fiddle with no signs of heart disease two of her Arteries were blocked ,She had a double heart by pass and because she wasn't  ill to begin with she made an extremely quick recovery and was back working, swimming and running in no time at all. I hope this is of some help to you. I had my first Heart Attack in Asda and my second on my 66th Birthday on our way to Asda  !!!!  All my Family and Friends advised me to do our shopping in Morrisons in future  !!!!  LoL. Good luck.  Let's know how you get on. Yours Sincerly. Mo Ashton. 


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  • Posted

    Mo, thank you so much for taking your time to reply to me I can't believe you have gone through so much and your still here to tell the tale. I had an appointment at the GPS the other day and when I told him I did my blood pressure every day ( at the docs it was 80/40) he said he didn't realize how worried I am as I hide it very well. I think I'm definitely going to show my cardiologist from now on how worried I am and hopefully he will give me a definite diagnosis so we can start to look at treatment. Oh and I would definitely do what your friends say about shopping at Morrison's lol. Take care
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  • Posted

    jacqui - My husbands has dialated cardiomyopathy, or enlarged heart.

    Cause unknown, could be from a virus that attacked him, he wasn't sick working the day before his diagnoses, only symptom was he was breathless, and that didn't seem right to me.

    Local GP did a ECG for him and said it was normal, afraid it was not normal, I don't know why but something told me the GP was wrong and I asked to see a cardio Dr, told I was wasting my time and money $800.00 aud later.

    I asked for him to be seen by a cardiologist, they did a echocardiogram and diagnosed his cardiomyopathy, but did nothing other than write letter back to GP DR.

    Two day later he collapsed at home with congestive heart failure, admitted to local hospital, stablised and sent home.

    Collapsed again the following day, I took him to big city heart hospital, where he was admitted, stablised, given heart medication, tablets to keep his muscles nice and straight, tablets to keep his blood pressure low, more tablets for collestrerol, and finally tablets to keep him dry, his lungs had been filling with fluid (congestive heart failure) due to the level of heart failure.

    Here we are five years out, we have learn't to weigh himself every morning when he first gets up, and record his weight, if it changes more than 2 kgs, over a couple of days, he is to go back to hospital urgently.

    We now eat healthy, no or little salt, other flavourings are OK, we grow parsley, garlic, chives, taragon, mint, leeks, cherry tomatoes, we add pepper, and other herbs to food to help with the lack of salt. you do get used to it, and find over some months that your taste buds do adjust.

    Mortality used to be terrible, but today with modern drugs and correct diet, and exeercise, you can prolong your life to close to normal.

    Husbands ejection Fraction, relates to size of dialation was 23%, at his admission to hospital, the first time, he was then sent home with instructions don't sit around and do nothing, you will be dead in 3 months if you do, you need to exercise, that was a shock as he could barly walk across room, at the hospital.

    Started with walking from back of house to front door, chair at front door, then letter box, chair at letter box, then neigbours letter box, by 18months later he was walking 7.5kms, Dr's amazed. and his EF up into the late 40's or early 50's. Unfortunatly he has had recently another failure within his heart the electrical system has shut down, and they have installed a pacemaker and defibulator, he improved immediatly, and was discharged the following day. he has been improving since.

    Wasn't until some months after my husbands diagnoses that my sister a very senior nurse said, of course you knew about heart failure, yoy lived with it your entire life.

    Dad had it his entire life, he had rheumatic fever at 18 and died in his 70's, with no tablets, but he was extremely fit, ate healthy meals, amazing that he survived a couple of run ins with serious infections that should have killed him but never did, and his enlarged heart was never picked up on x-rays until he was 70.

    Even even served in WW2 in Egypt and Italy. 

    I know lots of infomation, but you can live a very good lifesytle, just need to adjust a little from running marthons to walking, and getting heart healthy, any questions fire away.

    I am not an expert, and have no medical training, but I have learnt alot from my husbands experience, very scarey and I can sympathise with where you are.

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  • Posted

    Thankyou Lynn i am fed up of not knowing exactly what is wrong with me and the specialists changing their minds everytime i go to see them. I am 98% sure i have Heart Failure but only just been told about the enlarged heart but the GP said this could of been present from the begining or this could of just happened we dont know. My cardiologist isnt brill but i doubt anyone else would be any better. I walk each day and if i dont i exercise on my bike but i have been told not to let my heart rate get too high as this could be very dangerous for me, but no one will say how much exercise a day i should do. I am eating healthy as im a vegi and i dont use added salt, my fluid intake is 150ml a day which i dont go over. My breathlessness is worse now and i have a constant pain right across my back and a niggling pain left side of my chest but everyone again says nothing to worry about (easier said than done)
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    • Posted

      Jacqui - I know in my husbands case the Echocardiogram is what they use to measure what is going on, and of course you then have operator of that echo device, so the measure is not entirely accurate but watching the trend is, husband has echo's every 6 months. Those then tells you if you are improving or getting worse.

      There are no grey areas as i understand it you either do have heart failure or you don't.

      Don't look for causes, you are wasting energy , even in my husbands case they could not pin in down for sure, or so we were told.

      heart failure and enlarged heart are one and the same thing, as I understand it, another name is dialated cardiomyopathy, BUT there are other kinds of heart failure that are not dialated cardiomyopathy just to complicate the issue.

      Husbands heart rate kept at less than 60 at rest, and less than 85 when he is up and walking around., and his blood pressure is 115/75, medication used to keep him low.

      I would say gentle walking is fine, but no really pushing yourself hard and getting your heartbeat up and over 100 would not be good, but remember I am no expert, and have no medical training.

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    • Posted

      Jacqui - where are you, I could advise you if you lived in Australia where to go to.

      Chest pain should never be ignored, and breathlessness should also be taken seriously.

      i would in my husbands case if he was showing those symptoms take him to the heart hospital, rather than our local hospital, I have completly lost confidence in their ability to help him.

      The last time we went there I was able to tell them what his blood pressure was, with little home blood pressure monitor, also records what his heart rate is., also able to tell them he had increased his weight 5 kilos over the last couple of weeks, had no chest pain but did have pain in his left upper arm, and weakness. They gave hin a pacemaker, and also while they were at it adjusted his medication.

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  • Posted

    Hi Lynn I'm in England. My blood pressure the other day was 80/40 the doctor just said it was a rubbish reading and left it at that. I have an appointment with my cardiologist middle of June and I have to go for my 4th echo in a week or so. Hopefully I will get answers then
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    • Posted

      Were you dizzy or felt light headed, if so your Dr should have called an ambulance for you 80/40 is far to low to be healthy.

      If you appeared to not be dizzy or lightheaded the local Dr would find those readings to be confusing.

      Did he take your blood pressure again to see that it stayed at that level.

      Can you go to a local chemist shop that does health checks and have your blood pressure taken there, I would also be doing that and or changing my Dr if he was soooo ho hum.

      All I can say is thank god for universal health care in Australia and England.

      If you still have pain in your chest go to emergency dept at your nearest hospital and tell them you have pain in your chest.

      They should follow you up and even admit you for investigation, are you paying for your echo's or how are you getting on with those investigations, other than echos.

      Can you check with even local chemists shops and ask is there a specialist heart hospital anywhere near where you are, or even a specialist heart unit within a hospital, thats where you should be I would think.

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  • Posted

    I am always dizzy I get dizzy standing up so I have made myself get up slow , I am dizzy when I turn around or turn my head so again I do these slow. I check my blood pressure every day and its usually around 94_ 113 / 65 _78 and have been told that's normal. In England we have a fantastic hospital called Christies which is a cancer hospital but I haven't heard of a hospital that is just for hearts so Monday I'm going to make it my mission to find out if we have one or not.
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    • Posted

      There will be one somewhere, here in Brisbane we have about 4 local hospitals, and extra hospitals that that are specialist hospitals, Prince Charles is the Heart Hospital, with a small general Unit. Royal brisbane is a huge general hospital, and a specialist childrens hospital. We are only a city of about 2 million, but these hospitals do also look after people from the whole state, they are transfered into the city. Where in england are you.

      113/65-78 a normal to low but thats the way Dr's seem to like your blood pressure.

      Are your ankles swollen, even when you are walking around, and do they puff up almost as soon as you stop

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    • Posted

      if you are in London you have Harefield hospital, don't know if it has an emergency dept, but that sounds like the place to be from what I can find out.

      Also South Tees further north.

      I tyepd into google, specialist heart emergency hospital, and it has come up with a list.

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear about your heart. We all know the heart is a muscle. If it's overworked, it will grow.

    In 2007 I was diagnosed with a bad aortic valve after a complete battery of test in the U.S.

    I was also told at that time that my heart was enlarged due to having to work so hard to accommodate my bad valve.

    After my Aortic valve was replaced, I had to go back every 3 months for Echos. After 1 year my heart returned to it's original size because it no longer had to work as hard.

    It seems with today's technology that heart issues should be diagnosed totally after complete testing .I truly appreciate my Cardioligist for finding out quickly what my problem was by ordering complete testing for me, then the Surgeon did an awesome job putting a cow valve in my heart.

    I continue 9 years after my surgery to return for a yearly EKG and Echo.

    The heart enlarges just like a weightlifter pushing there muscles until their muscles grow larger.

    I wish you all the best!!

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