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Enlarged Heart Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is an enlarged heart?

Enlarged heart is not any disease, but a sign of an underlying condition. Enlarged heart can develop due to stress on the body, for example because of pregnancy or certain medical conditions (abnormal heart rhythms or heart muscle weakening etc). Treating the underlying cause means treating an enlarged heart. However its treatment includes surgery, medical procedures or medications.

What are the symptoms of an enlarged heart?

Enlarged heart tends to cause no symptoms in few individuals; however other can notice the following symptoms:

  • Swelling.
  • Arrhythmia.
  • Breathing difficulties.

When is the high time to consult a doctor?

Immediately consult your doctor in case you notice the following symptoms:

What causes an enlarged heart?

Clearly, it is caused due to specific conditions that affects the heart muscle or makes it pump harder. However, in few cases, the heart may get weak and enlarged for unidentified causes. Abnormal heartbeat, damaged caused by a heart attack or congenital heart disease can cause an enlarged heart. Few other health conditions that can also contribute include:

  • Heart valve disease.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Pulmonary hypertension.
  • Cardiomyopathy.
  • Pericardial effusion.
  • Anemia.
  • Thyroid disorders.
  • Hemochronatosis.
  • Certain rare diseases known to affect the heart including amyloidosis.

What are the risk factors of enlarged heart?

In case of having any of the below mentioned risk factors, you are more likely to develop the condition:

What are the possible complications of an enlarged heart?

Complications tend to depend upon the underlying cause and what particular part of a heart is enlarged. However, few complications associated with an enlarged heart include:

  • Blood clots.
  • Heart failure.
  • Heart murmur.
  • Cardiac arrest that may cause sudden death.

How is an enlarged heart diagnosed?

In case you notice the above mentioned symptoms related to a heart problem, then you must immediately see your doctor. Your doctor will conduct a thorough physical exam whilst suggest certain tests in order to find out whether or not you have an enlarged heart. Moreover, the tests will help him identify the underlying cause rooting the condition, tests include:

  • Electrocardiogram.
  • Chest X-ray.
  • Echocardiogram.
  • Stress test.
  • Blood tests.
  • CT scan or MRI.
  • Biopsy.
  • Cardiac catheterization.

How is an enlarged heart treated?

Its treatment aims to treat the underlying cause leading an enlarged heart. Treatment options include:

  • Medications: Diuretics, ACE inhibitors, ARBs, beta blockers, Digoxin, anticoagulants, anti-arrhythmics etc.
  • Surgeries and medical procedures: devices for regulating heartbeat, heart valve surgery, coronary bypass surgery, left ventricular assist device, heart transplant etc.


  • In case someone in your family has a heart disease known for causing an enlarged heart, immediately consult your doctor to discuss your chances and prevention.
  • Consume a healthy diet low in cholesterol and fats.
  • Regularly exercise for at least 25 minutes a day.
  • Quit smoking and avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Say no to drugs!

By : Natural Health News

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