I have had 2 heart attacks and 2 sets of stents put in. My last visit was told my heart muscle is hardening. I want to know if there is anything I can do to slow or stop this process. I go back in 10 days to see cardio doc. I am at this point taking about 15 different meds daily. Looking for any kind of help
Typically, diet and lifestyle changes, exercise regimen (as applicable), and individualized prescription drug-therapy (which can need tweaking from time-to-time).
"Heart muscle is hardening"
As applicable, there is a condition known as cardiomyopathy (CM, heart muscle disease), and there are different types, one of them being restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM), reported as being the rarest type, in which the heart muscle (myocardium) becomes hard and stiff, making it difficult for the ventricles (lower pumping chambers) to fill with blood between heartbeats.
Also, as applicable, some individuals, without any cardiomyopathy, can have their left ventricle (LV, the heart's powerhouse high pressure pumping chamber) become stiff or hard/hardened, as in diastolic dysfunction/diastolic heart failure. The LV becomes non-complaint, in which the LV can't fill up normally/has trouble/difficulty filling up with blood during diastole (diastolic, the heart's relaxation or resting phase).
"Had 2 heart attacks"
Especially after a heart attack has occurred, one should know his/her left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). This is the single-most important clinical indicator of how well the heart is pumping out blood.
Normal resting range LVEF is 50%/55%-70%/75%. Average reported is in the low to mid 60s. Under 50% enters into the realm of left ventricular dysfunction/heart failure territory that goes from mild to moderate to severe. As applicable,some individuals who have a low (moderate) or really low (severe) LVEF feel fine and function well, while others do not.
"2 sets of stents"
Coronary stents (drug-eluting or bare-metal) are only a Band-aid or spot treatment, as it doesn't address the disease process and what drives the progression. Most important, coronary artery disease (CAD) is a lifelong unpredictable (can exhibit periods of stabilization, acceleration, and even some regression) condition, requiring a continuum of care, as well as good doctor-patient/patient-doctor communication and understanding at ALL times.
Best of luck down the road of life.
WebMD member (since 8/99)
LIving with CAD
A disease with no cure.
When you have CAD, it is important to take good care of your heart for the rest of your life....This is especially true if you have had an interventional procedure or surgery to improve blood flow to the heart..../It is up to.... Recognize the symptoms. Reduce your risk factors. Take your medications. See your doctor for regular check-ups....
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