Be very flattered if someone said you have a big heart. But if you have one literally, this should be a cause of concern.
An enlarged heart is known in the medical world as “cardiomegaly”. It’s not actually a disease but, rather, a normal reaction of the heart muscles to various health problems. One of the most common causes of the heart’s enlargement is high blood pressure brought about by arterial blockage. Because the arteries are constricted and the blood circulation is hampered, the heart compensates by making itself larger in order to be able to pump more blood. The sad news, however, is the heart’s pumping ability is greatly compromised because of this.
Causes of an Enlarged Heart
There are a few other probable causes of cardiomegaly. They include:
- Infection of the heart caused by a virus
- HIV infection
- Abnormality with the heart’s valve
- Kidney disease
- Pregnancy, in particular during delivery
- Alcohol abuse
- Inherited from the parent
Symptoms of cardiomegaly vary from person to person. In fact, it is possible for someone to have an enlarged heart but experience no sign or present no symptom. In case the heart is already having a hard time pumping blood, the following symptoms may take place:
- Palpitations or fluttering in the chest
- Shortness of breath especially during exertion or when lying down
- Weight gain
- Swelling of the legs
Medical Treatments for Cardiomegaly
Medical treatments for the enlargement of the heart involve dealing with the causes. For instance, a doctor may prescribe drugs that help lower blood cholesterol. Surgery may be required if the causative factor of the condition is a problem with one of the valves of the heart.
It is possible for an enlarged heart to improve on its own after some time. However, most cases of cardiomegaly require lifelong treatments with the use of certain medications.
There are also some natural remedies for cardiomegaly, in particular if it’s due to high blood pressure or blockage of the arteries. Before trying any one of them, make sure that you inform your doctor about your decision to give the natural approach a try. Here are some all-natural solutions for cardiomegaly:
- This very popular spice is known to reduce the risk of heart failure in someone with cardiomegaly. Turmeric also helps prevent the heart muscles from hardening as well as from developing scars. Adding turmeric to various dishes is a good idea. You may also consume a tablespoon of turmeric and honey on a daily basis.
- Another herb known to be beneficial for someone with an enlarged heart is garlic. The herb may be added to food in generous amounts. Consuming 2 to 3 cloves of raw garlic daily is also said to work wonders. Garlic contains certain compounds proven by science to help lower the levels of bad cholesterol.
- Regular consumption of dishes with onions is good for keeping the complications of cardiomegaly at bay. Onions are revered for their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Also, they help reduce blood sugar levels, making them especially beneficial for people with cardiomegaly and diabetes at the same time.
- Regarded as a superfood, honey is one of the best home remedies for an enlarged heart. Loads of antioxidants make honey very helpful in keeping the heart muscles strong and the blood circulation in tip-top shape. Taking a few teaspoons of honey a day may also help keep at bay palpitation especially after meals.
- Green tea. Drinking 2 to 3 cups of green tea everyday is said to be very good for someone diagnosed with cardiomegaly. This beverage well-loved all over the planet is packed with antioxidants that help lower the levels of blood cholesterol. Because of this, the heart need not work very hard to pump blood efficiently.
- Foods rich in vitamin E. A type of antioxidant, vitamin E helps in strengthening the heart muscles and supplying more oxygen to them. The nutrient is also known to help improve the blood circulation. Some of the best sources of vitamin E include: nuts, apricots, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and green vegetables.
- Lemon juice. The consumption of lemon juice is beneficial for a person with cardiomegaly. Aside from helping to regulate high blood pressure due to its rich antioxidant content, lemon juice also helps strengthen the walls of the blood vessels. A glass of lemon juice daily is enough to help improve the condition.