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Rohit Bal's rare heart condition Dilated Cardiomyopathy - Its symptoms, stages and treatment

Rohit Bal heart failure: Currently, the designer is on ventilator support and receiving treatment for this condition under the expert supervision of the highly acclaimed cardiologist, Dr. Praveen Chand.

Surabhi Shaurya Written By: Surabhi Shaurya @SurabhiShaurya New Delhi Updated on: November 28, 2023 15:07 IST
Rohit Bal heart failure
Image Source : FREEPIK (REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE) Can a person survive heart failure?

Fashion designer Rohit Bal has been battling for his life at Medanta Hospital in Gurugram. Surviving a major heart attack in 2010, Bal (62) now faces the challenges of a rare medical condition known as 'Dilated Cardiomyopathy.' Currently, the designer is on ventilator support and receiving treatment for this condition under the expert supervision of the highly acclaimed cardiologist, Dr. Praveen Chand.  

In this article, India TV will decode Dilated Cardiomyopathy- Its symptoms, stages and treatment

What is Dilated Cardiomyopathy? 

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a heart condition characterised by the enlargement and weakening of the heart's main pumping chamber, the left ventricle. This progressive disorder can lead to a range of symptoms and complications, making understanding its signs, stages, and treatment vital for effective management.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy: Survival rate

"Survival rates for DCM depend on the severity of the condition and the effectiveness of treatment. Medications such as beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors are commonly prescribed to manage symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease. Lifestyle modifications, including a heart-healthy diet and exercise, are also crucial components of management", said Dr. V. Rajasekhar, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist and electrophysiologist, Yashoda Hospitals Hyderabad. 

In severe cases, a heart transplant becomes a viable option, offering a chance for improved quality of life and extended survival. However, transplant availability and eligibility add complexity to this avenue.

Individual health, the presence of coexisting medical conditions, and the responsiveness to treatment are pivotal in determining outcomes. Regular medical check-ups, monitoring of cardiac function, and adherence to prescribed therapies contribute to a comprehensive management strategy.

Seeking prompt medical attention upon experiencing symptoms is paramount. Early diagnosis allows for timely initiation of appropriate interventions, potentially altering the course of the disease.

In conclusion, survival in Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a nuanced interplay of medical, lifestyle, and individual factors. While the condition poses challenges, advances in medical understanding and treatment options provide hope for improved outcomes. Collaborative efforts between healthcare professionals and individuals affected by DCM are essential for navigating this complex landscape and striving for the best possible quality of life.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy Symptoms

Early stages of dilated cardiomyopathy might not manifest noticeable symptoms, but as the condition advances, individuals may experience

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat. 

Persistent coughing and fluid retention are also common indicators. Recognizing these signs is crucial for early intervention and improved outcomes.

Stages of Dilated Cardiomyopathy

DCM is typically categorized into stages based on the severity of the condition:

  1. Stage 1: At this early stage, individuals may not exhibit symptoms, but there might be structural changes in the heart.
  2. Stage 2: Structural changes continue, and symptoms such as fatigue and shortness of breath may become noticeable during physical activity.
  3. Stage 3: Symptoms become more pronounced, even with minimal exertion. Fatigue and shortness of breath can significantly impact daily life.
  4. Stage 4: This advanced stage is characterized by severe symptoms even at rest, with the potential for life-threatening complications.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy Treatment

The management of dilated cardiomyopathy involves a combination of medical, lifestyle, and, in severe cases, surgical interventions

  • Medications: Heart failure medications, including beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and diuretics, are commonly prescribed to alleviate symptoms and improve heart function.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle, including a low-sodium diet, regular exercise within recommended limits, and avoiding alcohol and illicit substances, is essential.
  • Device Therapy: In some cases, devices like implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) or cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices may be recommended to regulate heart rhythm.
  • Surgical Options: In advanced stages or cases unresponsive to other treatments, heart transplantation or left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation may be considered.
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