Country singer, Randy Travis is in critical condition after being admitted to a Texas hospital on Sunday, July 7, 2013 for viral cardiomyopathy, reports USA Today.
Cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the heart muscles, and can be genetic, but also can be caused by a virus, or can even be a result of another medical condition.
So what is cardiomyopathy – specifically, what is viral cardiomyopathy – and what are some of the possible treatments that Randy Travis may have to undergo for recovery?
What is Cardiomyopathy?
Cardiomyopathy is a disease that makes the heart to become enlarged, thick, or rigid. As cardiomyopathy progresses, the muscles of the heart become weak and cannot pump blood as well as they should. This can lead to heart failure, heart attack, stroke, and irregular heart beats – and can cause fluid to build up in the lungs, feet, legs, and abdomen.
There are four main types of cardiomyopathy: dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, restrictive cardiomyopathy, and arrhymogentic right-ventrical dysplasia cardiomyopathy. These diseases can be caused by other medical conditions, or can be passed down through families, and many times, the cause remains unknown.
Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, rapid or unusual heartbeat, fluid retention, and fatigue. In cases where the cause is a viral infection, symptoms can also include headache, body aches, joint pain, fever, sore throat, or diarrhea, according to the Mayo Clinic.