Why do I have a heavy heart

Enlarged Heart: Causes and Symptoms of Heart Disease

As a result of a pathological enlargement of the entire heart, the pumping capacity decreases sharply. Important organs such as the brain, kidneys or muscles are no longer adequately supplied with oxygen and nutrients. Find out when the heart muscle can grow and howan enlarged heart covering the entire bodyimpaired.

Normally the heart of a healthy person weighs around 300 grams, but overload and certain illnesses cause the heart to grow abnormally, so that it has to use significantly more force to pump the blood into the body.

If the heart weighs more than 500 grams at some point, the coronary arteries can no longer supply it with sufficient oxygen. The efficiency of the heart decreases - it thickens and enlarges.

Definition: An enlarged heart is when the heart muscle is abnormally enlarged (cardiomegaly).

Too big heart: possible causes

The underlying causes of a heart that is too big are usually:

  • Valvular heart disease
  • Heart failure
  • high blood pressure
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • chronic anemia (anemia)
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • excessive physical exertion (athlete's heart)

Why is an enlarged athlete's heart not dangerous? An enlargement of the heart can also be observed in athletes, because the heart also adapts to the sporting loads. But that's not dangerous. In an athlete's heart, the heart enlarges, but its performance also increases at the same time. In the case of a pathological thickening of the heart muscle, on the other hand, only the heart becomes larger - the performance of the heart decreases. In addition, the heart of endurance athletes does not weigh more than 500 grams.

Taking cardiomegaly symptoms seriously

In some people, an enlarged heart leads to symptoms such as:

  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • Arrhythmia
  • Water retention in the legs
  • to cough
  • Chest pain
  • increased urination at night
  • severe weight loss

Diagnosis by ultrasound or EKG

If the heart is enlarged, there is a risk of heart diseases such as cardiac arrhythmias, heart attacks or chronic heart failure. According to the German Heart Foundation, almost two million people in Germany suffer from heart failure - 50,000 die from it every year.

It is therefore important to see a doctor at the first signs and symptoms. With the help of an ultrasound examination or an electrocardiography (EKG), the doctor can determine whether there is really a thickening of the heart muscle. If the person concerned does not experience any symptoms, the large heart is often detected by chance on an X-ray.

Treatment of heart disease

Treatment for an enlarged heart depends on the underlying disease. Methods include diet changes, exercise, medication, medical interventions (cardiac pacemakers) and operations (for example corrective heart valve surgery, bypass surgery).

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.