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The Role of Heart Muscles and Haunting Diseases

The heart is a vital organ in the human body whose job is to pump blood throughout the body. So that the process of blood circulation in the body can run optimally, it is needed assistance from the heart muscle to carry out its functions.

The heart muscle is a constituent of the heart wall and has the function to pump blood, both to the heart and vice versa, so that blood circulation occurs. In the heart, there are special nerves that play a role in regulating the uniform rhythm of the heartbeat so that the function of the heart pump in maintaining blood circulation can run properly.

In general, the heart muscle can contract similar to skeletal muscle. But in the heart, these muscle cells work together with the heart's nerve tissue to support the process of contraction of the heart organ regularly. Unlike skeletal muscle that can be consciously controlled, the heart muscle will continue to work automatically, this is the main differentiator with striated muscle.

Understanding the anatomy of the heart muscle

In general, human muscles can be divided into three different groups, namely smooth muscle, skeletal muscle, and heart muscle. All of these muscles have different functions.

The heart muscle itself is a combination of striated muscles and smooth muscles that are cylindrical and have bright and dark lines. When viewed closely using a microscope, this muscle has many cell nuclei in the middle.

Type of muscle

The muscle in the heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body. The heart muscle is considered the strongest muscle because it can work continuously all the time without resting to pump blood. If this muscle stops working, the circulatory system will stop, resulting in death.

Types of heart muscle disease

Because its function is very important in carrying out the work of the heart, it is natural that interference with the heart muscle will adversely affect blood circulation in the body. One of the abnormalities in the heart muscle is cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy is a decrease in the strength of the heart muscle so that it doesn't drain blood throughout the body adequately.

There are four types of cardiomyopathy, namely:

1. Dilated cardiomyopathy

Dilated cardiomyopathy is the most common type of heart muscle disorder. This condition arises when the heart muscle is enlarged and stretched so that the muscle fibers become thinner and cannot contract properly. Dilated cardiomyopathy can be genetically inherited or caused by heart disease, uncontrolled high blood pressure, heart valve disorders, heart attacks, infections such as hepatitis and HIV, to long-term consumption of alcohol and cocaine.

2. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy arises from the abnormal thickened heart muscle, especially in the left ventricle (chamber) of the heart. This thickening makes the heart muscle unable to pump blood normally. Typically, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic hereditary disease in the family. Or it could be due to other diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, and thyroid disorders.

3. Restrictive cardiomyopathy

This type of cardiomyopathy is more common in the elderly. This type of cardiomyopathy arises as a result of the lack of elasticity of the heart muscle so that it cannot develop properly. This makes the blood flow to the heart be reduced or even stopped. No one knows for sure the cause of the emergence of restrictive cardiomyopathy. However, this condition can be part of other diseases that affect the heart organ, such as hemochromatosis (iron buildup in the body) and connective tissue disease.

4. Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia

This type of cardiomyopathy is very rare. This disorder arises due to the replacement of the right ventricular muscle with scar tissue. This change causes the heart to the wall to thin and stretch. As a result, the heart rhythm becomes irregular and can not drain blood throughout the body optimally.

Until now no one knows for sure the cause of cardiomyopathy. But for some people, disorders of the heart muscle are more at risk if there are several factors, namely genetic disorders, family history of heart disease, obesity, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, pregnancy complications, excessive alcohol consumption, side effects of medications such as chemotherapy, to drug abuse.

Read Also : Various Tips for Maintaining Heart Health

Maintaining Heart Muscle Health

In some cases, cardiomyopathy cannot be prevented, especially if this condition arises due to genetic factors. However, you can still reduce the possibility of cardiomyopathy symptoms and other types of heart disease by adopting a healthy lifestyle, such as:

  • Limit consumption of caffeinated and alcoholic drinks.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Manage stress well.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Maintain your ideal body weight. If you have a history of obesity, it is advisable to adjust your diet and lose weight.
  • Start doing a healthy diet regularly, reduce foods that are too sweet, high in salt, and high in cholesterol.
  • Enough rest.
  • Routinely see a doctor, especially if you have a history of diseases that can trigger cardiomyopathies, such as high cholesterol and diabetes.

By starting to adopt a healthy lifestyle, it is not impossible that you can reduce your risk of developing heart disease and other heart problems. If you experience shortness of breath, excessive fatigue, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, and swelling in the legs and body, then immediately consult your doctor to get the right treatment. Early treatment can reduce the risk of other complications that are more dangerous.



  1. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute NHLBI. How the Heart Works
  2. WebMD (2017). Anatomy and Circulation of the Heart.
  3. American Heart Association AHA (2016). Restrictive Cardiomyopathy.

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Health and clinical interests include all aspects of infectious diseases

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