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I have been diagnosed with stiff heart , to scared to ask whats my life expectacy.

By November 8, 2012 - 7:05am
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stress test and echo confirmed stiff heart now I am on three diffrent meds Im only 49 years old and scared to death and very upset I don't know what to tell my kids.

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Hi mitzi,

I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis. 

Cardiac amyloidosis ("stiff heart syndrome") occurs when amyloid deposits take the place of normal heart muscle. It is the most typical type of restrictive cardiomyopathy. Cardiac amyloidosis may affect the way electrical signals move through the heart (conduction system). This can lead to arrhythmias and conduction disturbances (heart block).

Secondary amyloidosis (AA type) rarely affects the heart. However, a form of secondary amyloidosis called senile amyloidosis involves the heart and blood vessels. Senile amyloidosis is caused by overproduction of a different protein. The condition is becoming more common as the average age of the population increases.

Your doctor may tell you to change your diet. This may include salt and fluid restrictions.

You may need to take water pills (diuretics) to help your body remove excess fluid. The doctor may tell you to weigh yourself every day. A weight gain of 3 or more pounds over 1 - 2 days can mean there is too much fluid in the body.

Digoxin, calcium channel blockers, and beta blockers may be used with caution in patients with atrial fibrillation. However, the dosage must be carefully monitored. Patients with cardiac amyloidosis may be unusually sensitive to any side effects.

Other treatments may include:

  • Chemotherapy

  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD)

  • Pacemaker, if there are problems with heart signals

  • Prednisone, an anti-inflammatory medicine

heart transplant may be considered for some patients with very poor heart function. However, it is not done in those with AL type amyloidosis, because the disease weakens many other organs. People with hereditary amyloidosis will need a liver transplant.

I hope you find the strength and courage to tell your family about your condition. They will help you through this difficult time. And always, always get a second opinion.

You're in my thoughts,


November 8, 2012 - 8:47am
(reply to Rosa Cabrera RN)

thanks ,

November 12, 2012 - 1:00pm
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