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Source: Disturbances Of The Heart
The cause of deposits of fat around the heart or in between its
chambers is the same as the cause of general obesity. These patients
are likely to be obese, or at least to have large abdomens with
large deposits of fat around the abdomen. This fat in itself will
interfere somewhat with abdominal respiration. This tends to cause
dyspnea, and the heart tends to be disturbed from these causes, if
much fat is not really in the pericardium. The symptoms are those of
imperfect heart action; the patient is dyspneic on exertion or in
leaning over, the heart acts rapidly on such exertion, the patient
puffs, perspires easily, and becomes leg weary, sedentary in his
habits, and more or less incapacitated for work. He may not be a
large eater; if he is, and his eating habit is corrected, the
prognosis is better than if he is putting on weight in spite of
The general treatment is that for obesity, and if the heart muscle
is intact, various depletion methods may be inaugurated. More and
more exercise, sweatings from Turkish baths, electric-light baths,
body baking, vigorous massage and more or less purging are all
valuable. Anything which reduces the general weight will help the
heart. The prognosis is often good.
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