Dilated cardiomyopathy is a serious problem that occurs when the
heart muscle has become weak and enlarged. It does not have the strength to
pump enough blood to the rest of the body.
Symptoms can come on gradually, over months or years. They also can
start suddenly, such as after a viral infection or pregnancy. As the heart
muscle weakens, a person may feel short of breath, especially when active.
Other symptoms include fatigue, problems breathing while lying down, and
swelling in the legs. These are symptoms of heart failure.
Most times, dilated cardiomyopathy is treated with several
medicines. Changes in eating habits and lifestyle are also important in
managing symptoms. These changes include limiting how much salt the person gets
from food and drinks.
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & George Philippides, MD - Cardiology