Initially you may not feel any symptoms of
dilated cardiomyopathy, or symptoms such as fatigue or
weakness may be mild.
Eventually, you will develop
heart failure. Symptoms of heart failure can develop
gradually, over months or years. In other instances, heart failure may develop
suddenly, such as after a viral infection or pregnancy.
When Ramona Richman's older sister was diagnosed with high cholesterol, Richman wasn't worried about her own risk. The San Francisco Bay Area stay-at-home mom had her weight under control and assumed that her diet was healthy. So when her doctor broke the news that she, too, had high cholesterol, she was shocked. Her reading of 269 mg/dL was well over the desirable level of less than 200 mg/dL. "My sister had high cholesterol and went on medication, so I imagine that it's a genetic thing," Richman,...
Abdominal swelling, tenderness, or pain, which may result
from a buildup of fluid in the body (ascites) and blood that backs up in the
Symptoms of sudden heart failure
In sudden heart
failure, rapid fluid buildup in the lungs may cause symptoms of
pulmonary edema, such as:
Severe shortness of
Irregular or rapid heartbeat.
foamy, pink mucus.
Sudden heart failure is an emergency medical situation and requires immediate care.
Complications of dilated cardiomyopathy
Complications of dilated cardiomyopathy may include:
Pulmonary edema, which is rapid fluid buildup in the lungs.
Arrhythmias, which are abnormal heart rhythms that can
cause loss of consciousness or sudden death.
Blood clots inside the
heart, which can lead to a
Dilated cardiomyopathy is the most common type of
cardiomyopathy. Other forms of cardiomyopathy include restrictive
cardiomyopathy, in which the heart muscle gets stiff, and hypertrophic
cardiomyopathy, in which the heart muscle is thickened and can't relax. For
more information, see the topics
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and