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Dilated Cardiomyopathy

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.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Specialist Medical Reviewer George Philippides, MD - Cardiology
Current as of March 12, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.