Diseases & Medicine

Dilated Cardiomyopathy; symptoms,causesandprevention


The heart chambers (ventricles), which are affected by dilated cardiomyopathy, become thinner and stretch, enlarging. Usually, it begins in the principal pumping chamber of the heart (left ventricle). It is more difficult for the heart to pump blood to the body’s other organs when the cardiomyopathy is dilated.

Dilated cardiomyopathy symptoms, like exhaustion and shortness of breath, can resemble those of other illnesses. A person with dilated cardiomyopathy may not initially experience any symptoms. Nonetheless, dilated cardiomyopathy can turn fatal. It frequently leads to cardiac failure.

Males are more likely than females to have dilated cardiomyopathy. A medical device that regulates heartbeat or assists the heart in pumping blood may be implanted during surgery or as part of a treatment plan for dilated cardiomyopathy. A heart transplant is required occasionally.


In the early stages of the disease, some persons with dilated cardiomyopathy show no symptoms at all.

Dilated cardiomyopathy symptoms and signs might include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dyspnea, a shortness of breath, during exercise or while resting down
  • decreased capacity for exercise
  • Edema, or swelling, in the legs, ankles, feet, or abdomen (abdomen)
  • chest discomfort or pain
  • Fast, fluttering or pounding heartbeat (palpitations)


It could be challenging to pinpoint the origin of dilated cardiomyopathy. The left ventricle, however, can enlarge and weaken for a variety of reasons, including

  • a few infections
  • pregnancy complications in its later stages
  • Diabetes
  • Excessive iron in the heart and other organs (hemochromatosis)
  • cardiac rhythm issues (arrhythmias)
  • elevated blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Obesity
  • Heart valve conditions like regurgitation of the aortic or mitral valves

The following are additional dilated cardiomyopathy causes:

  • misuse of alcohol
  • exposure to poisons including cobalt, lead, and mercury
  • use of specific cancer drugs
  • using illicit substances like cocaine or amphetamines

risk factors

Dilated cardiomyopathy risk factors include:

  • disease-related cardiac muscle damage, such as that caused by hemochromatosis
  • family history of heart failure, abrupt cardiac arrest, or dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Heart valve dysfunction
  • cardiac muscle inflammation brought on by immune system diseases like lupus
  • Long-term excessive alcohol or illegal drug use
  • persistently elevated blood pressure
  • Neuromuscular disorders, such as muscular dystrophy


Complications of dilated cardiomyopathy include:

  • Heart failure. The heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Untreated, heart failure can be life-threatening.
  • Leaky heart valves (heart valve regurgitation). Cardiomyopathy may make it harder for heart valves to close. Blood may leak backward through a heart valve.
  • Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias). Changes in the heart’s size and shape can interfere with the heart’s rhythm.
  • Sudden cardiac arrest. Dilated cardiomyopathy can cause the heart to suddenly stop beating.
  • Blood clots. Pooling of blood in the left lower heart chamber can lead to blood clots. If clots enter the bloodstream, they can block blood flow to other organs, including the heart and brain. Blood clots can cause stroke, heart attack or damage to other organs. Arrhythmias can also cause blood clots.


Dilated cardiomyopathy problems can be prevented or minimized with the use of healthy lifestyle choices. Try these heart-healthy techniques:

  • Limit your alcohol intake.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Avoid using cocaine and other illicit substances.
  • Have a balanced diet low of salt (sodium).
  • Obtain adequate rest and sleep.
  • Exercise frequently.
  • keep a healthy weight.
  • Stress management.


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