If you have dilated cardiomyopathy, these self-care strategies may help:
Aug. 19, 2014
- Exercise. Talk to your doctor about what activities would be safe and beneficial for you. In general, competitive sports aren't recommended because they can increase the risk of the heart stopping and causing sudden death.
- Quit smoking. Your doctor can give you advice on what methods can help you stop.
- Don't use illegal drugs or drink alcohol excessively. Using cocaine or other illegal drugs can strain your heart. Before you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight makes the heart work harder. Lose weight if you're overweight or obese.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet. Eating whole grains and a variety of fruits and vegetables, and limiting salt, added sugar, and cholesterol and saturated and trans fats is good for your heart. Ask your doctor for a referral to a dietitian if you need help planning your diet.
- Cardiomyopathy. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/cm/cm_all.html. Accessed June 18, 2014.
- Weigner M, et al. Causes of dilated cardiomyopathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 18, 2014.
- Colucci WS. Evaluation of the patient with heart failure or cardiomyopathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 18, 2014.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/Cardiomyopathy/Dilated-Cardiomyopathy_UCM_444187_Article.jsp. Accessed June 18, 2014.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy. American Stroke Association. http://www.strokeassociation.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@hcm/documents/downloadable/ucm_312224.pdf. Accessed June 18, 2014.