Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you have dilated cardiomyopathy, these self-care strategies may help:

  • Talk to your doctor about what kind of exercise and 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.
  • If you're a smoker, quit smoking. Your doctor can give you advice on what methods can help you successfully stop smoking.
  • Don't use illegal drugs or drink alcohol excessively. Using cocaine or other illegal drugs can strain your heart. Seek psychotherapy or other treatments to recover from drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Take your medications as directed.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight makes the heart work harder, so try to lose weight if you need to. A healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is good for your heart and the rest of your body. Ask your doctor for a referral to a dietitian if you need help planning your diet.
Sep. 16, 2011