If you have dilated cardiomyopathy, you're likely to have signs and symptoms of heart failure or arrhythmias caused by your condition. Signs and symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea) when you're active or lying down
- Reduced ability to exercise
- Swelling (edema) in your legs, ankles and feet
- Swelling of your abdomen (ascites)
When to see a doctor
If you're short of breath or have other symptoms of dilated cardiomyopathy, see your doctor. Call 911 or your local emergency number if you feel chest pain that lasts more than a few minutes or have severe difficulty breathing.
If a family member has dilated cardiomyopathy, talk to your doctor about being screened or having family members screened for the condition. Early detection may benefit people with inherited forms of dilated cardiomyopathy who have no apparent signs or symptoms.
Aug. 19, 2014
- 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.