Cardiomyopathy What Is Cardiomyopathy?

Man standing in a gym clutching his chest

Cardiomyopathy refers to problems with your heart muscle that can make it harder for your heart to pump blood. There are many types and causes of cardiomyopathy, and it can affect people of all ages.

Depending on the type of cardiomyopathy that you have, your heart muscle may become thicker, stiffer, or larger than normal. This can weaken your heart and cause an irregular heartbeat, heart failure, or a life-threatening condition called cardiac arrest.

Some people have no symptoms and do not need treatment. Others may have shortness of breath, tiredness, dizziness and fainting, or chest pain as the disease gets worse. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and do tests to diagnose cardiomyopathy. Echocardiography is the most common test.

Cardiomyopathy can be caused by your genes , other medical conditions, or extreme stress. It can also happen or get worse during pregnancy. Many times, the cause is not known.

Treatments include medicines, procedures, and implanted devices. These treatments might not fix the problem with your heart but can help control your symptoms and prevent the disease from getting worse.

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