Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle. It affects any age group and is a serious lifelong condition.
Cardiomyopathy means your heart is unable to pump an adequate supply of blood around the body.
As cardiomyopathy progresses your heart becomes weaker.
Some types of cardiomyopathy can cause an irregular heart beat, because the heart muscle becomes stretched.
There are different types of cardiomyopathy, which affect different groups of people. Some types of cardiomyopathy can be inherited. Others are caused by things like viral infections in your heart, or heart attacks.
If a cardiomyopathy is making your heart not work properly, you may get symptoms like breathlessness, tiredness and swelling in your legs and abdomen (because of fluid build up).
If your doctor thinks you might have cardiomyopathy, they may do a physical examination and order tests like a chest X-ray or an echocardiogram (heart ultrasound).
If you think there might be hereditary causes of your cardiomyopathy, talk with your doctor about whether you should get your family checked.
Treatment depends on the type of cardiomyopathy. The main goals are to:
Your doctor may prescribe medicines. It’s important to take your medicines as prescribed. You will probably have to take them long term. You also need to have appointments with your local doctor. Read more about medicines
Depending on the type of cardiomyopathy, your doctor may recommend surgery or an implantable device like an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) or bi-ventricular pacemaker. Read more about heart procedures and devices
You can also help to reduce the effects of cardiomyopathy and the risk of more heart problems by making lifestyle changes: