What Are the Symptoms of Cardiomyopathy?
The symptoms of cardiomyopathy depend on whether heart failure is occurring. There may be muscle damage or abnormal muscle (cardiomyopathy), but the heart may be able to compensate for the abnormality well enough that no symptoms exist during everyday life. Often, cardiomyopathy symptoms only appear with stress or under special circumstances, making it difficult to diagnose. Therefore, cardiomyopathy presents a spectrum of disease, with some people having symptoms only with extreme exertion and others having symptoms at rest.
The symptoms, if they occur, could include the following:
- Rhythm abnormality
- Lightheadedness or fainting
- Swelling of the body or lungs (occurs if the blood is backed up from right ventricular failure or left ventricular failure)
Unfortunately, the first symptom can also be sudden death due to abnormal heart rhythm.
The exact symptoms depend on the type of cardiomyopathy (hypertrophic, restrictive or dilated) and severity.