Some of the most common cardiomyopathy symptoms include shortness of breath, a feeling of dizziness during exercise, fainting, and chest pain. In some cases, the patient may suffer from palpitations, a condition where he or she becomes consciously aware of rapid heartbeat. Those with cardiomyopathy may also experience swelling of the limbs. All of these symptoms range from almost unnoticeable to severe depending on how advanced the condition is. If the condition progresses to a severe stage, then there is a chance of heart failure.
Shortness of breath is one of the many potential cardiomyopathy symptoms. If the condition is only mild, then this may only be noticeable during exercise. People with severe cardiomyopathy symptoms may feel short of breath even when they are rest. In some cases, the patient may have difficulty breathing generally.
Dizziness and even fainting can be caused by cardiomyopathy. Similar to shortness of breath, these cardiomyopathy symptoms are most likely to occur when the person is physically active, but it can also happen at rest. When and where the symptoms appear depends on the severity of the condition. Dizziness is usually caused if the heart isn’t pumping as much blood around the body as it should. Fatigue can also be caused by cardiomyopathy.
Chest pain is one of the most common cardiomyopathy symptoms. Again, this is more common during exercise, and can range from mild to severe pain. If the cardiomyopathy is bad enough, then chest pain can sometimes also occur when resting. The pain is usually caused when there is not enough oxygen supplied to the muscles which have become thickened around the heart.
There are a number of other cardiomyopathy symptoms. Palpitations, for example, can be caused by arrhythmias, which is when the heartbeat becomes unsteady. The patient may also suffer from swelling of the legs, ankles, and feet. In some cases, the veins in the neck may also become swollen, although this is much less common.
A rare, but not unheard of, consequence of cardiomyopathy is sudden death. This can occur if an arrhythmia develops quickly and the body is unable cope with it. A person who has had problems with arrhythmias in the past is more likely to be in danger of heart failure. For this reason, if a patient is considered to be at risk for this problem, then he or she will usually be prescribed medication to help prevent arrhythmias from occurring.