Disease of the heart muscle


Cardiomyopathy is a acquired/hereditary heart disease resulting in breathlessness, swollen hands, feet and belly.

There are three types:

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Dialated cardiomyopathy
  • Restrictive Cardiomyopathy


Cardiomyopathy can be either hereditary or acquired. It is a condition where the heart muscles are abnormal, which leads to poor circulation and can even lead to heart failure.


  • Breathlessness
  • Swelling of legs, ankles and feet
  • Swelling of abdomen due to fluid build up
  • Coughing when lying down
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heart beats
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness and fainting


  • Physical examination
  • Chest X-ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Treadmill stress test
  • Cardiac MRI
  • Cardiac CT Scan
  • Blood tests
  • Genetic testing/screening


Cardiomyopathy is progressive and can shorten life span if damage is done to the heart early on. Certain drugs can slow down the hearts progressive deterioration. Life style choices can also improve life span such as losing weight if the patient is overweight, sticking to a suitable exercise and eating right.
What is cardiomyopathy?