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dilated cardiomyopathy

I was recently diagnosed with this condition and it is termed idiopathic or unknown in origin. I am 33 years old and don t smoke. I also have fibromyalgia. I was hoping someone could give me some idea as to what I can look forward to as far as symptoms and warning signs so I don t call the dr or go to the er for no reason. Also, what questions should I ask the cardiologist so I am not wasting his time on things I don t need to know. I forgot to ask about energy levels...I have 0 energy. I am on Lotensin, Lopressor, Plavix, aspirin and Hydroxyzine. Thanks to kimmy...I have actually had a cardia catheterization, echocariogram and several ekgs...the dr hasn t been all that helpful about information just don t work, don t have any activity and don t get pregnant, and a low sodium diet!
Sun, 16 Jan 2011
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  User's Response
Dilated cardiomyopathy is when your heart chambers are larger than they should be. Since they are wider, they dont stretch as much when blood fills the heart, and because of this the heart doesn't pump as effectively ( This is known as the Frank starling law of the heart Increased stretch equals increased output). Report any increased shortness of breath or pulsing from the veins in your neck to your doctor. If you get a persistent cough with frothy sputum go to the doctor right away. Take medications as prescribed. Often doctors will prescribe medications that make the heart pump more effectively. Good luck
Thoracic Surgeon Dr. Rajiv Kumar Srivastava's  Response
For many affected individuals, dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition which will not limit the quality of life. A minority, however, experience significant symptoms and there is sometimes a risk of sudden death. Evaluation by a cardiologist is recommended to confirm the diagnosis and to assess the outlook and particularly the risk of complications. In some patients, symptoms of left- and right-sided congestive heart failure develop gradually. Left ventricular dilatation may be present for months or even years before the patient becomes symptomatic.
Vague chest pain may be present, but typical angina pectoris is unusual and suggests the presence of ischemic heart disease as well. Syncope due to arrhythmias and systemic embolism may occur.
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