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Cardiomyopathy is a disease affecting the mechanical or electrical function of the heart by damaging the myocardium (the muscular tissue of the heart). The result of this is that the heart loses its effectiveness as a pump and so may not pump enough blood around the body 1. There are several different types of cardiomyopathy.

Three of the most common types are:  • Hypertrophic• Dilated • ArrhythmogenicCardiomyopathy cannot be prevented; however, the risk can be reduced by taking a few simple steps 2:• Being physically active• Eating a healthy diet• Stop smoking• Maintaining or working towards a healthy weight• Reducing alcohol consumption• Stress managementCardiomyopathy cannot be cured, however there are a couple of steps that can be used to control any further worsening of cardiomyopathy:• Surgery on the heart or surgery to implant devices that can control the heart rate• Multiple types of medicines that your doctor may prescribe for you• As a last resort, a heart transplant could be consideredBefore any of these treatment options your doctor will advise you on the benefits and risks of each treatment option and recommend the best course of action for you 3.If you experience any of the following symptoms, make an appointment with your GP:• Do you experience occasional heart irregularities such as irregular heartbeats or, very occasionally, heart murmurs?• Do you sometimes feel bloating or swelling in the abdomen, legs, ankles or feet?• Have you begun to feel more fatigued than usual and feel breathless?• Are you struggling to sleep due to coughing when you lie down?• Have you occasionally felt faint, dizzy, light-headed or started to feel chest pain 4?If you have been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and want any advice or support or if you have any concerns and want to talk to someone about cardiomyopathy:• Call Cardiomyopathy the heart muscle charity to talk to a support nurse on: 0800 018 1024• Contact your GP or pharmacist for any questions or queries

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