Cardiomyopathy is a disorder in which the heart muscle is affected and results in the heart working less efficiently. It may be a result of multiple causes. The 3 main types of cardiomyopathy include:
The heart muscle stretches, weakening the hearts pumping function. This can lead to heart failure and possibly abnormal heart rhythms. At times it may also lead to formation of a blood clot. Treatment requires investigation of any possibly underlying cause and a combination of medications. Your cardiology provider will determine these medications (American Heart Association, 2009).
The heart muscle thickens. This can occur in different locations within the heart. Depending upon the location, this may cause problems with obstruction the blood flow through the heart. This can be a hereditary heart defect. Symptoms may include feeling short of breath, or feeling lightheaded or dizzy. Some people will experience chest pain and even fainting spells. Sometimes abnormal heart rhythms will occur. Treatment includes a combination of medications that will be determined by your cardiology provider and possibly surgery or alcohol ablation (American Heart Association, 2009).
The heart muscle becomes stiff, making it difficult for the bottom chambers of the heart to fill with blood. This type of cardiomyopathy is less commonly seen. Symptoms may include tiredness and shortness of breath with activity. Swelling of the hands and feet may also be seen (American Heart Association, 2009).
For more information, please visit the American Heart Association at