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Dilated Cardiomyopathy Symptoms
Symptoms in Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Patients with dilated cardiomyopathy may have no, subtle, or overt symptoms. Patients in the same family may have different symptoms, even if they share a common genetic cause of the disease. Common symptoms in familial dilated cardiomyopathy may include shortness of breath with exertion, fatigue, abdominal swelling, lower leg swelling, nausea, chest pain, chest pressure, palpitations, skipped beats, dizziness and/or fainting. Additional symptoms can be unintentional weight gain, difficulty sleeping, waking abruptly due to feeling short of breath, or intolerance of sleeping in a flat bed, change in appetite and/or increase in symptoms after eating. In some cases, patients with dilated cardiomyopathy can be completely without symptoms (asymptomatic), and have normal tolerance for exercise and activities. In rare cases, the first symptom of dilated cardiomyopathy can be sudden death.
Given that symptoms are a poor guide to the presence or absence of disease in family members, and the fact that early treatment can lead to significant improvement in quality of life and life expectancy, our team stresses the importance of screening potentially at-risk family members.
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