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Cardiomyopathy, or heart muscle disease, is a type of heart disease in which your heart is abnormally enlarged, thickened, and/or stiffened. As a result, your heart muscle's ability to pump blood is usually impaired and can create abnormal heart rhythms. Usually, cardiomyopathy begins in your heart's lower chambers, but in severe cases can affect the upper chambers of your heart, as well. Cardiomyopathy is a progressive disease, which means the disease gets progressively worse over time.

What are the symptoms of cardiomyopathy?

Many common symptoms of this weakening of the heart muscle are:

  • Abdominal swelling
  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Cough - may be caused by extra liquid building up in the lungs, secondary to heart failure
  • Decreased alertness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of appetite
  • Palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of legs or ankles