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As you get older, you can attribute some of the ways you feel to the normal aging process. However, if you feel tired, have trouble breathing, or see swelling in your legs, feet, ankles, belly, or neck veins, you may have a cardiovascular condition known as cardiomyopathy.

Have you noticed signs of cardiomyopathy? A heart doctor at Dignity Health can provide a diagnosis and offer personalized treatment options. Find a Doctor for comprehensive care with humankindness for cardiomyopathy in Merced, California.


Recognizing cardiomyopathy symptoms at Dignity Health

During the early stages of cardiomyopathy, you may not have any symptoms. If you experience minor health issues, such as coughing when you lay down, dizziness, or lightheadedness, your cardiovascular condition may be progressing. 

Get emergency care or dial 911 if your symptoms increase and cause pain in your chest, fainting, or difficulty breathing. 

Your doctor will examine your cardiomyopathy symptoms in order to develop your personalized treatment plan. The three main types of cardiomyopathy are: 

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy, the most common type, describes enlarged or dilated ventricles that cause your heart to not pump blood properly.
  • Restrictive cardiomyopathy indicates your ventricles are rigid and stiff.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy means thickening of your heart walls.


Diagnosing & treating cardiomyopathy

To properly diagnose the type of cardiomyopathy, your Dignity Health cardiovascular team will gather information to see if your symptoms involve your heart or indicate a bigger health problem. Your health history will be carefully reviewed and your doctor may order the following tests:

  • Blood tests to rule out any other conditions and get more information on your overall health
  • Chest X-ray to see your heart size and if there is fluid in your lungs
  • Cardiac catheterization to view your coronary arteries and heart
  • Stress tests to check how much work your heart can handle
  • EKG to measure your heart rate and rhythm
  • Echocardiogram to take pictures of your heart valves and function 

Cardiomyopathy treatment can range from prescription medication to ways you can live a healthier lifestyle. If your case of cardiomyopathy is more severe, other medical procedures or heart treatments can help.

Our experts are committed to your overall well-being. Take our online heart health risk assessment to learn more about your heart health, then talk to your doctor about the results.

Dignity Health’s trusted cardiologists can help you manage cardiomyopathy in Merced, CA.