Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
If you have dilated cardiomyopathy, these self-care strategies may help:
- Talk to your doctor about what kind of exercise and activities would be safe and beneficial for you. In general, competitive sports aren't recommended because they can increase the risk of the heart stopping and causing sudden death.
- If you're a smoker, quit smoking. Your doctor can give you advice on what methods can help you successfully stop smoking.
- Don't use illegal drugs or drink alcohol excessively. Using cocaine or other illegal drugs can strain your heart. Seek psychotherapy or other treatments to recover from drug or alcohol abuse.
- Take your medications as directed.
- Eat a well-balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight makes the heart work harder, so try to lose weight if you need to. A healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is good for your heart and the rest of your body. Ask your doctor for a referral to a dietitian if you need help planning your diet.
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- Dilated cardiomyopathy. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@hcm/documents/downloadable/ucm_312224.pdf. Accessed July 3, 2011.
- Cardiomyopathy. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/cm/cm_all.html. Accessed July 3, 2011.
- Mestroni L, et al. Dilated cardiomyopathies. In: Fuster V, et al. Hurst's The Heart. 13th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=7811432. Accessed July 3, 2011.
- Bashore TM, et al. Heart disease. In McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2011. 50th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=3671. Accessed July 3, 2011.
- Hunt SA, et al. 2009 Focused update incorporated into the ACC/AHA 2005 guidelines for the diagnosis and management of heart failure in adults: A report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2009;53:e1.
- Grogan M (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 31, 2011.