​Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle that can happen at any age, but is a serious condition that is life-long. It means that the heart muscle gets enlarged, thick or rigid and, in some cases, the muscle tissue in the heart is replaced by scar tissue. It means that your heart isn’t able to pump enough blood around your body. As the disease progresses the heart is weakened. 

There are various types of cardiomyopathy that can affect people at all stages of life. Some are hereditary and you are born with them, some can occur due to a viral infection in the heart and others are a result of a heart attack. Symptoms include breathlessness, tiredness and swelling in your abdomen or legs because of a build-up of fluids. 

It is important to seek healthcare for cardiomyopathy. Treatment will depend on the type of disease it is but options include medication, which you would likely need to take long-term, and possibly surgery. 

Lifestyle changes​  are extremely important if you have cardiomyopathy. You should live a smoke free life, reduce your salt intake and do some regular light to moderate exercise, based on medical advice.