Symptoms of a weak heart muscle include breathlessness, swelling in lower extremities, fatigue, irregular heartbeats and dizziness, according to Mayo Clinic. Cardiomyopathy is the technical term for this condition. These symptoms can be associated with the general classification of heart disease.
Breathlessness may occur with exertion or while a person is at rest, and swelling can happen in the legs, ankles and feet, notes Mayo Clinic. Irregular heartbeats may flutter, pound or feel rapid. Dizziness may also include lightheadedness and fainting.
A weak heart, which can also lead to heart failure, may cause symptoms such as congested lungs and water retention, says WebMD. Fluid buildup in the lungs turns into shortness of breath. The heart pumps less blood to the kidneys, which leads to water retention in the lower legs, feet and ankles.
Various types of cardiomyopathy can cause these symptoms, explains the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Cardiomyopathy can occur in people of any age and in some instances the disease is inherited. This condition may appear suddenly and symptoms can become severe. Treatments for cardiomyopathy include lifestyle changes, medications, surgery and implanted devices to control irregular heartbeats.
Dilated cardiomyopathy, a common cause of heart failure, happens when the left ventricle stretches and thins to the point where the chamber cannot pump blood effectively, according to Mayo Clinic. This disease can lead to blood clots and sudden death, and dilated cardiomyopathy most frequently occurs in men ages 20 to 60.