Lifestyle Changes

Your doctor will determine what physical restrictions you will have to follow. However, the restrictions you may experience are largely limitations caused by your disease, such as not being able to walk long distances because you are out of breath, or being limited in climbing stairs. As we have stated before, every DCM patient is different, so check with your physician if there are physical restrictions appropriate for you.

Some DCM patients may also face work restrictions. This will vary depending on the severity of your condition. Others will not have any problems carrying on with the work they were doing before diagnosis. If in doubt, check with your doctor. For instance, if you have a device, there may be restrictions on being near large amounts of electricity, such as welding. If in doubt, ask!

Depending on the severity of your condition, some activities may be off limits. For instance, some states have restrictions on CDL drivers (commercial truck drivers). Your doctor will advise you what if anything is off limits and activity you should avoid. Another patient in the same profession may receive permission to continue. It’s all dependent on your condition, so bring up the subject with your doctor.

Perhaps the most challenging condition is if you do not have symptoms of DCM (asymptomatic) but do have the diagnosis. Everyone views you as “normal” and may expect you to be able to perform as others do. However, you just can’t, although it is not apparent to anyone, other than yourself, of your limitations. Some DCM patients live fairly normal lives, even though they may be severely affected by the disease. No two patients are identical, so the same diagnosis does not mean the same lifestyle changes, if any, are required.

Most patients will experience exercise and activity limitations. While everyone may want to continue doing as they had before, easily getting out of breath, or weakness in their legs when doing routine activities, as examples, will require some adjustments. Occasionally, those with implanted devices may have specific restrictions on activity as directed by their doctors. For those with questions about the road ahead after diagnosis, check with your doctor and discuss what activities you are involved in, and which activities you may continue.