Which dietary and activity modifications are used in the treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy?

Updated: Mar 02, 2021
  • Author: Vinh Q Nguyen, MD, FACC; Chief Editor: Gyanendra K Sharma, MD, FACC, FASE  more...
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The importance of patient education cannot be overemphasized, especially regarding dietary restrictions. Dietary recommendations include sodium and water restrictions. An average United States diet contains 6 g of salt per day. Avoiding extra table salt decreases this intake to 3 g/day. Patients with chronic heart failure should restrict their salt intake to less than 2-4 g/day.

Fluid restriction is necessary in symptomatic stages of the disease. Patients with hyperkalemia due to angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor therapy sometimes respond to a low-potassium diet.

Encourage patients to exercise moderately, because deconditioning is a very common cause of dyspnea. Cardiac rehabilitation has been shown to improve patient outcomes.

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