Cardiomegaly is a condition that causes the heart to increase in size and affects its ability to adequately pump the blood composed of oxygen to the rest of the body. The body will try to compensate for the low levels of oxygen that are received through the blood, and this compensation can lead to the symptoms associated with cardiomegaly.
When the heart can not adequately pump blood through the body, the internal organs are deprived of oxygen. This makes the lungs feel like they have to work harder to get oxygen in the body. A person suffering from cardiomegaly will begin to experience shortness of breath, accelerated breathing and dizziness. While these symptoms are common with other heart conditions, it should be considered very serious and the patient should seek medical attention immediately.
Since cardiomegaly affects the heart directly, it will cause the patient to experience irregular heartbeats and other signs that the heart is not functioning properly. The patient may experience rapid strokes, palpitations or may feel as if the heart sometimes loses the rhythm. In some cases, the patient may feel as if their heart is struggling to supply blood to the body, and this may cause a feeling of anxiety in the patient.
A patient shows symptoms of cardiomegaly with fatigue. They will lack the energy to perform simple tasks and will complain that they are always tired. They will also begin to forget about basic tasks and can not participate in any physical activity.
A person with symptoms of cardiomegaly will begin to show swelling in the legs and ankles. This inflammation can also be accompanied by pain in the legs and ankles that makes simple tasks, such as walking a bit painful and uncomfortable. The patient may also begin to suffer from a condition known as ascites, which is an accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity. In rare cases, this may cause swelling in the upper chest area, and may also make that part of the body sensitive to touch.
One of the ways a doctor can begin to diagnose cardiomegaly is by monitoring the patient's pulse. If the pulse shows violent erratic changes based on the patient's physical activity, then this could be a symptom of cardiomegaly. The patient will show an abnormally rapid pulse immediately after physical activity and will show an abnormally low pulse when not engaged in any physical activity at all.