Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure, occurs when the heart muscle fails to adequately pump blood
Certain heart conditions, such as coronary artery disease or high blood pressure, gradually weaken or stiffen the heart, rendering it incapable of properly filling and pumping blood.
A person suffering from heart failure
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Heart failure can be ongoing (chronic) or develop suddenly (acute).
Heart failure signs and symptoms may include:
- Shortness of breath during physical activity or when lying down
- Weakness and fatigue
- Legs, ankles, and feet swelling
- A fast or irregular heartbeat
- decreased ability to exercise
- Coughing or wheezing that is persistent, with white or pink blood-tinged mucus
- Swelling of the abdomen (abdomen)
- Rapid weight gain due to fluid retention
- Vomiting and a loss of appetite
- Difficulties concentrating or being alert
- If heart failure is caused by a heart attack, you may experience chest pain.
Heart failure frequently develops after the heart has been damaged or weakened by other conditions. Heart failure, on the other hand, can occur if the heart becomes too stiff.
The main pumping chambers of the heart (the ventricles) may stiffen and fail to fill properly between beats in heart failure. The heart muscle may become damaged and weakened in some people. The ventricles may become so stretched that the heart is unable to pump enough blood through the body.
The disease is caused by the accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries, which reduces blood flow and can result in a heart attack.
When a coronary artery becomes completely blocked, it causes a heart attack.
- Blood pressure is high. When your blood pressure is high, your heart has to work harder to circulate blood throughout your body than it should. This extra effort can cause your heart muscle to become too stiff or weak to properly pump blood over time.
- Heart valve failure. . . A damaged valve, whether caused by a heart defect, coronary artery disease, or a heart infection, makes the heart work harder, which weakens it over time.
- The heart muscle has been damaged. Heart muscle damage can be caused by a variety of factors, including certain diseases, infections, excessive alcohol consumption, and the toxic effects of drugs such as cocaine or some chemotherapy drugs.
A single risk factor may be sufficient to cause heart failure, but a combination of risk factors increases your chances.
Heart failure risk factors include:
- Coronary artery disease (CAD) Your heart’s supply of oxygen-rich blood may be limited due to narrowed arteries, resulting in weakened heart muscle.
- A heart attack occurred. A heart attack is an acute form of coronary artery disease. A heart attack may cause damage to your heart muscle, causing your heart to no longer pump as well as it should.
- Valve disease of the heart A heart valve that does not function properly increases the risk of heart failure.
- Blood pressure is high. When your blood pressure is high, your heart has to work harder than it needs to.
Heart failure complications are determined by the severity of the heart disease, your overall health, and other factors such as your age. Potential complications include:
Kidney dysfunction or failure If left untreated, heart failure can reduce blood flow to your kidneys, eventually leading to kidney failure. Dialysis may be required to treat kidney damage caused by heart failure.
Heart valve issues If your heart is enlarged or if the pressure in your heart is very high due to heart failure, the valves that keep blood flowing in the right direction may not function properly.
Reduce your risk factors to help prevent heart failure. Many of the risk factors for heart disease can be reduced or eliminated by living a healthy lifestyle and taking your doctor’s prescribed medications.
Making the following lifestyle changes can help prevent heart failure:
- Smoking cessation
- Controlling certain conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes
- Physical activity Maintaining a healthy diet
- Keeping a healthy weight
- Stress reduction and management
Your doctor will conduct a thorough medical history, review your symptoms, and perform a physical examination to diagnose heart failure. Your doctor will also examine you to see if you have heart failure risk factors such as high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, or diabetes.
- Blood tests are performed. Blood tests are performed to look for signs of heart diseases.
- X-ray of the chest X-ray images can reveal the health of the lungs and heart.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) (ECG). This brief and painless examination records electrical signals in the heart. It can display the timing and duration of heartbeats.
- Echocardiogram – Images of the beating heart are created using sound waves. This test determines the size and structure of the heart, as well as the heart valves and blood flow. An echocardiogram can be used to determine ejection fraction, which indicates how well the heart is pumping and aids in the classification and treatment of heart failure.
Heart failure is a chronic disease that must be managed for the rest of one’s life. . However, with treatment, heart failure symptoms and signs can improve, and the heart can sometimes become stronger.
Heart failure can sometimes be reversed by treating the underlying cause. Repairing a heart valve or controlling a fast heart rhythm, for example, may reverse heart failure. However, for the majority of people, treating heart failure entails a combination of the appropriate medications and, in some cases, the use of devices that assist the heart in beating and contracting properly.
A combination of medications is usually used to treat heart failure. . You may need to take one or more medications, depending on your symptoms.