”Heart failure develops over time as the heart’s pumping action grows weaker”

Emobileclinic Trending Topic :Heart failure

Emobileclinic Specialist

Heart failure is a condition caused by the heart failing to pump enough blood around the body at the right pressure. It usually occurs because the heart muscle has become too weak or stiff to work properly.
Heart failure develops over time as the heart’s pumping action grows weaker. The condition can affect the right side of the heart only, or it can affect both sides of the heart.

Most cases involve both sides of the heart. Right-side heart failure occurs if the heart can’t pump enough blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen. Left-side heart failure occurs if the heart can’t pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. Right-side heart failure may cause fluid to build up in the feet, ankles, legs, liver, abdomen, and the veins in the neck. Right-side and left-side heart failure also may cause shortness of breath and fatigue (tiredness).

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Heart failure is a very common condition. About 5.7 million people in the United States have heart failure. Both children and adults can have the condition, although the symptoms and treatments differ. Currently, heart failure has no cure. However, treatments such as medicines and lifestyle changes can help people who have the condition live longer and more active lives. Researchers continue to study new ways to treat heart failure and its complications.

Breathlessness, feeling very tired and ankle swelling are the main symptoms of heart failure. But all of these symptoms can have other causes, only some of which are serious. The symptoms of heart failure can develop quickly (acute heart failure). If this happens, you will need to be treated in hospital. But they can also develop gradually (chronic heart failure).

 Types of heart failure
Heart failure caused by left ventricular systolic dysfunction (lvsd) – this is because the part of the heart that pumps blood around your body (the left ventricle) becomes weak. Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (hfpef) – usually a result of the left ventricle becoming stiff, making it difficult for the heart chamber to fill with blood. Heart failure caused by diseased or damaged heart valves: it is important that the type of heart failure you have is identified as it will affect the type of treatment you will be offered. A number of tests can be used to help diagnose heart failure. One should also have blood tests, an electrocardiogram (ecg) and an echocardiogram. These are used to investigate your heart and check how well it is functioning.

 Causes of heart failure
Heart failure does not often have a single cause. A number of problems usually “gang up” on the heart, causing it to fail. There are a number of health conditions that increase the chances of developing heart failure, including: high blood pressure (hypertension) – this can put extra strain on the heart, which over time can lead to heart failure,coronary heart disease (CHD) – where the arteries that supply blood to the heart become clogged up by fatty substances (atherosclerosis), and may cause angina or a heart attack;
heart muscle weakness (cardiomyopathy) – the reasons for this are often unclear, but it may be genetic in origin, or caused by an infection (usually viral), alcohol misuse, or medication used to treat cancer;
heart rhythm disturbance (atrial fibrillation), heart valve disease, damage or problems with the heart’s valves.

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 Sometimes anaemia, an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) or high pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension) can also lead to heart failure.

In most cases, heart failure is a lifelong condition that cannot be cured. Treatment therefore aims to find a combination of measures, including lifestyle changes, medicines, devices or surgery that will improve heart function or help the body get rid of excess water. A cure may be possible in cases where heart failure has a specific cause. For example, if your heart valves are damaged, it may be possible to replace them, which can cure the condition. As treatment will usually be lifelong. Effective treatment for heart failure can have the following benefits:

  •  It helps make the heart stronger

  •  It improves your symptoms

  •  It reduces the risk of a flare-up

  •  It allows people with the condition to live longer and fuller lives

Many of the factors that increase your risk of developing heart failure can be managed either by making lifestyle changes or by taking medicines. For example, in terms of lifestyle factors, you should;

  •  Stop smoking (if you smoke)

  •  Keep your blood pressure at a healthy level

  •  Keep your cholesterol level under control

  •  Maintain a healthy weight (neither too fat nor too thin)

  •  Exercise regularly

  •  Limit your alcohol consumption


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