Heart failure is the condition in which your heart is unable to pump blood efficiently. Congestive heart failure is a type of chronic heart failure that needs timely medical attention, although the two terms are used interchangeably.
Your body cells gets oxygen and nutrient when heart pumps blood. When the cells are feeded properly, the body can work properly. In a heart failure, the weakened heart can’t supply enough oxygen and other nutrients to the cells. This causes fatigue and breathlessness and some people experience coughing. Everyday activities such as running,walking, climbing stairs or carrying some weight can be difficult.
Heart failure is condition of a heart in which heart doesn’t pump adequate amount of blood and body may not get required blood and nutrients.
Heart failure is a serious condition, and usually there’s no cure. But many people with heart failure can live a normal and problem free life when the condition is managed with heart failure medications ,healthy diet and other lifestyle changes. It’s also helpful if you have family and friends support who understand your condition.
What are the symptoms of heart failure?
The symptoms of heart failure are:
- excessive fatigue
- sudden weight gain
- a loss of appetite
- persistent coughing
- irregular pulse
- heart palpitations
- abdominal swelling
- shortness of breath
- leg and ankle swelling
- protruding neck veins
What causes heart failure?
Heart failure is generally associated with another disease. The most common cause of heart failure is coronary artery disease (CAD), a disorder that causes narrowing of the coronary arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. Other conditions that may inhance your risk for developing heart failure are:
- cardiomyopathy, a disorder of the heart muscle that causes weakness of cardiac muscles.
- a congenital heart defect
- a heart attack
- diseases of heart valve
- certain types of arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms
- high blood pressure
- emphysema,lungs disease causes dyspnea due to damage of alveoli
- an overactive or underactive thyroid
- severe forms of anemia
- certain cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy
- drug or alcohol abuse
What are the different types of heart failure?
Heart failure can occur in any of the left or right side of your heart. It’s also possible that both sides of your heart fail simultaneously.
Heart failure is also categorized as either diastolic or systolic.
Left-sided heart failure is the most common form of heart failure.
The left ventricle is located in the lower left side of your heart. This area pumps oxygeneted blood to the rest of your body.
Left-sided heart failure occurs when the left ventricle doesn’t pump blood efficiently. This makes your body oxygen and nutrition deprived. The blood inters into your lungs instead, which leads to breathlessness and a buildup of fluid.
Right-sided heart failure
The right heart ventricle is responsible for pumping blood to your lungs to collect oxygen. Right-sided heart failure occurs when the right side of your heart can’t work effectiently. It’s usually triggered by left-sided heart failure. Due to blood accumulation in the lungs caused by left-sided heart failure , right ventricle have to work more. This can cause stress the right side of the heart and leads to it’s failure.
Right-sided heart failure can also occur due to other conditions, such as lung disease. As the Mayo Clinic said, right-sided heart failure is marked by swelling of the lower extremities which is caused by fluid accumulation in the legs, feet, and abdomen.
Diastolic heart failure
Diastolic heart failure occurs when the heart muscle becomes harder than normal. The stiffness, which is usually due to heart disease, means that your heart can’t relax or fill with blood easily. This is called as diastolic dysfunction. It results in a lack of blood flow to the rest of the organs of your body.
Diastolic heart failure is generally more common in women than in men.
Systolic heart failure
Systolic heart failure occurs when the heart muscle is unable to contract. The contractions of the heart are essential to pump oxygenated blood through out the body. This condition is called as systolic dysfunction, and it usually develops when your heart is weak and enlarged.
Systolic heart failure is more common in men than in women.
Both diastolic and systolic heart failure can occur on the left or right sides of your heart. You may have any of these conditions on both sides of the heart.
What are the risk factors for heart failure?
Heart failure can occurs in anyone. However, certain factors may increase your risk of heart failure.
People with certain health conditions or diseases that damage the heart are also at greater risk. These are:
Certain habits or lifestyle can also increase your risk of getting heart failure, including:
- eating fat and cholesterol riched foods
- lack of physical activity
How can you prevent heart failure?
A healthy lifestyle can help to cure heart failure and prevent the condition from developing in the first place. Losing weight and regular physical activities can significantly lower the risk of heart failure. Reducing the amount of salt in your diet can also reduce your risk.
Other healthy lifestyle habits include:
- limiting alcohol intake
- quitting smoking
- avoiding foods high in fat and cholesterol
- managing stress
- getting an adequate amount of sleep
What are the complications of heart failure?
If heart failure is not treated ,it can eventually results in congestive heart failure (CHF), a condition in which blood deposits in other areas of your body. In this potentially fatal condition, you may notice fluid retention in your limbs as well as in your organs, like liver and lungs.
A heart attack may also occur due to a complication related to heart failure.
Call your local emergency services imediately if you have these symptoms: