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Heart Failure – Types, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Heart Failure - Types, Symptoms

What is Heart Failure?

Congestive heart failure (CHF), or heart failure, is a medical condition when the heart muscles fail to pump blood. Certain conditions such as coronary artery disease or high blood pressure can make the heart muscles too weak, resulting in heart failure.

Even though treatment cannot revert the condition of the heart, certain lifestyle changes can improve the symptoms and help you live longer. One of the primary ways to prevent congestive heart failure is to control high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and coronary artery disease.

What are the types of congestive heart failure?

There are various heart failure types. These are:

  1. Right-sided heart failure: In this condition, the fluid backs up into your abdomen, feet, and legs, causing swelling.
  2. Left-sided heart failure: In this type of CHF, the fluid fills in the lungs resulting in shortness of breath.
  3. Systolic heart failure: In this type, the left ventricle has trouble contracting, thereby indicating a problem in the pumping.
  4. Diastolic heart failure: In this type of heart failure, the left ventricle is reported to lack the ability to relax fully or fill blood properly. This condition is also referred to as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.

What are the symptoms of Heart failure?

Congestive heart failure symptoms are distinct. Some of the heart failure symptoms are:

  1. Fatigue and weakness
  2. Swelling in the legs
  3. Irregular heartbeat
  4. Increased urination at night
  5. Persistent cough
  6. Nausea and lack of appetite
  7. Rapid weight gain
  8. Chest pain
  9. Reduced alertness

One of the main CHF symptoms is chest pain, and you should consult your doctor immediately if you experience one.

Heart Failure - Causes, Treatment

What are the 4 Common Causes of Heart Failure?

Various heart failure causes are:

  1. Coronary heart disease: The increase in fat deposits and cholesterol results in the narrowing of the blood vessels. The build-up, usually known as atherosclerosis, results in chest pain and difficulty pumping the blood, leading to a heart attack.
  2. High blood pressure: With the pressure in the blood vessels consistently high and the heart muscles pumping harder than usual to keep circulating the same volume of blood, it drastically weakens the heart muscles resulting in heart failure.
  3. Sleep apnoea: Sleep apnoea is a life-threatening breathing condition. It pauses breathing during sleep resulting in abnormal heart rhythms which may lead to sudden cardiac arrest.
  4. Diabetes and Obesity: Diabetes and obesity also result in making the heart work harder. While obesity can result in complications such as sleep apnoea, diabetes may result in complications such as hypertension and atherosclerosis, leading to a heart attack.

In addition to these, nearly fifty percent of the patients suffering from heart failure have a normal ejection fraction of the left ventricle, suggesting that systolic function is not entirely typical for these patients.

What are the treatment modalities for Heart Failure?

Your doctor diagnoses your condition by making you undergo various tests such as cardiac biomarkers, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized cardiac tomography (CT), coronary angiogram, stress tests, and electrocardiogram.

Heart failure treatment is done by your doctor using a combination of the following drugs:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
  • Beta-blockers
  • Diuretics
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers
  • Inotropes
  • Digoxin (Lanoxin)
  • Aldosterone antagonists

In certain severe conditions, the doctor would recommend surgery for congestive heart failure such as the:

  • Coronary bypass surgery
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs)
  • Heart valve replacement or repair
  • Heart transplant
  • Ventricular assist devices

If you observe any symptoms of heart disorders, you must contact your nearest doctor. You can also contact the nearest SRL Diagnostics Center to get your tests done at SRL Diagnostics. You can enquire about notifications and the delivery of your reports.

Concluding remarks

Congestive heart failure is a condition that arises from severe stress to the heart and the heart muscles. It is necessary to make lifestyle changes and have a healthy diet to prevent various complications that result in heart failure.

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