Heart failure, which most time refer to as congestive heart failure, usually occurs when the heart muscle doesn’t pump blood as well as it requires. Most cases such as narrowed arteries in the heart refer to coronary artery disease gradually leave the heart too weak or stiff to fill and pump efficiently. Is not all conditions that lead to heart failure can be reversed, but treatments can improve the signs and symptoms of heart failure and help to live longer. Lifestyle changes like exercise, reduction of sodium in the diet, managing stress and losing weight can help to improve the quality of life. One of the ways to prevent heart failure is to prevent and control situations that cause heart failure, like coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity.
- Heart failure can be ongoing or chronic, or the condition may start suddenly (acute). Heart failure signs and symptoms are as listed below:
- Shortness of breath or dyspnea that’s when lying down
- Fatigue and weakness
- Swelling (edema) in the legs, ankles, and feet
- Irregular heartbeat
- Reduced ability to exercise
- Frequent cough or wheezing with white or pink blood-tinged phlegm
- Increased need to urinate at night
- Swelling of the abdomen (ascites)
- Very rapid weight gain from fluid retention
- Lack of appetite and nausea
- Difficulty concentrating or decreased alertness
Heart failure develops after other conditions have damaged. However, the heart doesn’t need to be weakened to stir heart failure. It also occurs if the heart becomes too stiff. For heart failure, the main pumping chambers of the heart or the ventricles may become stiff and not fill properly between beats. In some situations of heart failure, the heart muscle can be damaged and weakened, and the ventricles stretch (dilate) to the point that the heart can’t pump blood efficiently throughout the body. Over time, the heart may no longer keep up with the normal requires placed on it to pump blood to the rest of the body. Coronary artery disease and heart attack, high blood pressure (hypertension), faulty heart valves, damage to the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), myocarditis, Abnormal heart rhythms (heart arrhythmias), other diseases. Chronic infections like diabetes, HIV, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, or a buildup of iron or protein (amyloidosis).
Any of the above-mentioned conditions can damage or weaken the heart and can cause heart failure. Some of these can be present without aware of it.