Symptoms, Treatment and Avoiding Heart Failure

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

Heart failure is a serious heart condition wherein the heart loses the power to pump blood all over the body efficiently. It’s the weakening of the heart rate and increasing in pressure that slowly leads to the heart’s deterioration.

When blood does not circulate in the entire body, the cells do not get oxygenized. If the body’s circulatory system is affected, the kidneys will start to malfunction causing it to retain fluid all over the body. If fluid builds up in the body, it will become congested, causing congestive heart failure.

Causes of Heart Failure

Heart Attack

When a coronary artery is blocked and blood stops from flowing to the heart muscle, a heart attack will occur. Heart attacks destroy the heart muscles, resulting in scar tissues that ultimately lead to a heart that no longer works properly.

Coronary Artery Disease

This refers to severely narrowed or blocked coronary artery resulting in reduced or insufficient blood flow. When there’s not enough blood flowing through the heart, the heart will be starved of oxygen and nutrients, causing it to not work properly and increasing the risk of failure.

An Overworked Heart

High blood pressure, heart valve disease, kidney diseases, heart defects, and thyroid problems are some of the conditions that will lead the heart to work harder than normal. As the heart works harder to pump more blood to the body, it starts to deteriorate, causing heart failure. The heart will also become overworked if you developed several diseases or health problems at once.

Symptoms of Heart Failure

Depending on the severity of your condition, you may experience these symptoms:

Congested Lungs

Fluid builds up in the lungs causing difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath. Congested lungs may also result in periodical hacking cough.

Water Retention

When less blood is pumped throughout the body, the kidneys react by causing salt and fluid buildup all over the body. This will result in water retention in the limbs and abdomen.

Weakness and Dizziness

Because the heart has weakened and blood no longer flows efficiently throughout the body, it could cause the brain to get less oxygen. When the brain does not get enough oxygen, you will experience chronic fatigue, dizziness, confusion, and general weakness.

Avoiding and Treating Heart Failure

Unfortunately, there is no cure for heart failure. Once you are diagnosed with the condition, the goal isn’t about curing the disease but rather, preventing the condition from escalating, thereby increasing the risk of complications, hospitalization, and death.

A complete revamp of your lifestyle is critical to prevent or manage heart failure. You will also need to take the prescribed medication to ensure the condition will not progress.

You will have to stick to a strict diet to maintain normal body weight. This will lessen the pressure on the heart to pump more blood throughout the body. Depending on the severity of the disorder, your doctor will present more advanced options and treatments. You will also need to avoid stress to prevent blood pressure from soaring, triggering the already weakened heart to work harder.

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