Heart Failure – Know Everything!

What is heart failure?

The term about heart failure though may sound that the organ is dead and defunct; however, it simply means that heart is unable to pump for some reason or the other. As human body very much depends upon the pumping action of the order for delivering oxygen rich nutrient and rich blood to the cells of the body. When you find the cells being nourished in a right way, you end up seeing the body functioning in a normal fashion. With the heart failure, the weakened heart cannot supply the cells with enough about of blood. This can result into shortness of breath and fatigue and even things like coughs.


What causes heart failure?

Heart failure can come with certain complications that affect the ability of pumping inside the heart. One of the common conditions, which hamper the idea of heart failure, comes in the form of coronary heart diseases of CHD, wherein you find the blood coming from the heart muscles with oxygen and blood resulting to atheroma. Some other causes to heart failure include the following conditions:

  • Diseases of the heart muscle or cardiomyopathy
  • Hypertension or High blood pressure
  • Diseases of the heart valves
  • Some kinds of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
  • Medicines and other chemicals, which can damage the heart muscle like alcohol excess, cocaine and some kinds of chemotherapy.
  • A number of non-heart conditions, which can hamper the function of the heart

How does heart failure affect the body?

Heart failure can hamper your body in many ways starting with adding up the stress on other organs. The body is then seen compensating for poor heart function in the short term with releasing a known hormone called adrenaline (epinephrine), which urges the heart to pump fast and with a greater speed. As you find the heart working harder, the walls of the organ is seen becoming thick along with making it stiff, which in turn help in reducing its ability to pump blood to the body. And the blood, which is not seen getting pumped to the body, is seen building up behind heart valves that cause damages.

What are the symptoms of heart failure?

There are several symptoms and signs, which indicate the advent of heart failure, some of them are as under. One of the key symptoms of heart failure includes the swollen ankles and legs and shortness of breath, while the others include tiredness, dizziness, feeling sick, constipation, loss of appetite, etc. This will depend upon the conditions and intensity of the heart failure one can face.

How is heart failure diagnosed?

Once the patient reports the symptoms of the heart failure, the doctor will check of enlarged heart, quicker or normal pulse, signs of the fluid retention and other things. The doctor will then carry out a couple of tests, which include heart tracing, ultrasound of the heart. These tests end up giving the idea about the heart failure. A blood test can also help the doctor in confirming about the heart failure, while other tests include urine test, x ray and other blood tests.

Treatment for heart failure

When it comes to treatment of the heart failure, there are various options for the same, which will depend upon the conditions you have encountered. Time to check the same as under:


The treatment of heart failures can be carried out in combination with medications that goes with the following medicines:

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

Surgery and medical devices

In this treatment option, the doctors will treat the organs affected by the heart failure along with fixing the heart as well, which goes as under:

  • Coronary bypass surgery
  • Heart valve repair or replacement
  • Valve replacement
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs)
  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT)
  • Heart pumps Implants like ventricular assist devices (VADs)
  • Heart transplant

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