Heart failure also known as congestive heart failure is a condition that affects millions of people every year. Heart failure is a condition when the heart is not able to pump blood properly. If left untreated, it can lead to complications like acute renal failure, and liver disease. Heart failure also causes heart problems like heart valve disease and cardiac arrhythmia.
What is heart failure?
Heart failure is a chronic condition that increases the workload of the heart. It is a progressive condition that worsens with time. In heart failure, the heart is no longer able to pump blood in its full capacity through the blood vessels. As the disease progresses, the ability of the heart to pump blood deteriorates.
Heart failure leads to enlargement of the heart, development of more heart muscle mass, and fast heartbeat. Along with these, blood vessels get narrower. All these things occur as the heart tries to compensate for its inability to pump blood properly. When these compensatory measures do not work, there are visible symptoms of heart failure.
Types of heart Failure
- Left-sided heart failure
- Right-sided heart failure
- Congestive heart failure
In left-sided heart failure, there are two types of conditions. In one condition, there is systolic dysfunction where there is failure of the left ventricle. In another condition, there is diastolic dysfunction.
In right-sided heart failure, there is right ventricle dysfunction. This causes an inability of the right ventricle to supply blood into the lungs. This results in fluid retention in the legs, abdomen, and other organs.
In congestive heart failure, there is retention of fluids in the tissues, lungs, and organs.
Causes of heart failure
- Certain diabetes medications
- Thyroid problems
- High blood pressure
- Other medications like NSAIDS, neurological and psychiatric medications
- Sleep apnea
- Other heart diseases
Heart failure symptoms
- Angina symptoms (chest pain and discomfort upon physical exercise)
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
- Confusion and trouble thinking
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Chronic cough
- Lack of appetite
- Swelling in the legs
- Swelling in the ankles
- Irregular heartbeat