Heart Failure: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
What is Heart Failure?
Contrary to its name, Heart Failure does not mean the heart stops working altogether. But, it is a chronic and progressive condition where the heart muscles are weakened, and as a result, it does not pump as much blood as it should. The body’s ability to absorb oxygen in the blood is as good as the heart’s level of blood pumping. When the heart fails to deliver oxygen-rich blood to various parts of the body, the body starts underperforming, resulting in fatigue and shortness of breath. Doing everyday activities like walking, climbing up the stairs, etc., becomes difficult.
Also, there are different types of heart failure. Heart failure can occur on the left side, or right side, or both sides of the heart. Apart from this, the other two types of heart failure are systolic and diastolic heart failure.
Most of the time, heart failure has an underlying condition. The most common condition to cause heart failure is Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Other conditions and risk factors that may cause heart failure are –
- Heart attack
- Substance abuse like alcohol and cigarettes
The symptoms start out as mild, and as the heart failure progresses, the symptoms grow with the severity. Some of the common symptoms of heart failure are –
-> Shortness of Breath
It doesn’t matter what you are doing, you may lie on the bed doing nothing, or you may be in the gym, there is a shortness of breath, and you feel difficulty breathing. This happens due to fluid filling up in the lungs because the body does not get enough oxygen. If you suddenly wake up from your sleep to catch your breath, you need to go see a doctor.
Fatigue or the legs feeling weak happens when all the major body parts like organs and muscles are not receiving enough oxygen. As a result, your legs may feel weak, or you may feel fatigued.
-> Dizziness, Confusion, and Fainting
Difficulty concentrating, dizziness and fainting happen when the brain does not get enough oxygen. This is a result ofs when the heart does not pump enough blood to the brain.
-> Weight Gain
When the heart does not pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the kidneys, it hinders filtering enough water. This results in water remaining in the blood and results in weight gain. It also causes swelling in the ankles, legs, and abdomen.
The treatment is primarily decided based on the type of heart failure and the underlying condition that caused the heart failure in the first place. Meanwhile, medication and lifestyle changes can help in maintaining a healthy life.
Our doctors at Regency Health can help you accurately diagnose the type of heart failure and its underlying conditions. This is followed by providing you with the best treatments and care you can get. Regency Health’s experienced cardiologists and well-trained staff, backed with the latest technology, can help you overcome even the most complex cardiovascular conditions.