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Heart Failure: Understanding the various causes

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Heart Failure: Understanding the various causes

Cardiac Surgery | by BMB | Published on 24/03/2022

Heart failure has become a major health problem in India with a mortality rate of 20-30% even after admission. It’s considered as the main reason for people aged above 65 go to the hospital. To reduce the prevalence of such heart conditions we need to know the reasons behind them. Anything i.e causing stress to your health can either damage or makes it too hard to work for your heart. Here we have discussed a few reasons that impart heart failure. Our expert from the best cardiac center in Kolkata will help us with this. Keep reading to learn about the same.

What is heart failure?

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to adequately pump blood throughout the body. It usually happens as a result of the heart becoming overly weak or stiff.

Some persons with heart failure have trouble pumping enough blood to maintain the function of the body’s other organs. Other people may experience cardiac muscle hardness and stiffening, which prevents or limits blood flow to the heart.

The term "heart failure" does not imply that your heart has stopped pumping blood. It simply needs some assistance in order to function more effectively.

It can affect anyone at any age, but it is most frequent in the elderly.

Heart failure is a chronic illness that progressively worsens over time.

Understanding the symptoms of heart failure:

The symptoms of heart failure can be sudden(acute) or long-standing(chronic).

Although it cannot usually be cured, the symptoms can be managed for many years.

The most noticeable symptoms include-

  • Fatigue
  • Feeling of weakness
  • Swelling in the ankle or leg
  • Breathlessness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Wheezing for a long time
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swelling of the belly(due to fluid build-up)
  • Feeling exhausted even after a simple task
  • Chest pain (if caused by heart attack)

When should you seek medical advice?

Ask for medical help if you find yourself

  • Fainting very frequently
  • Shortness of breath, chest pain, or fainting are all symptoms of a rapid or irregular heartbeat.
  • Coughing up white or pink foamy mucus and experiencing sudden, severe shortness of breath
  • Although heart failure may be the source of these signs and symptoms, there are many other possibilities, including potentially life-threatening heart and lung disorders. Make no attempt to diagnose on your own.

Doctors in the emergency room will attempt to stabilize your health while determining whether your symptoms are caused by heart failure or something else.

What causes heart failure?

If you are suffering from heart failure, you are likely to have one or more of the following conditions. Some of these may be present even if you aren't aware of them. These disorders usually put extra pressure on your heart which leads to heart failure. If you have more than one of these indicators, you're at a much higher risk.

High blood pressure- Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart failure. When blood vessel pressure is too high, the heart has to work harder than usual to keep the blood flowing. The heart suffers as a result of this, and the chambers get larger and weaker over time. Your doctor may recommend medication to lower your blood pressure below 130/80 mm Hg if you are at risk of developing heart failure.

Past history of heart attack- When an artery supplying blood to the heart muscle becomes clogged, increases the risk of a heart attack. The heart's muscle tissue is damaged by a lack of oxygen and nourishment, and part of it "dies." The heart's ability to pump blood is weakened because the injured cardiac tissue does not contract properly.

Coronary artery disease(CAD)- Less blood can reach the heart muscle when cholesterol and fatty deposits build up in the arteries(atherosclerosis). The result could be chest pain (angina) or a heart attack if blood flow is completely restricted. And that leads to heart failure.

Congenital heart disease- If the heart and its chambers do not form properly during birth, the healthy components of the heart must compensate by working harder.

Disease affecting heart muscles- Damage to the heart muscle, whether from drugs or alcohol, viral infections, or other causes, raises the chance of heart failure.

Defect in the heart valve- Heart failure is more likely to occur when the heart muscle is damaged, whether through drugs, alcohol, viral infections, or other causes. Eventually due to increased workload, heart failure results.

Lung disease- your heart has to work harder to get available oxygen to the rest of the body when the lungs aren't working properly.

Diabetes- Diabetic patients are more likely to have heart failure. Elevated lipid levels in the blood are linked to hypertension and atherosclerosis in diabetic patients. Heart failure has been linked to hypertension and atherosclerosis as well.

Obesity- Obesity can make the heart work significantly harder than it would in someone who is in a healthy weight. Obesity also may lead to sleep apnea.

Conclusion- with early diagnosis and proper care, you can prevent heart failure. Regular check-up is necessary once you are above 40, to keep your heart healthy. Consult our best heart doctor in Kolkata, if you need a second opinion.