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Heart Failure

What is heart failure?

Heart failure is a long-term condition in which the heart loses the efficiency of pumping sufficient blood to meet bodily requirements. It can affect the left or right side of the heart or both as well. It occurs in two forms i.e. acute or chronic. In acute heart failure, the symptoms come suddenly and go away quickly. Some people can experience it after a heart attack. It is an outcome of issues with the heart valves controlling blood flow in the heart. In chronic heart failure, symptoms are constant and don’t get better over time.

According to a study, it is found that men experience heart failure more than women, however, women are more likely to die from this condition. Heart failure is a serious condition which requires immediate treatment.

Types of heart failure

The different types of heart failure are:

  • Left-sided heart failure
  • Right-sided heart failure
  • Diastolic heart failure
  • Systolic heart failure

Causes of heart failure

Heart failure is usually linked to other conditions and the most common cause is coronary artery disease. It is important to be mindful of other conditions which can cause heart failure. Here are the conditions that can increase the risk of heart failure:

Symptoms of heart failure

The heart failure symptoms are:

  • Appetite loss
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Constant coughing
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Swelling in abdomen
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in leg and ankle
  • Swollen neck veins

Risk factors of heart failure

Heart failure can occur to anyone. However, there are certain factors which can increase the risk of congestive heart failure. Here are some of them:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Anaemia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Valve disease
  • Sleep apnoea

There are certain behaviours which also enhance the risk of heart failure, it includes:

  • Regular smoking
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Not exercising
  • Eating food items which are high in cholesterol and fat

Heart failure diagnosis

When it comes to heart failure diagnosis, here are certain tests ordered by a healthcare expert:

  • Physical exam- It is performed to assess the heart failure signs such as irregular heart rate, swelling in legs or arms, and bulging neck veins
  • Echocardiogram- Creates detailed heart images with the use of sound waves to assess the heart damage
  • Chest X-ray- Provides heart images and surrounding organs
  • Heart MRI- It produces heart pictures without using radiation
  • Stress exam- An EKG machine is involved in monitoring the heart functioning while performing any kind of exercise
  • Nuclear scan- Radioactive material is injected into the body to create heart chambers pictures

Heart failure treatment

Heart failure treatment depends on the condition severity and the heart failure type. Early treatment helps in improving the symptoms quickly, however, regular testing is still required. Here is the process followed for heart failure treatment:

  • Medications

Certain medications are recommended to relieve the symptoms and avert the condition from getting worse. These medications are blood thinners, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE), nitrates, cholesterol-lowering medications, hydralazine, and ivabradine in certain cases.

  • Surgery

There are surgical options recommended for patients with severe cases of heart failure. It includes:

Why should you choose BM Birla Heart Research Centre for heart failure treatment?

BM Birla Heart Research Centre is among the best cardiac hospitals specialising in cardiac healthcare services. We have incorporated a team of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons who have years of experience in their field. They are highly talented and skilled with technology. Our doctors ensure diagnosing the condition first so that the best treatment is offered to the patients. They ensure identifying the needs of a patient so that they are fulfilled capably. So, if you experience symptoms of heart failure or have had one, consult our cardiologists now.


Can heart failure be reversed?

It is difficult to reverse heart failure as it is a long-term condition. However, treatment can help ease the symptoms for years. The primary treatment usually recommended is healthy lifestyle changes.

Is heart failure curable?

There is no cure for heart failure but you can take certain steps to ease the symptoms with certain lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake, regularly exercising, eating healthy and green vegetables, etc.

How long can you live with heart failure?

Usually, people who have experienced congestive heart failure can survive for around five years and around 35% of people can survive for around 10 years.

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