What is heart failure :- 4 types of heart failure, what causes heart failure

Our heart is like a traffic controller for blood in our body. If it doesn’t pump right, we can have problems. When the heart’s squeezing and relaxing actions go wrong, it can cause heart failure or cardiac arrest. Now, let’s chat about What is heart failure, the different kinds, and signs, and how we treat heart failure.

What is heart failure?:-

Heart failure is when your heart doesn’t work well.

To help, your heart might:

  1. Get bigger to hold more blood.
  2. Grow more muscle to pump blood better.
  3. Beat faster to push more blood.

Your body also does some tricks:

  1. It makes blood vessels smaller to keep pressure up.
  2. Sends blood away from less important parts.

So, people often don’t know their heart is in trouble until it’s serious. People usually don’t see a doctor until they feel tired and have trouble breathing.

What is heart failure
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Types of Heart Failures?:-

A heart can stop working on the left or right side, and there are two types of heart failure: systolic and diastolic.

Let’s talk about the different kinds of heart failure:

  1. Left-sided Heart Failure: This is when the left ventricle struggles to pump blood, causing fluid buildup in the lungs and making it hard to breathe.
  2. Right-sided Heart Failure: The right ventricle, which pumps blood to the lungs, can’t do it well, usually happening after left-sided heart failure. This puts stress on the right ventricle, leading to failure and blood buildup in the left lung.
  3. Diastolic Heart Failure: This happens when heart muscles get stiff because of heart disease, making it tough for the heart to pump blood properly. It’s more common in females.
  4. Systolic Heart Failure: This occurs when heart muscles can’t squeeze well, more common in males.

Both systolic and diastolic heart failure can happen on either side of the heart.

What is heart failure
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Symptoms of heart failure?:-

Common signs of heart failure are:

  • Not wanting to eat
  • Belly swelling
  • Feeling tired
  • Heartbeat acting funny
  • Heartbeat not staying regular
  • Swelling in legs and ankles
  • Coughing a lot
  • Neck veins stand out
  • Having trouble breathing
  • Gaining weight fast

How Is Heart Failure Diagnosed?:-

Doctors use different ways to check if someone has heart failure. Here’s how they do it:

  1. Check-up: The doctor looks at your body to see if your legs are swollen, your heart beats oddly, or your neck veins stick out. If they see any of these, it might mean you have heart failure.
  2. Heart Picture (Echocardiogram): They use sound waves to take a picture of your heart. It helps the doctors see how your heart is doing.
  3. Blood Tests: These tests check if anything is wrong with your heart or if you have other heart-related problems.
  4. Heart Electricity (Electrocardiogram): This test looks at the electrical signals from your heart to check if everything is okay.
  5. Breathing Tests: Doctors also check how well your lungs are working. They do this with tests like spirometry and a peak flow test.
  6. Chest X-ray: X-rays of your chest can show if there’s fluid in your lungs, if your heart is too big, or if a lung problem is causing your symptoms.
What is heart failure
Image credit : Freepik

How to treat heart failure?:-

The main goal of treating heart failure is to help people live longer. Here are some ways to treat heart disease:

Medication: You may take these medicines as part of your treatment for heart failure:

  • ARBS (Angiotensin II receptor blockers)
  • ACE inhibitors (Angiotensin-converting enzyme)
  • Beta-blockers
  • Blood thinners
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Cholesterol-lowering medications
  • Nitrates

Surgery: Doctors might recommend these surgeries to treat and extend a person’s life:

  • Bypass Surgery: Connect a healthy artery to a blocked one to change blood flow. This is called coronary bypass surgery.
  • Angioplasty: Open a blocked artery with a catheter and a small balloon. A stent or mesh is attached to the blocked artery to keep it open for better blood flow.
  • Pacemakers: If your heartbeat is irregular, a small device can be attached to make it regular.
  • Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD): This small device finds irregular heartbeats and gives a shock if it detects a strange rhythm. People with an ejection fraction of less than 35% might need this.
  • Transplant Surgery: If other methods don’t work, the whole heart or a part of it is replaced with a heart from a donor.

Without proper treatment for heart failure, serious conditions can happen, like stroke, thromboembolism, and arrhythmias (like atrial fibrillation). In short, heart failure is a serious and life-threatening disease. It’s essential to take precautions by having a healthy diet and an active lifestyle to prevent it.

What is heart failure
Image credit : Freepik

Risk factors of Heart failure?:-

Heart failure can happen because of different things. Here’s a list of stuff that can make it more likely:

  1. Getting Older: The chance of heart failure goes up as you get older, especially if you’re over 65.
  2. Born with Heart Issues: Some folks are born with things that make heart failure more likely.
  3. Blocked Arteries: If the tubes carrying blood to your heart get narrow, it can weaken your heart.
  4. Diabetes: If you have diabetes, it can bring other problems that make heart failure more likely. Certain diabetes medicines might also make it worse.
  5. Ethnic Background: Some groups, like African Americans, are more likely to have heart failure early on.
  6. Family History: If others in your family have heart problems, you might be at a higher risk.
  7. Being a Guy: Men are more at risk, but women can have a different kind of heart failure.
  8. Heart Attack: If your heart gets hurt from a sudden attack, it might not pump blood as well.
  9. Trouble with Heart Valves: If your heart valves don’t work right, it can raise the chance of heart failure.
  10. High Blood Pressure: If your blood pressure is high, your heart has to work extra hard, making heart failure more likely.
  11. Crazy Heartbeats: If your heart doesn’t beat normally, especially if it happens a lot, it can put you at risk.
  12. Unhealthy Habits: Smoking, drinking a lot, using drugs, or not being active can make heart failure more likely.
  13. Being Too Heavy: Being overweight, especially for women, can up the risk.
  14. Sleep Troubles: If you have sleep apnea, your heart has to work extra, making heart failure more likely.
  15. Infections: Certain viruses can also lead to heart failure.

FAQ:-

Q1:- What are the 4 stages of congestive heart failure?

Ans:- There are four heart failure stages (Stages A, B, C and D)

Q2:- What is diastolic heart failure?

Ans:- This happens when heart muscles get stiff because of heart disease, making it tough for the heart to pump blood properly. It’s more common in females

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