What is heart failure?
Heart failure is a disease that prevents the heart from pumping blood as well as it should. This does not mean that your heart has actually “failed” or stopped beating; it’s just that he has trouble pumping blood. As a result, fluid builds up in the body and the organs of the body do not get as much blood as they need.
The heart is the muscle at the center of your circulatory system, pumping blood around your body as your heart beats. This blood sends oxygen and nutrients to all parts of your body and carries away carbon dioxide and unwanted waste.
When chronic heart failure lasts a long time (usually more than six months), it can affect organs like the kidneys, liver, and lungs.
Since heart failure can lead to many other health problems, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms. These may include:
- To feel dizzy/dizzy
- Difficulty breathing
- Heart racing/palpitations
- Swelling of the lower extremities (especially in the feet and ankles)
- Need to urinate while resting at night
- Dry, jerky cough
Symptoms of heart failure can range from mild to severe and can come and go. Unfortunately, heart failure usually gets worse over time. As it gets worse, you may have more or different signs or symptoms.
“The heart works best when it is enriched with oxygen and nutrients” – Dr Philip Weintraub
Dr. Philip Weintraub, a private cardiologist in New York City, tells SurvivorNet that many of the symptoms a person may experience are related to the lack of oxygen they need in their bloodstream. “The body [and] the heart works best when it is enriched with oxygen and nutrients and depriving the heart of these leads to a compromised lifestyle,” Dr. Weintraub said.
There are many different things that can cause or increase a person’s risk of heart failure, so there are some steps people can take to reduce their risk.
“There are many different things that can lead to chronic heart failure, and some of them can be prevented” – Dr Aeshita Dwivedi
Certain medical conditions can increase a person’s risk of heart failure, including:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Coronary artery disease (when the major blood vessels that supply your heart are damaged or diseased)
- Previous heart attack (myocardial infarction)
- Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythms, including atrial fibrillation)
- kidney disease
- Tobacco and recreational drug use
Dr. Aeshita Dwivedi, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, tells SurvivorNet that simple lifestyle adjustments can be considered preventative measures.
“As for lifestyle changes that can prevent heart failure, one should limit excessive alcohol consumption, stop smoking or not smoking, lead a healthy lifestyle, which means doing constant activity and moderation and have a healthy diet,” Dr Dwivedi said.