When the heart is unable to perform it's normal functions and transport oxygen in the blood to supply to body tissues, a Heart Failure can occur. Other parts of the body will suffer from the lack of nutrients eventually. Heart Failure can lead to Oedema which is the build-up of fluids in the tissues.
There are many causes that lead to heart failure, some might include:
- Cardiomyopathy which is a disease of the heart muscle that causes the muscle to become weaker
- Coronary heart disease and other heart diseases can lead to cardiomyopathy
- Coronary heart disease - one of the most common causes of heart failure as it restricts the ability of the heart to pump blood sufficiently. It suggests the hardening of the arteries carrying blood to the heart due to the build-up of fatty deposits in the walls of the arteries.
- Excessive consumption of alcohol and drug abuse
- High blood pressure and heart failure
- Others may include defects of the heart valves and congenital heart disease (heart defects that are present at birth
If you are suffering from Heart Failure, then you might experience any of the following:
- Chest pain (Angina)
- Fainting and dizziness due to insufficient blood and oxygen supply flow to organs and muscles
- Fatigue due to insufficient blood and supply of oxygen transporting to organs and muscles
- Shortness of breath resulting from fluid build-up in the lunchs
- Sudden death
- Swollen feet, ankles, and legs resulting from fluid build-up in the veins and body tissues
- Weight loss
Your doctor might suggest a combination of lifestyle changes, medication, and sometimes surgery to try and treat heart failure.
Lifestyle changes include:
- A healthy diet (you should limit salt intake to help reduce swelling)
- Maintain a balanced and healthy diet
- Quit smoking
- Reduce or eliminate consumption of alcohol and other harmful drugs
- Exercise regularly (your doctor can recommend a specific type of fitness regime)
- To aid Arrhythmia
- To help get rid of excess fluid in the tissues (diuretics)
- Help to stimulate heart's pump action (Diagoxin)
- To lower blood pressure (vasodilators, ace inhibitors, arbs, and calcium channel blockers)
- Your doctor might recommend surgery to correct heart abnormalities that causes heart failure.
For end-stage heart failure, your doctor may suggest:
- Heart Transplantation
- Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) - A mechanical heart to aid in the heart's pumping function to transport oxygen-rich blood into the body. This device is placed into the patient's chest but does not replace the heart. This procedure is most used in terminally ill patients.
- Mechanical Heart Device - more commonly known as an artificial heart, this is a man-made pump which takes over the pumping action of the heart.