What Is Heart Failure?

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What Is Heart Failure

Heart failure is also known as congestive heart failure, It is the inability of heart muscles to pump blood efficiently in the body.

Either the heart muscles become too week or too stiff that they do not contract or relax effectively to pump at a normal rate.

 The elasticity of cardiac muscles is compromised, so an individual faces pumping problems. Also, there is a build-up of fluid around the heart.

The pumping ability of the heart is measured by a factor known as the ejection factor. 

Normally the value for the ejection factor is 50; this means your heart is at least pumping back half of the total blood that it is receiving from your body.

But sometimes even if a person has a normal ejection factor, he is diagnosed with heart failure due to many other reasons.

Heart failure is a progressive disease that may occur due to two main reasons. One is week heart muscles, and another one is stiff heart muscles.

Heart muscle can be weak or stiff due to many other cardiovascular diseases that have weakened the heart to a greater extent.

Heart failure results from coronary heart disease in which there is a deposition of fats in arteries that restricts the blood flow.

Similarly, in high blood pressure and atherosclerosis heart has to put some extra effort to perform its normal activities.

Thus your heart has to put greater effort into pumping blood. This extra effort may weaken your heart muscle over time. Our heart has four chambers, two atria, and two ventricles.

 In heart failure, all chambers of your heart are affected, but the left ventricle that is the main pumping part is more affected.

There are four types of heart failure. First type is systolic heart failure in which the left ventricle cannot contract properly, resulting in pumping issues.

 Second one is diastolic heart failure in which the left ventricle cannot relax properly, resulting in filling issues.

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 In left-sided heart failure, there is a backup of fluid in the lungs leading towards shortness of breath.

In right-sided heart failure, there is a backup of fluid in the abdomen and legs, leading towards swelling of feet and hand.

Symptoms of heart failure are fatigue, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, irregular heartbeats, weakness, rapid weight gain, increased urination in the night, and fluid retention in the body.

An individual should not try to be self-diagnostic.

Normally an individual has 60-100 beats in a minute. If you are having a pulse rate of less than 60 or above 100, you should consider this as an alarming sign.

When the ventricle becomes stiff, it is not properly filled between beats. Ventricles become weak, so they cannot contract and relax in a normal way.

Children are also susceptible to heart failure.

Mostly those children who are born with heart abnormalities are diagnosed with it. They show shortness of breath, poor feeding, low blood pressure, and increased sweating.

The onset of heart failure may be sudden, or it may be diagnosed as an ongoing disease. There are four stages of heart failure that represent the severity and functional capacity of the heart.

The person at the first stage shows betterment when treated as compared to the person diagnosed with stage four.

A person cannot go towards the backward stage. Symptoms may stop at the present stage or go towards progression.

You can prevent heart failure by avoiding diseases like diabetes, obesity, abnormal blood pressure, and coronary heart diseases.  There are a ton of other factors that contribute to Heart failure, while we cannot discuss them all in this single video, We have a separate video about that. To watch, please go to our Youtube channel or check the Videos section of our Facebook page.

Until Next Time,

Team Doctor ASKY!

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