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Heart Failure- Things you need to know

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart fails to pump blood as efficiently as it should. Heart failure does not mean that the heart has stopped working. It just means that the heart is unable to pump blood as well as it should.

If you notice any symptoms of heart failure, it is important to consult a cardiologist. You can visit a Cardiologist in Lahore.

With proper treatment, heart failure can be managed well and the progression of the disease can be slowed.

Symptoms of Heart Failure

The signs and symptoms of heart failure include:

  • Breathlessness on exertion and lying down
  • Feeling tired
  • Long-standing cough which worsens on lying down
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, and legs
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Weight gain
  • Poor appetite
  • Trouble concentrating

Causes of Heart Failure

Many different conditions can cause heart failure, such as:

  • Heart Attack: A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to the heart becomes compromised, and a part of the heart gets damaged (Ischemic Heart Disease). After a heart attack, the ability of the heart to pump well gets affected, which can result in heart failure.
  • Valve Disease: The heart comprises four valves, which ensure that the blood flows in the forward direction, and does not flow back. In some conditions, these valves may not work well, which can cause the heart to work hard, resulting in heart failure.
  • Hypertension: High blood pressure occurs when there is resistance to blood flow in the blood vessels. Long-standing hypertension can cause the heart to pump blood with the extra effort against high pressure that can overwork the heart.
  • Congenital Heart Defect: A congenital heart defect refers to a defect in the structure of the heart, which is present at birth. There are different congenital heart defects, such as a hole in the heart. Such structural defects increase the load on the heart, resulting in heart failure if the defect is not corrected. 
  • Cardiomyopathy: In this condition, the muscles of the heart get affected. They can become thick, thin or may lose their ability to function normally. Cardiomyopathy can ultimately result in heart failure. 
  • Chronic Kidney Disease: The kidneys are responsible for removing extra fluids from the body. When the kidneys can not function normally, extra fluid tends to build up in the body, and the heart has to pump a large quantity of fluid. Over time, the heart may become overworked, and is unable to keep up with the normal pumping ability.

Other causes: Different diseases or conditions can result in heart failure, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • HIV
  • Hemochromatosis (Iron overload)
  • Arrhythmia (Abnormal Heart Rhythm)
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Pulmonary embolism (clot in the blood vessels of lungs)
  • Viral infections

Complications of Heart Failure

The complications of heart failure include:

  • Organ failure: The heart is responsible for pumping blood to the whole body. When the heart’s function becomes compromised, and it can not pump enough blood, different organs can become damaged due to reduced blood flow (hypoperfusion). The kidneys can get affected, which can worsen the pre-existing heart failure.
  • Liver damage: When the heart can not pump blood normally, the blood tends to accumulate in the blood vessels and different organs. When the blood pools in the liver, it can cause liver damage.
  • Congestion of the lungs: Heart failure causes blood to accumulate in the lungs, which causes congestion. When the lungs are affected, breathing difficulty may arise and, you may feel breathless on slight exertion.

Conclusion

Heart failure is a condition that can have serious complications if left untreated but can also be managed well if proper treatment is given on time. Heart failure requires medical care by a cardiologist. You can visit a cardiologist in Cardiologist in Karachi.

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