Heart failure is a chronic medical condition where the heart fails to pump adequate amounts of blood to satisfy the needs of the body. The treatment includes medications and exercise at the beginning and surgical procedures if the condition of the patient deteriorates. The overall outcome depends on many different factors, including how well the patient complies with the healthcare provider.
Heart failure is a long-term cardiac condition that tends to worsen over time if not treated properly. Although the name indicates that the heart stops working, in reality, the heart is just unable to pump blood as efficiently as it needs to. This decreased pumping power of the heart results in damage to different types of organs and accumulation of fluid in the lungs.
Although there are many different causes of heart failure, the condition is generally broken down into the following types:
Left-sided heart failure
Heart failure with decreased left ventricular function:
The lower left heart chamber gets bigger and fails to contract efficiently. This results in a decreased amount of oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body.
Heart failure with normal left ventricular function
In this type of heart failure, the heart pumps and contracts normally, but the chambers of the heart at the bottom become stiffer and thicker than normal. Due to this, these chambers can’t relax the right way and fill up with blood fully. Because the amount of blood in the ventricles is less, the heart pumps out a decreased amount of blood to the other parts of the body during contractions.
Right-sided heart failure
Heart failure can also involve the right side of the heart. The most common cause of this is left-sided heart failure. Other causes include issues in other organs, such as lung problems.
This is a condition where the heart can’t handle the blood volume. This results in the accumulation of blood in other body parts, most commonly in the legs and lower extremities.
The complications of heart failure include sudden cardiac arrest, irregular heartbeat, accumulation of fluid inside the lungs, heart valve problems, kidney damage, pulmonary hypertension, malnutrition, and liver damage.
There are four stages of heart failure— Stage A, Stage B, Stage C, and Stage D. The stages range from high risk of heart failure to advanced heart failure.
Although heart failure risk doesn’t change as your age increases, you are more likely to be suffering from the disease in old age. Many pathologies that cause heart muscle damage can result in heart failure. Such pathologies include heart attack, coronary artery disease, congenital heart issues, cardiomyopathy, hypertension, diabetes, arrhythmia, obesity, kidney disease, and tobacco and recreational drug use. Some cancer-fighting drugs can also lead to heart failure.
Heart Failure Diagnosis
To find out whether you have heart failure, your doctor must know about your medical history and symptoms. He will ask you about many different things, including:
You will also undergo a complete physical examination. Your doctor will carefully evaluate you for signs of congestive heart failure and conditions that may cause your cardiac muscles to become stiff or weak.
One way to determine the severity of your condition is by assessing the ejection fraction. If it is below the normal range, it indicates heart failure. Your ejection fraction lets your doctor estimate how well your left or right ventricle is doing its job at pumping blood. Usually, your ejection fraction indicates how well your left ventricle is pumping out blood, as it is the most important pumping chamber of your heart.
Several non-invasive tests can be used to evaluate the ejection fraction. With this information, your doctor can determine how to treat you or find out if the current treatment is working as well as it should.
The normal LVEF ranges from 53% to 70%. For example, if the LVEF is 65%, it means that your heart is able to eject 65% of the blood from the left ventricle in each heartbeat. Your ejection fraction can fluctuate depending on your heart condition and how well your treatment is working.
You will have to undergo some tests to determine how well your heart is performing or how severe your heart failure is and what is causing it. Common tests performed include NT-pro B-type Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) blood tests, blood tests, Chest X-Ray, cardiac catheterization, electrocardiogram, magnetic resonance imaging, stress test, and multi-gated acquisition scan.
Although some of the risk factors for heart failure, like family history, age, or race, can’t be altered, you can alter your lifestyle to give yourself the best chance to stay away from the disease. Things you can do include eating foods that are good for your heart, staying at a healthy weight, managing your stress, exercising regularly, avoiding alcohol, stopping the use of tobacco products, staying away from recreational drugs, and taking care of other associated medical conditions that can increase your risk.
With appropriate treatment and following the advice of your doctor, congestive heart failure won’t hamper your normal life. Your future outlook or prognosis will depend on your symptoms, the effectiveness of your treatment plan, and how well you follow the treatment plan.
Following are the steps you can start taking to take care of yourself:
If you have heart failure, you can take certain steps to slow the progression of your condition and improve your symptoms. Follow a low-sodium diet, take your medications as instructed, stay physically active, live a healthy lifestyle, take notice of sudden weight fluctuations, keep track of your symptoms, and attend your follow-up appointments regularly. Share all your questions and concerns with your healthcare provider regarding your medications, the lifestyle changes you need to make, and other aspects of your treatment plan.
If you are looking for the best Heart Failure Clinic in Indore, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore, will be the best option. We acknowledge and understand the level of stress and anxiety you experience when your loved one is suffering from heart failure. So, we ensure that the medical needs of your loved one are met at any time of the day through highly talented and experienced medical staff. Our Heart Failure Clinic is well-equipped with all the latest machines and medical equipment, and all the treatment plans are made in accordance with international protocols and tailored to suit the needs of the patient.