Heart Failure – Causes and Symptoms of Heart Failure

Heart failure is a progressive disorder in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. The conditions such as high blood pressure and narrowed arteries in the heart make the heart weak to pump the blood. The condition doesn’t mean that the heart is about to stop working or has stopped working. It only means that the heart has lost the capacity to pump the blood properly.

It is estimated that about 5 million people in the United States have heart failure. Each year it contributes to deaths of about 300,000 people.

Causes of Heart Failure
The conditions that cause the heart muscle damage can lead to heart failure. When the heart muscles damage, the heart becomes weak and certain substances are released into the blood. These substances make the heart and the blood flow toxic thus worsening the heart condition. This leads to heart failure.

The following are the conditions that damage and weaken the heart leading to heart failure.

  • Coronary heart disease, a common form of heart disease causes heart failure
  • Hypertension i.e high blood pressure
  • Damaged heart valves due to heart infection, coronary heart disease and heart defects
  • Cardiomyopathy i.e heart muscle damage
  • Inflammation of the heart muscle
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Other disease conditions such as lupus, emphysema, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, anemia and diabetes

The following conditions either singly or in combination may increase the risk of heart failure.

  • Kidney disorders
  • Alcohol drinking
  • Sleep apnea, inability to sleep properly at nights
  • Diabetic medications
  • Irregular heartbeats

Symptoms of Heart Failure
Heart failure can be acute or chronic condition. Acute heart failure occurs suddenly and chronic heart failure happens to be ongoing.

Acute Heart Failure Symptoms

  • Chest pain in case the heart failure is due to heart attack
  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Formation of foamy mucus while coughing
  • Irregular and rapid heartbeat
  • Sudden fluid buildup

Chronic Heart Failure Symptoms

  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Nausea and lack of appetite
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Swelling in abdomen
  • Formation of foamy mucus while coughing
  • Irregular and rapid heartbeat
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles and legs
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

When to consult a medical professional

If you experience the above signs and symptoms of heart failure, seek a medical professional help immediately. The doctor diagnoses the disease and suggest you a respective treatment.

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