Posted on Jul 02, 2012 | Comments 0
The heart is the center of our existence. Without the heart pumping fresh oxygenated blood to the various body organs and tissues, we would not survive. Yet we barely look after the heart, and get surprised when it fails to work the way it should. So the true question to answer is what is heart failure?
What is heart failure?
Simply put when the heart is not able to do its primary job of pumping enough blood through the body we have heart failure. It is not the same as the heart stopping to work altogether, that would be a heart attack also known medically as a cardiac arrest. In heart failure we are merely concerned that the heart is unable to pump the blood to the body tissues with the kind of force that it should as its pumping action has become much too weak.
As you know the heart is divided into two chambers, the left side and the right side. The condition of heart failure can affect either one or both sides of the heart.
The right side heart failure is caused when the organ is unable to pump enough blood to the lungs to get oxygen. This can lead to odema or fluid buildup in the feet, ankles and legs.
If the left side of the heart fails, it means that the heart is unable to pump the oxygen rich blood that it received from the lungs to the different parts of the body.
The left side heart failure is also likely to cause a feeling of breathlessness and fatigue. This sense of tiredness comes from the fact that the body’s cells are not getting as much oxygen as they need to release energy.
Signs and symptoms to look for
Now that we know what heart failure is, we need to find out how to identify it. The trouble with identifying heart failure is that the symptoms do not seem alarming and most people tend to ignore them. Only when the symptoms accelerate to a dangerous level do we begin to understand just what went wrong. The three signs of heart failure are a shortness of breath, a feeling of fatigue and the swelling up of the ankles, feet, legs, abdomen and at times even the veins in the neck.
Treatment for heart failure
Having understood what a heart failure actually is and just how dangerous it can be, we now need to learn a bit more about how to deal with it. The diagnosis of the underlying cause of this partial heart failure is essential to determining the right treatment. Essentially the focus is on reducing the symptoms and ensuring that the heart failure does not get any worse.
Preventive measures that you can take to avoid the problem
After realizing what is heart failure it is true that in most cases the problem can be avoided altogether by taking certain preventive precautions. Simple lifestyle changes can make a world of a difference to avoiding heart failure. Respect your heart by eating health, getting enough exercise, not being overweight, and not giving in to addictions of alcohol, smoking and illegal drugs. Don’t stress your heart out and it won’t fail you.
Posted in: Heart Diseases