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Heart Failure: Understanding The Causes, Alleviating The Risks

Also known as a congestive failure, heart failure is a problem that we have all heard about at least once in our life. As the name suggests, it means that the patient's heart fails to function properly. But there is more to heart failure than this mere understanding. It is pertinent to understand that heart failure does not necessarily mean that the heart has completely non-functional but rather dysfunctional to some extent. The heart is a part of the circulatory system responsible for the transportation of blood throughout the body. The heart muscles contract and expand 24/7 without and break to ensure that each and every part of our body is supplied with oxygenated blood. Doctors specializing in heart failure treatment in Jaipur suggest that heart muscles can weaken owing to a number of reasons which eventually prevent the heart from carrying out its functions properly thereby making day to day activities more challenging and difficult.

Renowned cardiologist Dr. Samin K Sharma suggests that people often mistake heart failure for heart attack or cardiac arrest. It is important to understand that heart failure is quite different from the other two. A heart attack is a condition marked by severe damage to the heart muscles which is triggered by a blockage in the coronary artery. A person is said to be having a cardiac arrest when the heart becomes non-functional and the blood circulation stops completely. Heart failure, however, means that the heart is not able to pump blood efficiently.

Causes of heart failure:

Since heart failure is caused by the weakening of the heart muscles, it can be a result of any condition that damages the heart muscles. These include:

  • Coronary artery disease - The coronary arteries are responsible for supplying the heart muscles with blood. Coronary artery disease is marked by a severe obstruction in the coronary artery which prevents the blood from reaching all the heart muscles efficiently.
  • Heart attack - It is a result of curing in the hearts tissues due to sudden blockage in the coronary arteries.
  • Non-ischemic cardiomyopathy - This refers to the weakening of the heart muscles due to reasons other than an obstruction in the coronary artery. These include genetic abnormalities, excessive drug abuse and infections involving the heart.
  • Chronic heart problems - Heart failure may also be a result of some underlying health issues that directly or indirectly affect the heart. These include diabetes, renal diseases and hypertension. Doctors specializing in TAVR heart valve replacement in Jaipur suggest that heart valve diseases if left untreated for long, can too contribute to this.

Are there any risk factors?

Yes, there are certain factors that increase the risks of congestive heart failure. These include the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Excessive smoking
  • Anaemia
  • Thyroid
  • Lupus
  • Myocarditis i.e. inflammation of the heart muscles
  • Arrhythmias i.e. irregular heart rhythms
  • Atrial fibrillation i.e. irregular heartbeats
  • Haemochromatosis i.e. excessive iron accumulation in the body
  • Amyloidosis i.e. abnormal protein accumulation in the body

How can we alleviate the risks of heart failure?

Although you cannot completely negate the risks of heart attack, you can significantly reduce these by resorting to a healthy lifestyle and following some simple guidelines.

  • Go for regular heart check-ups, especially if you fall in the risk category.
  • Avoid a stagnant lifestyle and take part in physical activities
  • Avoid smoking
  • Take care of your diet
  • Do not ignore the symptoms and seek immediate medical help if you experience any of these
  • Congested lungs
  • Oedema
  • Fatigue and unexplained weakness
  • Irregular heartbeats

Tags: TAVR heart valve replacement, heart failure treatment in Jaipur, Eternal Hospital