You may have heart failure if the muscle in your heart becomes very weak and cannot pump blood throughout the body. This causes blood to flow more slowly, and when the condition worsens, you will find it harder to breathe. Fluid also builds up in your lungs, causing you to cough and wheeze.
People with heart failure also have swollen ankles, feet or abdomen because fluid builds up in their organs.
You may have heart failure if you have the following symptoms:
Sudden Weight Gain In A Few Days From Fluid Retention
Loss Of Appetite And Feeling Nauseated
Rapid And Irregular Heartbeat
Shortness Of Breath, Even During Rest
Persistent Cough Or Wheezing
Swelling In The Feet, Ankles Or Abdomen
Some conditions can weaken or damage the heart, such as:
Coronary artery disease (hardening/narrowing/ clogging of heart vessels)
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Faulty heart valves
Damage to the heart muscle by a virus or alcohol use (cardiomyopathy)
Heart defects from birth
Other medical conditions such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease and thyroid disease
You are at higher risk if you also have or had:
High blood pressure
A heart attack
Coronary artery disease Irregular heartbeat
Sleep apnea (you cannot breathe properly while sleeping)
Heart defect from birth
Family history of heart problems
A smoking habit or
Problems controlling your use of alcohol
Your doctor will look at your medical history and examine you, such as checking your blood pressure. You may also have to go for blood tests and a chest X-ray, as well as an echocardiogram. This is a test that measures how well your heart is pumping.
Your doctor may recommend the following to you:
Surgery: This includes coronary artery bypass surgery and a transplant if your condition is very serious.
Implanted devices: Pacemakers and cardiac defibrillators, which can control abnormal heart rhythms.
Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy (CRT), which is when you are given a pacemaker that is implanted in your body to regulate your heartbeat.
Controlling how much salt and water you take
Moderate rest and exercise
Monitor your weight
Watch out for signs of heart failure
Make sure you see your doctor regularly
The best way to prevent heart failure is to change your lifestyle and take care of medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Some things you can do include:
Control how much cholesterol you take
Control your blood pressure
Keep your diabetes under controlled
Limit how much alcohol you take
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