What is heart failure?

Do you think that you might have symptoms of heart failure? Or have you already been diagnosed with it? In this article we describe the symptoms of heart failure and real cases of the patients with the disease. If you are experiencing similar symptoms, please undergo medical examination.

What is heart failure?

When heart, weakened by a disease, cannot perform its main function anymore, the doctors diagnose you with heart failure. The heart no longer distributes the needed amount of blood and oxygen to the organs. The pressure in the cardiac chambers increases, and the blood left in the ventricles blocks the way into the heart. Then blood stagnates in the heart and some other body parts, for example, in the legs.

Body reaction

Our body can fight some diseases without our help, or adapt to some of them. In the early stages of heart failure, our body adapts to the weakened heart. In order to pump the required amount of blood, heart rate increases. The cardiac chambers increase in size to manage the larger amount of fluid inside them. The heart starts beating more intensely. But all of this cannot last long. The organs become weaker, without any chance of recovery. Heart surgery or a heart transplant becomes a necessity.

Symptoms of heart failure

The symptoms are usually a result of fluid stagnation and reduced blood supply. To recognize the disease, it is necessary to undergo medical examination.
You should consult a doctor, if you have any of the following symptoms:

-Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
-Severe fatigue and weakness
-Lack of oxygen, feeling of suffocation
-Severe cough
-Increased heart rate

This is the most common symptom of heart failure. During the later stages of the disease, it can appear even as you rest. The liquid in the lungs leaves little space for the oxygen. During sleep, the condition gets worse, and fits of cough might appear.

Example: a 48-year old male with congenital heart defect. A year ago he could climb to the fifth floor without difficulty; now it’s hard for him to climb even to the second floor. The man was diagnosed with heart failure. He undergoes therapy, takes a lot of medicine, but is still afraid of any exercise. He continues to have fits of depression and mild nervous breakdowns, which are extremely dangerous for a man in his condition.

The treatment of any swelling depends on the current stage of the disease. Any swelling is a direct result of liquid stagnation. It can appear on ankles, hips, stomach, and so on.

This is caused by a lack of blood supply. You can feel fatigue even after a very small amount of exercise. Heart failure also causes patients to report overall weakness.

Lack of oxygen, feeling of suffocation.
This is the reason that patients seek medical counsel. The feeling usually comes at night, during sleep.

Example: a 47-year old male, works as a foreman. For the last month he had been noticing the symptoms: increasing fatigue, weakness, and dyspnea. It became hard for him to climb the stairs at the construction site. He started to wake up at night with the feeling of suffocation. He was hospitalized, and diagnosed with cardiac asthma due to congestive heart failure. Later the patient admitted to his overuse of alcohol. His condition is stable, but for the rest of his life he is forced to follow a strict regimen.

The doctors say that heart failure is not a disease, but the complication from the diseases. In any case – there is no need for despair. If you maintain healthy lifestyle and consult the doctors regularly, you may continue living a perfectly normal life even with a diagnosis like this.