What is Heart Failure?

Heart failure may be due to muscle dysfunction due to stiffness of the muscle, which does not allow it to relax normally; and/or dysfunction due to decreased pump function. When heart failure occurs, there is pressure transmitted back to the lungs resulting in shortness of breath and congestion. There may also be decreased output from the heart resulting in abnormal blood flow to the vital organs.

What Causes Heart Failure?

Causes of heart failure include:

What are the Symptoms of Heart Failure?

Symptoms of heart failure include:

  • Palpitations

  • Leg swelling

  • Cough and/or wheezing

  • Fatigue, weakness

  • Weight gain (fluid retention)

  • Bloating, sometimes with decreased appetite

  • Chest discomfort, tightness

  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea) at rest, on exertion, lying flat, at night

How is Heart Failure Diagnosed?

Testing for heart failure may include:

What are Some Treatments for HF?

Treatment for heart failure includes:

  • Treatment for heart failure includes:

  • Medication

  • Diet/lifestyle changes

  • Exercise

  • Sometimes procedures like:

    • Stents or bypass to restore blood flow

    • Monitoring devices

    • Pacemakers / defibrillators

    • In advanced cases-mechanical assist devices (artificial pumps) and/or heart transplant

For More Information on Heart Failure, Click this link to the American Heart Association



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