Feb 17, 2022

Stay on Top of It: Early Signs of Heart Failure

Crisp Living.

Heart failure can feel like a vague term – many aren’t sure what a heart failure diagnosis means. While it is a serious condition, it does not mean that the heart has stopped working completely. And thankfully, there are great treatment options available to those with heart failure.

What is Heart Failure?

Heart failure occurs when the heart is too weak to pump blood normally. This means that oxygen-rich blood is not able to make its way through the body properly. Heart failure can also prevent your kidneys from working correctly.

Heart failure affects around 6.2 million adults in the United States. In recent years, medication has been more effective at successfully treating heart failure.

Heart failure causes

Heart failure is usually the result of another health condition, such as:
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Alcoholism
The risk of heart failure can increase with unhealthy habits, such as:
  • Smoking
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Consuming foods high in sodium, fat, and cholesterol
  • Lack of exercise

Heart failure symptoms

Because heart failure affects the kidneys and lungs, many of the symptoms are associated with these organs’ functions. These symptoms include:
  • Difficulty breathing during normal activities
  • Shortness of breath while sleeping
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue and weakness

How is heart failure treated?

Heart failure is best treated when it is diagnosed early and treatment begins right away. Treatment includes a few different approaches, including medication, proper exercise, and eating a low-sodium diet.

A combination of these treatments can help strengthen the heart and reduce symptoms. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to clear blocked arteries or fix heart valves. In some extreme cases, a patient may need a heart transplant.

If you have been diagnosed with heart failure, you and your doctor can discuss the best treatment plan for you based on your symptoms and health needs.

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