Cardiac failure or congestive heart failure takes place when the cardiac muscles are unable to pump adequate blood; this condition occurs. Conditions like narrowing of coronary arteries and high blood pressure makes it difficult for the heart to pump and fill blood into its chamber. There are no complete treatments to eliminate the chances of cardiac failure, only few measures can improve the conditions that lead to cardiac failure. Often high blood pressure is responsible for this extremely fatal situation. If the high blood pressure level can be curbed to a certain extent, only then can there be some possibilities of recovery.
What causes heart failure?
The most common reasons behind heart failure are listed below,
- Coronary heart disease – The coronary arteries get clogged with fatty atherosclerosis thus leading to narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. This is a congestive heart failure symptom and must be dealt beforehand to prevent cardiac failure or chest pain.
- Problems in the endocrine gland – Hyperthyroid, added with intensely active thyroid and diabetes are some reasons of cardiac failure due to endocrine gland.
- Intake of toxic substances – Smoking and alcohol consumption speeds up the cardiac failure process. These toxic substances damage cardiac muscles .
- Heart valve disease- The problems in coronary valves increases the chances of cardiac failure.
- Cardiomyopathy- A history of cardiac failures in the family exposes you to greater chances of heart failure. Due to hereditary issues, the cardiac muscle tissues get damaged.
- High blood pressure- Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the most important factors that catalyzes the cardiac failure process. Steps should be taken to reduce the high blood pressure beforehand to prevent cardiac failure.
Congestive heart failure Symptoms
Congestive heart failure symptoms are ,
- A general weakness – A condition of general weakness in body throughout the day and inability to do work requiring high energy.
- Fatigue and tiredness cause problems when performing any activity.
- Condition of edema, which is swelling of the ankles, legs and feet
- Irregular heartbeat pattern which can be observed by an echocardiogram.
- Not being able to perform heavy physical activities .
- High blood pressure causes shortness while breathing.
- Cough with white phlegm with blood patches. This symptom is alarming and needs to be consulted with a doctor.
- The frequency of urination is increased.
- Ascites – Swelling of the abdomen
- Rapid gain in weight as the fluid is retained in the body
- Regular chest pain and black outs. This is a pre-alarming situation before a heart attack.
- Mild cardiac arrest.
Congestive heart failure Stages
Congestive heart failures have the following stages and their treatments,
- Stage A – Also known as pre-cardiac failure. In case there are several cases of heart failure in your family, you are at risk of developing this stage. The other symptoms of this stage of congestive heart failure are diabetes, hypertension, cardiomyopathy, metabolic syndrome and narrowing of coronary arteries which is known as coronary artery disease.
Treatment for this stage includes being active, prohibiting smoking and drinking alcohol, low sodium diet and other means to treat high blood pressure, checking on cholesterol level.
- Stage B – This stage is generally known as Silent cardiac failure. This asymptomatic stage develops if you are suffering from systolic left ventricular dysfunction. There are no symptoms for this stage. If the echocardiogram showed ejection fraction of less than 40% is alarming.
Besides the measures listed in stage A, treatment for this stage includes SGLT2 inhibitor, beta-blocker in case of less than 40% EF, Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor and Angiotensin II receptor blocker . Surgery is to be undertaken to prevent heart blockage, cardiac arrest or congenital heart disease.
- Stage C- The symptoms for this stage are fatigue, inability to perform heavy physical activities, edema among others.
In addition to the treatments as listed in stage A and B, medications to decrease the heart beat rate in case it crosses 70 beats per minute is to be registered in stage C. Diuretic pills, restricting the intake of fluid in the body are also prescribed. In stage C, the change in weight should be tracked regularly. One of the most important treatments for people suffering from this stage is cardiac resynchronization therapy that is installing a biventricular pacemaker.
- Stage D – This is the final stage and cannot be cured by any means. This is the ultimate stage of cardiac failure. Even at rest a person developing this stage may have congestive heart failure symptoms.
Other than the treatments listed above in case of stages A, B and C, cardiac transplantation is an option one must opt for in this stage. In this stage a patient can be treated by infusing intravenous inotropic drugs continuously. Ventricular assistive devices can be installed to treat a person in this stage.