Heart failure happens when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. It does not mean that the heart has stopped. Heart failure can cause blood and fluid to back up into the lungs and other issues.
Millions of people in the United States experience heart failure and this number is growing. Certain populations are ate further risk for heart failure than the general population. These include:
- Those over 65
- African Americans
- People who are overweight
- Those who have had a heart attack
Additionally, children with Congenital Heart Disease can be at risk of developing heart failure.
People with heart failure may experience trouble breathing, fatigue, and swelling in the ankles, feet, and legs. These symptoms are the result of fluid buildup in the body. At the onset of these symptoms, one may feel tired after routine activities, such as climbing up stairs.
Detection and Diagnosis
Heart failure is commonly caused by coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Your doctor can diagnose heart failure using many tests including electrocardiography, nuclear stress test, and echocardiography.
Early diagnosis and treatment of heart failure can be the most effective in helping patients live longer, healthier lives. Treatment depends on the underlying cause of your heart failure and can include heart-healthy lifestyle adjustments, medication, cardiac resynchronization therapy, or a heart transplant if needed.