ILLNESSES related to the heart are definitely one of the most prominent health challenges around the world. It is also one of the medical conditions in which there is a maximum risk of pre-mature deaths. The heart is the most essential organ of our body and when something goes wrong there more often than not the situation is pretty much likely to go drastic and in the absence of immediate medical care, out of hand, often resulting in serious consequences. Being one of the one the most overworked organs of our body the heart is vulnerable to a number of diseases arising out of both internally driven as well as externally enforced reasons. Amongst the several heart ailments one of the most common, the most talked about as well as one of the most lethal is a HEART FAILURE!
A heart failure is a serious medical condition where the heart is not able to pump blood around the body to its full capacity. This means that the blood cannot deliver enough oxygen and nourishment to the body to allow it to work normally. This may cause one to feel tired or fatigued. It also means that the elimination of waste products do not happen to the full extent- leading to a build up of fluid in the lungs and other parts of the body, such as the lower limbs and the abdomen.
Heart failure often develops due to the result of certain medical conditions such as a coronary artery disease, a heart attack or even high blood pressure. Heart failure can develop at any age but clearly becomes more common with increasing age. Around 1% of people under 65 years of age have heart failure, but 7% of 75-84 year olds have heart failures and this increases to 15% in people older than 85. It is the most common cause of hospitalisation in patients over 65 years of age.
Although it is called heart ‘failure’, this doesn’t mean that the heart is actually about to stop working. It, however, does mean that the heart is having some difficulty working to meet the needs of the body more so when the body is in a state of activity.
SYMPTONS OF A HEART FAILURE
Heart failure symptoms can vary widely from person to person, depending on the type of heart failure one has. Therefore, one may experience all of the symptoms mentioned here or just a few of them. The main symptoms of heart failure are caused by fluid accumulation or congestion and poor blood flow to the body.
Symptoms caused by fluid accumulation or congestion include:
- Shortness of breath
- Weight gain
- Swollen ankles
Symptoms related to the reduced blood flow to parts of the body include:
- Rapid heart rate
Other symptoms of heart failure include:
- Loss of Appetite
- Need to urinate at night
In addition to the physical symptoms of heart failure, some people can be affected by the seriousness and severity of heart failure and may experience emotional symptoms, such as depression and anxiety.
Despite the number of challenged and a constant throng of moment to moment complexities modern medical science has come up with the methods and devices to help people with the severest of heart ailments live for prolonged periods. Doctors are there to prescribe, guide and help and there is an abundance of technology to assist them but finally it is upon the patient’s response to entire hierarchy of diagnosis and treatment that prunes the ultimate outcome!