What is Heart failure?

In systolic heart failure, your heart pumps with less force. To make up for the weak pumping, your ventricle enlarges in an attempt to stretch and contract with more strength, allowing it to pump more blood. This can initially stabilize the situation but, eventually the more the heart dilates, the more inefficient it becomes. The heart muscle may thicken to help increase pumping strength. More muscle means the heart needs more blood, and your coronary arteries may not be able to supply it. Your heart may also beat faster in an attempt to pump more often. In addition, levels of heart-stimulating hormones go up.

Read more on www.mayoclinic.com
Also known as chf, Congestive Heart Failure, Cardiac Failure, Right-Sided Heart Failure, cardiac insufficiency, Right Sided Heart Failure, Left-Sided Heart Failure
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Heart failure information from trusted sources:

Heart failure - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Heart failure (HF) is generally defined as inability of the heart to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the body's needs. It has various diagnostic ...

Read more on en.wikipedia.org

Congestive Heart Failure

With advancements in diagnosis and therapy for heart failure, patients are ... As the heart failure becomes worse, the upper legs swell and eventually the ...

Heart failure symptoms

When symptoms start, you may feel tired and short of breath after routine physical effort, like climbing stairs.

Read more on www.nhlbi.nih.gov

Heart Failure

term “congestive” heart failure. It also accounts for the telltale symptoms ... Damaged or stretched heart muscle, as is seen in heart failure, ...

Read more on www.hrspatients.org

Congestive Heart Failure

Nov 5, 2010 ... The purpose of the heart is to pump blood to the body in order to nourish it. Heart failure doesn't mean that the heart has stopped working, ...

Read more on www.heart.org

Heart failure

Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure (CHF), means your heart can't pump enough blood to meet your body's needs. Over time, conditions such as coronary artery disease or high blood pressure gradually leave your heart too weak or stiff to fill and pump efficiently.

Read more on www.mayoclinic.com

Heart Failure-Overview

Aug 25, 2008 ... What is heart failure?Heart failure means your heart muscle does not pump as much blood as your body needs. Failure does not mean that your ...

Read more on www.webmd.com

NIHSeniorHealth: Heart Failure - Heart Failure Defined

Jan 13, 2006 ... In heart failure, the heart cannot pump enough blood through the body. The heart cannot fill with enough blood or pump with enough force, ...

Read more on nihseniorhealth.gov

Heart Failure

Aug 1, 2010 ... Heart Failure Online Medical Reference - including its definition, prevalence, pathophysiology, symptoms, diagnosis, therapy, and outcomes.

Heart failure

Heart failure, also called congestive heart failure, is a condition in which the heart can no longer pump enough blood to the rest of the body.

Read more on www.nlm.nih.gov


Conditions that can cause heart failure include...

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Coping and support
Often people with congestive heart failure complain that they wake up tired because lying flat makes it harder to breathe, and their sleep is interrupted because of excess fluid or medications that increase the need to urinate.

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Your GP will discuss your symptoms with you.

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Exams and Tests
A physical examination may reveal the following: Fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion); Irregular heartbeat; Leg swelling (edema); Neck veins that stick out (are distended); Swelling of the liver; Chest x-ray ; ECG ; Echocardiogram ; Cardiac stress tests; Heart CT scan; Heart catheterization ; MRI of the heart; Nuclear heart scans ; Blood chemistry ; BUN ; Complete blood count ; Creatinine ; Creatinine clearance ; Liver function tests ; Uric acid -blood test; Sodium - blood test; Urinalysis ; Sodium - urine test

Read more on www.nlm.nih.gov
Lifestyle and home remedies
Making lifestyle changes can often help relieve signs and symptoms of heart failure and prevent the disease from worsening. These changes may be among the most important and beneficial you can make: Stop smoking. Smoking damages your blood vessels, reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood and makes your heart beat faster. If you smoke, ask your doctor to recommend a program to help you quit. You can't be considered for a heart transplant if you continue to smoke. Weigh yourself daily. Do this each morning after you've urinated, but before you've had breakfast. Notify your doctor if you have a weight gain of 3 or more pounds in a day. It may mean that you're retaining fluids and need a...

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Medical advice
See your doctor if you experience any of the signs or symptoms associated with heart failure. These include: Fatigue and weakness; Rapid or irregular heartbeat; Shortness of breath (dyspnea) when you exert yourself or when you lie down; Reduced ability to exercise; Persistent cough or wheezing with white or pink blood-tinged phlegm; Swelling in your abdomen, legs, ankles and feet; Difficulty concentrating or decreased alertness

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Outlook (Prognosis)
Heart failure is a serious disorder. It is usually a chronic illness, which may get worse with infection or other physical stress.

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Possible Complications
Possible side effects of medications include:Irregular heart rhythms (can be deadly); Pulmonary edema ; Total heart failure (circulatory collapse); Cough; Digitalis toxicity ; Gastrointestinal upset (such as nausea, heartburn, diarrhea); Headache ; Light-headedness and fainting ; Low blood pressure; Lupus reaction; Muscle cramps

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The key to preventing heart failure is to reduce your risk factors. You can control or eliminate many of the risk factors for heart disease high blood pressure and coronary artery disease, for example by making lifestyle changes along with the help of any needed medications.

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Risk factors
A single risk factor may be enough to cause heart failure, but a combination of factors increases your risk.

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Heart failure typically develops slowly and is a chronic, long-term condition, although you may experience a sudden onset of symptoms, known as acute heart failure. The term "congestive heart failure" comes from blood backing up into or congesting the liver, abdomen, lower extremities and lungs.

Read more on www.mayoclinic.com
Heart failure causes damage to the heart's pumping action. This damage cannot be repaired.

Read more on www.nhs.uk