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What does heart failure mean

Today’s lifestyles are all about high tension jobs, high excitement partying and getaways and high calorie food and drink. One of the biggest losses in all of this, is good health, ranking right up there along with emotional isolation, substance abuse and so on. The diseases that are the result of this kind of a lifestyle include heart failure, elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and a host of others. Let us look at heart failure in a little more detail.

What does heart failure meanThis condition is not an exact diagnosis but rather an umbrella term that covers a variety of irregularities. Simply put, it means that the heart is not carrying out its normal function of squeezing blood efficiently through the four chambers and back into the body. There are also more specific dysfunctions that depend on which side of the heart is affected. The chances of heart failure increases with age and between the age of 75-80 the incidence of this condition is as high as one in five people.

Causes of heart failure

If you have any of the following conditions, you need to closely monitor your heart function to ensure that it is working well:

  • Ischaemic heart disease
  • Diseases of the heart muscle, valves or pericardium
  • Consistently elevated blood pressure
  • Thyroid disease


The symptoms depend to some extent on whether the left or right side is affected. If the condition develops on the left side, you will experience breathlessness when you are exerting yourself physically or lying down flat on your bed. Patients with right ventricle failure complain of swollen ankles or feet due to fluid retention. Some symptoms that are common to failure on either side are:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • A sharp decline in appetite

If you have a family history of heart disease, or notice any of the above symptoms over more than two weeks, it is best to immediately get a consultation with a good cardiologist. If detected early when the condition is at a very mild stage, the conditions that are causing the heart failure can be treated so that your heart is protected.



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