Heart failure, sometimes known as congestive heart failure, occurs when your heart muscle doesn’t pump as well as it should. Certain conditions, such as narrowed arteries in your heart or high blood pressure, gradually leave your heart weak or stiff and unable to fill and pump efficiently.
Not all conditions that lead to heart failure can be reversed, but treatments can improve the signs and symptoms of heart failure and help you live longer. Lifestyle changes such as exercise, reduction of sodium in your diet, stress management, and weight loss can improve your quality of life.
One way to prevent hear failure is to prevent and control conditions that cause heart failure, such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
Heart failure often develops after other conditions have damaged and weakened your heart. So it is important to understand some conditions that can damage or weaken your heart causing heart failure.
Any of the following conditions can damage or weaken your heart:
Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease and the most common cause of heart failure. The disease results from the build up of fatty deposits in your arteries which reduce blood flow and can lead to hear attack.
High blood pressure can cause your heart to work harder than it should to circulate blood throughout your body. Over time, this extra exertion can make your heart muscle too stiff or too weak to effectively pump blood.
Faulty heart valves can also force your heart to work harder which can weaken it over time. Heart valve damage can have many causes specifically, some diseases including diabetes, HIV, and hyperthyroidism, infections, alcohol abuse, and the toxic effect of drugs. Family history can also play a role in developing heart failure.
A single risk factor may be enough to cause heart failure, but a combination of factors also increase your risk. The following is a list of some of the risk factors for heart failure: high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart attack, sleep apnea, congenital heart defects, valvular heart disease, viruses, excessive alcohol use, tobacco use, and obesity.
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 by making lifestyle changes along with the help of any needed medication. Lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent heart failure include: not smoking, controlling high blood pressure and diabetes, staying physically active and eating healthy foods.
It is important that you work closely with your doctor in order to live your healthiest life!