Heart failure is a condition where heart will not be able to pump enough blood to different parts of the body causing symptoms like oedema, shortness of breath, cough, palpitations and fatigue. Normal functioning of the liver, kidneys and lungs will also be effected due to inadequate oxygen and nutrients.
Heart failure is developed due to underlying conditions like high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and hormonal disorders. It can also be caused due to coronary heart disease, damaged heart valves; abnormal heart beat (arrhythmias), congenital defects and heart muscle disorders.
Heart failure can be acute or chronic. Though the initial symptoms are similar, acute heart failure is life threatening and require immediate medical attention. It can be managed mostly through surgical intervention. Studies show that chronic heart failure (CHF) can be managed by adopting some simple self-management strategies and through medications.
Studies show that healthy life style can reduce the risk of heart diseases to a greater extent and also increase their survival chances. Few tips to keep heart failure symptoms under control are:
- Walking or exercising, at least three times a week, can keep the heart, lungs and mind healthy. It relieves the patient from stress and depression caused due to the long term illness.
- Healthy eating habits with fresh vegetables and fruits. Low fat, low cholesterol and fibre rich diet is essential for the maintenance of healthy heart.
- Cutting down on salt helps in maintaining normal blood pressure.
- Overweight being major risk factor for many diseases needs to be controlled.
- Quit smoking and alcohol abuse.
Any kind of cardiovascular disease requires prompt medical supervision. Health care providers can analyse the underlying cause of the heart failure and treat accordingly.