Vital Aspects of Heart Failure

Vital Aspects of Heart Failure

The American Heart Association has pointed out that over five million Americans live with heart failure each day. Diagnostically significant, almost 600,000 new cases are reported each year while many of these cases result in deadly heart attacks within the first few years of diagnosis. Heart failure is normally misunderstood among the general public until one suffers from it. At this point, it is too late to remain healthy and preventative. Understanding what heart failure truly is and how to prevent will assist down the road in ensuring one remains healthy and free from any serious heart complications.

Many people associate heart failure with the complete disruption of the heart, causing immediate death. While semantically the term heart failure indeed implies such implications, this truly is not the medical diagnosis of heart failure. Being diagnosed with heart failure simply means the heart has ceased to pump blood as efficiently as it should which requires the use of medication and, in some severe cases, the installation of pace-makers or heart transplants. A result of this inadequate heart operation is shown through an inadequate supply of oxygen flowing through the body. This common symptom of heart failure often makes the victims diagnosed with it feel weak, fatigued, and chronically bed-ridden. Heart failure often results in the excessive build-up of fluid in the lungs, creating shortness of breath and increased coughing levels. This also could lead to a drowning feeling, as if you are being held under water with no relief.

Overall, the symptoms associated with heart failure are shortness of breath, excessive and frequent coughing, increased heart rates at any given point throughout the day, fatigue, tiredness, inexplicable weight gain, and even a loss of appetite. Most alarmingly, many of these symptoms are also associated with numerous other harmless and less threatening illnesses which often lead people to believe they are suffering from a cold or severe allergy congestion. If not properly diagnosed, these symptoms may appear as something less harmful. Heart failure symptoms are not necessarily chronic in that they may appear and disappear rather rapidly, making you believe the cold has run its course. Should any prevailing symptoms stop and then re-appear, be sure to consult your physician to run the necessary steps. This step could, in turn, save your life.

When heart disease is left untreated, there are a myriad of side effects that could occur. The human body is like a domino effect of puzzle pieces. One piece of the puzzle becoming damaged could and most likely will cause long term harm to another piece. The most severe side effect of heart failure is a fatal heart attack. Overtime, if left untreated or taken seriously, the heart simply gives out and stops beating. Another common side effect is severe stroke. When your brain fails to receive enough blood to operate normally, it also looses vital oxygen. This process also leads to the brain completely shutting down causing a severe stroke. As a result, permanent brain damage could ensue which completely destroys any normal mode of life.

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