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Our survival is solely reliant on the working of the heart. It is this that makes the prospect of a heart failure so fatal and so terrifying. Notwithstanding what the heart evokes, a heart failure is not indicative of a defunct heart; but only a situation when the heart pumps weaker than what is generally deemed as natural. Consequently, the blood flows at a slower rate to the heart and the body that in turn increases pressure in the heart. The oxygen that is produced by the heart in such a scenario is scanty and insufficient for the body.
body responds with its own defense mechanism, as the heart, in an attempt to hold more blood, stretches its chambers. Though this strenuous effort may keep the blood moving, it would gradually and inevitably weary the heart with all the effort. Subsequently, the kidney responds by retaining more salt and fluid in the body. These fluids may accumulate in different parts of the body, mainly in the legs, feet, ankles leading to congestion in the body. This very condition in medical terminology is referred to as congestive heart failure.
Different causes can contribute to the onset of such a fatal condition. Some of them are
- Coronary artery disease: In such a condition, the arteries supply insufficient amount of oxygen and blood to the heart. Subsequently, the heart receives scanty amount of nutrients and oxygen.
- Heart attack: The sudden, unanticipated blockage of the coronary artery and the ensuing stoppage of the flow of the blood lead to a heart attack. The heart muscles are damaged in such a case and prevent the proper functioning.
- Diseases: Though the term may be generic and over expansive, most of the ailments which people suffer from tend to manifest themselves by posing a potential threat to the functioning of the heart. A high blood pressure, kidney disease, even a thyroid disease can cause congestive heart failure.
Every disorder is preceded by certain symptoms, and congestive heart failure is no different. Some of them are
- Fatigue: This is one of the most perceptible symptoms of congestive heart failure. One of the earliest premonitions of an impending heart failure is a nagging sense of weariness and lethargy.
- Swelling: As the condition is characterized by accumulation and build-up of fluids in various part of the body, swelling is an inevitable symptom of this condition and a clear indication of the ailment.
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