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Heart Failure - Know The Causes Of It!

Reviewed by
Dr. Vivek Baliga B 92% (49 ratings)
MBBS, MRCP (UK), PG Diploma In Lipid Management, MBA (Healthcare)
Cardiologist, Bangalore  •  18 years experience
Heart Failure - Know The Causes Of It!

The heart is a vital organ that pumps blood throughout the body, thereby supplying the body with the essential nutrients and oxygen while removing the harmful toxins and wastes. Certain conditions may interfere with the ability of the heart to pump blood (there could be clogging in one of the artery or arteries). Devoid of blood and the essential nutrients, the other vital organs soon start to falter. In fact, reduced supply of oxygen and blood to the brain can prove to be fatal, triggering loss of consciousness and even coma.

It is quite disturbing to know that as per a survey, nearly 50 million Americans suffer from heart failure, with men being more susceptible than their female counterparts. In some cases, such as a Congestive Heart Failure, the blood may move back into the liver, abdomen, lungs or the lower extremities, thereby congesting the organs. Depending on the extent of the damage, heart failure can be chronic (often lasts for a longer time) or acute. Some of the conditions that trigger heart failure are irreversible, making the situation even worse.

Factors that trigger heart failure:

For an effective treatment, it is important to know the underlying factors, both reversible as well as irreversible, responsible for heart failure.

  1. Coronary artery disease: This is believed to be the major contributor, triggering heart failure. Here, the arteries responsible for supplying the heart with blood and oxygen may become damaged. There may be a blockage. The artery may also narrow down or become hardened (a condition referred to as atherosclerosis). As a result, the heart will receive a reduced flow of oxygen and blood, causing heart failure.
     
  2. Cardiomyopathy: A condition resulting from unhealthy lifestyle practices such as drug abuse as well as uncontrolled drinking and smoking. These unhealthy habits will sooner or later wreak havoc, damaging the heart muscles, with heart failure being an obvious consequence. Cardiomyopathy can also be an outcome of some infections.
     
  3. A heart attack: In some cases, heart failure may be triggered by a heart attack. A heart attack can damage the heart muscles which, in turn, can affect the normal functioning of the heart to a great extent.
     
  4. Hypertension: There is a striking relationship between heart failure and high blood pressure. High blood pressure may turn the heart muscles rigid and weak. Thus, the heart may fail to pump the blood as precisely as it should be. With time, the condition will only worsen with the possible outcome being heart failure.
     
  5. Myocarditis: This is a virus-induced inflammation of the heart muscles. Myocarditis is known to cause a heart failure of the left side (left-sided heart failure).
     
  6. In addition to the above conditions, Congenital heart disorders, Diabetes, Thyroid problems, HIV, or Heart arrhythmias, to name a few, can also lead to heart failure.
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