Heart failure definition and facts
- The definition of heart failure is when the heart cannot pump efficiently enough for blood to circulate oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. When the heart becomes weak or when it becomes thickened and stiff, the heart muscle cannot keep up with its workload.
- Signs and symptoms of heart failure include
- shortness of breath,
- exercise intolerance,
- coughing (or chronic cough),
- pounding or racing heart,
- excessive tiredness,
- loss of appetite,
- problems thinking,
- swelling in the ankles, and
- rarely, chest pain
- Symptoms are usually worse at night when lying flat.
- Risk factors for heart failure include high blood pressure, prior heart condition. because of heart failure is a weakened or thickened cardiac muscle. When risk factors for heart failure are present, there usually is inflammatory stress, which further damages the cardiac muscle, depleting cells of energy and antioxidants.
- There are four stages of heart failure, used to classify the severity of symptoms.
- Heart fat
- attack, obesity, smoking, alcohol abuse, vitamin deficiencies, sleep apnea, heavy metal toxicity, eating an unhealthy diet (including animal fat and salt), and being sedentary.
- failure treatment includes lifestyle and diet changes, taking medications, and sometimes implanting devices. Heart transplant may be needed in some cases.
- Medications can help reduce the symptoms of congestive heart failure (CHF) and improve heart muscle function. Commonly prescribed medications for heart failure include beta-blockers, diuretics (water pills), ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors, and ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers).
- The prognosis for heart failure is highly variable. If lifestyle changes are not made, or medications are not taken, or the underlying causes are not correctable, heart failure can become a progressive and ultimately fatal condition.
- Heart failure can be prevented and reversed by making healthier choices such as addressing stress, being active, eating well, getting enough nutrients, treating sleep apnea, and taking medications as prescribed.
Heart Failure Early Symptoms and Signs
Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle is not able to function in a manner that can sufficiently supply the body with oxygen. Congestive heart failure is the failure of the heart muscle to maintain the circulation, leading to a backup of blood in the veins that causes:
- swelling (particularly in the lower parts of the body);
- shortness of breath is another common symptom of congestive heart failure that occurs due to fluid buildup in the lungs; and
- Fatigue and a decreased capacity to exercise are other symptoms that commonly result from heart failure.
Early symptoms and signs may not be apparent, and symptoms may develop only after the condition has progressed over time.
Read more about early symptoms and signs of heart failure »
What is heart failure?
The term heart failure can be frightening, but in reality, it just means that the heart is not pumping as well as it could be. When the heart muscle is weak, blood cannot be pumped efficiently enough to get oxygen to all of the cells. Sometimes the heart becomes dilated and weak. Other times it may be stiff and thickened. Over time, the heart cannot keep up with its workload. When this happens, there isn’t enough oxygenated blood reaching the brain and muscles, and fluid begins to back up in the lungs and other tissues. The lack of oxygen causes the main symptoms of heart failure such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and difficulty completing tasks that require exertion.
What causes heart failure?
The cause of heart failure is a weakened or thickened cardiac muscle. For example, in chronic high blood pressure (hypertension), the heart must pump extra forcefully against the additional blood pressure. First it becomes enlarged and thickened. But over time, the heart weakens, scarring (fibrosis) develops, and it becomes less efficient at pumping. It can become larger (dilated) and weak or thickened and stiff. When the risk factors for heart failure are present, there usually is inflammatory stress, which further damages the cardiac muscle depleting cells of energy and antioxidants.
What are heart failure stages or classifications?
While doctors define heart failure in stages or classifications, it represents a progression of heart muscle weakness. Sometimes people refer to this process as chronic heart failure but technically that term isn’t correct.
The New York Heart Association (NYHA) puts the stages of heart failure into four classifications:
- Class I: no limitations in activity. Normal activities can be performed.
- Class II: mild limitations and mild symptoms with activity; no symptoms at rest
- Class III: noticeable limitations in activity; only comfortable at rest
- Class IV: symptoms occur at any level of activity and uncomfortable even resting
The American Heart Association along with the American College of Cardiology grades heart failure in four stages, and takes into account that heart failure can be present even before symptoms appear:
- Stage A: No heart failure, but at high risk due to another medical condition that can lead to heart failure, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, or coronary artery disease.
- Stage B: The heart has been damaged by the patient’s other medical condition(s) or other factors, but no symptoms are present yet.
- Stage C: The heart is damaged and the patient is experiencing heart failure symptoms.
- Stage D: The patient has severe heart failure that requires specialized care, despite receiving treatment (end-stage).
Best Natural Remedies for Heart Health
More people die annually from cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) than from any other cause. CVDs include all the diseases of the heart and circulation including coronary heart disease (CHD), angina, heart attack, congenital heart disease and stroke.
Herbs and dietary supplements have been used in combination with conventional therapies to help treat and prevent cardiovascular diseases and with good reason.
Many have shown great promise in treating both the risk factors of CVDs and the deadly process at the heart of it, atherosclerosis – the hardening of the arteries.
Herbal treatments have been used in patients with congestive heart failure, systolic hypertension, angina pectoris, cerebral insufficiency, venous insufficiency, and arrhythmia.
Many herbs have also shown to help counteract the key risk factors of cardiovascular diseases like obesity, hypertension and stress.
The truth is there are numerous websites claiming to have the latest wonder herb or herbal supplement to treat or prevent heart disease.
If you are considering taking herbs as a treatment or preventative measure for CVD, caution should be exercised – many herbs have powerful ingredients and the potential to cause serious toxic effects and major drug-to-drug interactions.
At Forever living company, we’ve compiled some of the most promising products for treating or preventing cardiovascular disease, backed by research, for you to make your own decision on their efficacy.
While not definitive, herbs are ranked in order of apparent efficacy, clinical research and known safety profile.
FOREVER HEART THERAPY
Forever Heart Therapy with CoQ10 is packed with advanced heart-promoting ingredients. CoQ10 is a powerful co-enzyme we combined with vitamin B to help with the basic functioning of cells and support the cardiovascular system.