Saturday, 3 September 2016

The different stages of Heart Failure

Image Courtesy - theexpertinstitute.com
Congestive heart failure is a condition where the heart does not pump blood to the body as well as it should. The changing environment and a busy life have led to the increase in the number of congestive heart failure cases over the last few years. This condition is mainly caused due to the fluid buildup in the legs, arms, feet or lungs.

WHAT CAUSES THIS CONDITION?
• If the arteries that supply blood to the heart get diseased, the blood supply gets reduced or completely cut off, this causes heart failure.

• A heart attack can result in heart failure because a part of the muscle may stop functioning properly.

• Alcohol or drug abuse can also lead to heart failure.

• Diabetes, hypertension, congested lungs etc. can cause this disorder.

DIAGNOSIS:
The next stage is the diagnosis of this disease, which involves a complete physical examination with a series of blood tests that check for anaemia, cholesterol levels etc. B-type Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) blood test is another test that checks for the peptide that increases in levels when a heart failure develops or worsens. X-Rays are also taken to check for the abnormal size of the heart. These are just a few tests of the many tests done for a complete examination.

UNDERSTANDING THE STATE OF YOUR HEART:


There are 4 stages of heart failure starting from A to D. It is a progressive condition that can worsen over time. Depending on the stage, you need to make necessary changes in your lifestyle.


STAGE A: 
This is a pre-heart failure stage where people are at a high risk of developing the disease, like people with high blood pressure, alcohol, and drug abuse. These individuals are advised to quit alcohol intake or smoking, implement dietary changes and lower the blood pressure.

STAGE B: 
This stage includes individuals with a prior heart attack, cardiomyopathy, valve disorders. Treatment from stage A still continues and apart from that, surgery for coronary artery repair is recommended along with additional drugs.

STAGE C: 
In this stage, people experience shortness of breath, the inability to exercise regularly, fatigue etc. Stage A treatment still continues. A pacemaker may be implanted and the heart could be monitored along with the weight. Sodium intake should be reduced and the drugs that worsen the condition should be discontinued.

STAGE D: 
This is the terminal stage and treatments from the above 3 stages are implemented and a heart transplant is required at the earliest.

TREATING YOURSELF:

Although a medical professional’s guidance is highly recommended, there are a few things that you can do by yourself to help maintain your heart in a good condition. These include things like lowering your sodium intake i.e. lowering your salt intake, quit smoking, doing mild cardio exercises regularly, and following a stress-free life.  A healthy heart is the key to a happy life. So stay healthy and enjoy a happy life.


Kauvery Hospitals

Author & Editor

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