Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure, is when your heart has trouble pumping blood.
Causes of Heart Failure
Heart failure can be a result of other conditions that have damaged your heart. However, heart failure is not always a result of other conditions and can be brought on if your heart becomes too stiff. This is when the ventricles harden and do not fill properly between pumps. In other cases, your heart may become so damaged that the ventricles dilate to the point that it can no longer adequately pump blood throughout your body.
Symptoms of Heart Failure
Heart failure can be chronic acute. Symptoms of heart failure include:
- Shortness of breath when you lay down
- Swelling in your legs and/or feet
- Limited ability to exercise
- Lack of appetite
When Should You See a Doctor?
You should see your doctor if you believe that you are exhibiting signs of heart failure. Seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Chest pains
- Irregular heartbeat accompanied with shortness of breath and fainting
- Sudden shortness of breath and coughing up pink mucus
The Following Conditions Can Damage Or Weaken Your Heart Muscle
- High Blood Pressure: If you have high blood pressure, your heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout your body
- Myocarditis: This is the inflammation of the heart
- Chronic diseases such as diabetes, HIV, and hyperthyroidism, can lead to heart failure