What is heart failure?  What are the causes and treatment methods?

What is heart failure? What are the causes and treatment methods?

“What causes shortness of breath?” one of the possibilities that comes to mind in the question of heart failure; It can occur due to heart valve diseases, congenital heart diseases or viruses. Such as weakness, fatigue, frequent urination at night, swelling in the ankles can manifest with symptoms. Request causes, symptoms of heart failure and treatment methods Answers to the curious questions about …

This content has been prepared with the contributions of Anadolu Medical Center.

What is the incidence and frequency of heart failure?

Heart failure usually occurs in older ages. Although Turkey is not clear figures, the incidence of which two thousand 50s, 80s in age is rising to 4%. Thanks to the developing medical treatments, with timely intervention, many deadly heart diseases, especially heart attacks, which cause people to die at an early age, can now be successfully treated. Patients who survived a heart attack, depending on the degree of damage during the crisis, heart failure they become candidates. The incidence of heart failure is similar in men and women. More vascular occlusion in men, high blood pressure-related heart failure in women are seen. Therefore, these differences balance each other. Heart failure caused by severe valvular diseases, congenital heart diseases and viruses also occurs in the 30s and 40s.

The first sign of heart failure shortness of breath. When the pumping power of the heart decreases, the heart cannot adequately transfer the blood that comes from the lungs, which is cleared, to the organs. Since the blood that the heart cannot distribute to the body accumulates in the form of water in the lungs, it causes shortness of breath. Other symptoms accompanying shortness of breath, especially when moving or exercising, are weakness, fatigue and sometimes cough. Frequent urination at night and swelling in the ankles are also symptoms suggestive of heart failure. In the later stages of the disease, the person wakes up from sleep due to shortness of breath, feels the need to lie down on a high pillow and sitting.

How is heart failure diagnosed?

Patients with such complaints must be evaluated by a specialist. The pre-diagnosis of heart failure can be made easily with the style of the patient’s complaints, examination, electrocardiography and chest x-ray. But the method that will make the definitive diagnosis is echocardiography, in other words ultrasonography of the heart. With echocardiography, heart failure is easily diagnosed by evaluating the size of the heart, pumping power, valves and making various measurements. Some blood tests can also reveal whether the person has heart failure. When the heart grows and the pressure rises in the heart chambers, the heart muscle releases a hormone called BNP. The fact that this hormone is above a certain value in the blood test can easily distinguish whether the problem is caused by the heart or the lungs in people with shortness of breath.

Treatment varies according to each stage and cause. In the first phase, studies are carried out to reduce the risk of people at risk. Blood pressure is treated, the person is asked to lose weight, lifestyle changes such as exercise, quitting smoking, avoiding stress, salt restriction are planned. In people who are in the second stage and whose vascular occlusion has not yet turned into heart failure, vascular occlusion is primarily treated. The cholesterol that causes this is tried to be brought under control. At this stage, treatment to strengthen the heart and reduce its burden is required. First of all, drug therapy is tried. Very good results are obtained by treating patients with medication from three or four different groups. At this stage, in addition to drug therapy against heart failure, elimination of vascular occlusion can also be performed by stenting or by-pass. Surgical methods come into play in severe valve problems and in cases where medications are not sufficient. In very advanced stages, heart-assist pumps and heart transplantation are also among the important surgical treatment options.

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