What Is Heart Failure? A Quick Explanation

There is a myriad of heart conditions out there, but do you know how to differentiate between them?

Heart failure can be a tricky disease to define and affects over 5 million Americans at present.

In this article, we will give you the information for understanding heart failure and what you can do if you’re diagnosed.

What Is Heart Failure?

Heart failure, also referred to as congestive heart failure, is when the heart can’t pump the blood around the body as well as it should.

Certain health conditions like the narrowly of the arteries in the heart, high blood pressure can cause heart failure and it to weaken.

Because of the name, people wrongly assume that it means that the heart is failing, but it can be managed by certain lifestyle, medication, and dietary changes.

Symptoms of Heart Failure

Heart failure symptoms can be quite straightforward to spot.

It can come on very suddenly or it can gradually get worse over time.

The symptoms include:

  • Swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, abdomen, and veins in the neck
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Fingers and lips become blueish in color
  • Inability to exercise
  • Needing to urinate a lot

If you have several of these symptoms, it’s important that you make an appointment with your doctor ASAP.

Heart Failure Treatment

To prevent any serious side effects of heart failure, you need to mitigate your risks of progressing the disease further.

It’s mostly about making healthy lifestyle changes and considering your heart health.

These things include:

  1. Staying physically active and exercising a couple of times a week.
  2. Losing weight if you are overweight.
  3. Eating healthy foods that are good for your heart and arteries.
  4. Quitting smoking if you smoke.
  5. Managing and reducing stress levels at work and home life.
  6. Take medication and control your blood pressure if it’s higher.
  7. Reducing your cholesterol level if it’s high.

If you would like to learn more about what medicines your doctor can offer you if you’re diagnosed with heart failure, click the link.

Heart Health and Healthy Eating

Reducing your intake of salty, fatty, and processed foods is also key in reducing strain on your heart and arteries.

Here is a list of approved foods that are good for heart health:

  1. Eggplant
  2. Okra
  3. Soy
  4. Fatty fish (two or three times a week instead of red meat)
  5. nuts (almonds, walnuts, or peanuts)
  6. Beans (kidney, lentils, black-eyed peas, and more)
  7. Vegetable oils (sunflower, olive, canola)
  8. Citrus fruits, apples, grapes, and strawberries
  9. Oats
  10. Barley and whole grains

Understanding Heart Failure: The Facts

When it comes to understanding heart failure ignoring it will not solve the problem. You need to take positive and affirmative action in preventing heart failure from getting worse.

By making these lifestyle changes and taking the right medication, you can live with the disease in a manageable way.

If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, check out the others!

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