7 Lifestyle Modifications That Can Protect You From Heart Failure
Heart Failure (HF), also known as congestive heart failure, refers to the condition when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. HF should not be confused with cardiac arrest, in which the heart stops beating completely. Instead, HF is the inadequate functioning of the heart muscle. The condition can either be acute, meaning it occurs rapidly and generally on a short-term basis, or chronic, which means it occurs over the long term.
In this article, Dr Saurabh Deshpande, Consultant Cardiac Electrophysiologist, Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai, talks about what heart failure looks like, and what happens to the body when a person is getting an attack.
Types of Heart Failure
There are three types of heart failure:
Left-sided HF: This is the most common type of HF. The symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeat, swelling of the legs (and sometimes whole body), and fatigue.
Right-sided HF: This is frequently caused by left-sided HF. When it occurs as a standalone condition, the main problem may be in the lungs and not the heart.
Biventricular HF: This is present in both the ventricles. The symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, and swelling.
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Causes Of Heart Failure
HF often occurs due to another medical condition that causes heart damage, like, cardiomyopathy, valvular heart disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes, high inflammation, high blood pressure, and rapid heart rate.
Lifestyle Modifications To Keep The Heart Healthy
Heart-related complications are a result of the lifestyle habits that one is following. When it comes to managing it, here are some changes that one should make to stay safe from the health challenges:
Follow a low-sodium diet
Avoid drinking excessive alcohol
Stay away from stress
Give your body enough rest
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
“When a patient is experiencing abnormal heart rhythm which can be life-threatening, implantable defibrillators or ICDs are used to give an electric shock to the heart to save the patient’s life. Some patients may also experience HF due to abnormal conduction of the electrical system of the heart, which alters how efficiently the heart beats. In such a situation, Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), also known as biventricular pacing, may be recommended. In these cases, a particular pacemaker is used to make the ventricles contract in sync with each other. This therapy can enhance cardiac function, lower the risk of hospitalization, and increase survival,” Dr. Deshpande said.