Understanding Heart Failure
Many people do not have a fundamental understanding of heart failure. The name itself almost implies that the heart has completely stopped working, but that is not necessarily the case. What it does mean is that it is no longer able to pump effectively as it was designed to do. In other words, it has to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. Eventually, it becomes more and more inefficient as it stretches and stiffens over time. Typically, the heart beats faster and harder than normal during the beginning stages of heart failure, and as the disease progresses, it grows weaker and weaker. In more advanced stages, it is unable to contract with the force that is needed to sufficiently pump blood throughout the body and it continues to grow weaker still. Eventually, it can cause severe arrhythmia. People that live with advanced heart failure typically die because of heart rhythm disorders, because blood has backed up into the lungs and they are no longer able to breathe, or because the heart itself is simply no longer able to put up with the strain and stops functioning.
HN_BB_Heart_Disease_3_prevent-img_1280x720Habits That Lead to Heart Failure
What are some of the most common habits that lead to heart failure? Without a doubt, one of the most frequent behaviors is leading a sedentary lifestyle. People that fail to get the exercise that they need and who eat unhealthy foods that are packed with fat, preservatives and sugar have a higher incidence of heart failure than those that refrain from these habits. Typically, any type of lifestyle that is unhealthy, such as smoking or drinking, also can be related to heart failure. Many of these lifestyles lead to an increased possibility of suffering a heart attack, which can easily cause heart failure as a complication. Of course, there are times when it simply exists through no fault of the individual involved. This happens when there is some structural problem with the heart or there is a pre-existing condition that could not be averted through changes in lifestyle.
Managing Your Life While Living with Heart Failure
When people initially get the diagnosis of heart failure, they typically feel like their entire life has come to an abrupt end. However, the disease can be managed, sometimes for years. Mild cases can even be reversed in some instances. For those who are unable to reverse the disease, medication and lifestyle changes can make a huge difference. In many cases, they are able to lead relatively normal lives, even do mild exercise. Eventually, the disease will take its toll but many people can live it for up to a decade. In fact, those who are suffering from the disease must make the lifestyle changes in order to manage it effectively. It makes it even more important to eat healthy, get exercise and get plenty of rest, not to mention managing stress. By doing all of these things and taking medication, the disease can be kept at bay for some time.