Heart failure: when the heart is weak

Heart failure: when the heart is weak

In case of heart failure, the pumping capacity of the heart is reduced. Organs and tissue are no longer supplied with sufficient blood. Those affected suffer from shortness of breath - initially only during physical exertion, later also at rest.

Cardiac insufficiency is always the result of another disease. The causes can be diagnosed and treated very precisely today. The earlier this is done, the greater the chance of effectively treating heart failure.

Numerous medications can have a beneficial effect on cardiac insufficiency. In some cases, the implantation of a special pacemaker can also be helpful. Defibrillators are used to protect against life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia as a result of cardiac insufficiency. If the disease is at an advanced stage, an artificial heart system can also be used.

Causes and characteristics of heart failure are

The main causes of heart failure are

  • calcifications of the coronary arteries
  • Previous infarcts
  • Heart muscle diseases and inflammations
  • Hypertension Heart valve defects

Heart failure is usually manifested by dizziness, dyspnoea or shortness of breath, caused by the one-sided strain on our heart chambers. Mostly shortness of breath is the leading symptom.

Our left ventricle pumps oxygen-rich blood from the lungs into the body in the so-called great circulation (body circulation). The right ventricle pumps the oxygen-poor blood, which flows back from the organs, muscles and other tissues, into the lungs, where it is enriched with oxygen again (pulmonary circulation).

The two sides of heart failure

With left-sided cardiac insufficiency (left heart failure), the left half of the heart works insufficiently and the blood accumulates in the lungs (congested lung). Water accumulates in the lungs up to pulmonary oedema

With right-sided cardiac insufficiency (right heart failure), the blood accumulates in the tissues of the body. Water accumulates in the body (e.g. in both legs, in the abdominal cavity and in the liver). If the pumping function of both heart chambers is restricted, this is called global heart failure.

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