Understanding what causes Heart Failure
Heart Failure may start suddenly, and you may feel symptoms immediately, or it may start slowly and progress unnoticed for some time. Some patients do not realize that they have heart failure because they believe that their symptoms are just indications of getting older. The condition typically starts after there is some sort of injury to the heart muscle (e.g. a heart attack), and over time, the unusual stresses placed on the heart muscle cause the disease to progressively worsen.
“Heart failure is a problem for the most common reason is people who’ve had heart attacks or blockages in their coronary arteries. That is the most common reason that people have heart failure. But in about a third of patients, we’re not able to diagnose why they have heart failure in the first place.”
The heart can be affected in two ways, either becoming weak and unable to pump enough blood on each beat, or it can become stiff and unable to adequately fill with blood before each beat. In either case, the heart may reach the point where it is unable to pump enough blood to the body’s organs and tissues. When the body cannot get enough blood, inadequate supplies oxygen and nutrients cannot be delivered, and symptoms will start to emerge.
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