Heart failure is a condition in which the cardiovascular system is unable to provide sufficient blood circulation. Disorders develop due to the fact that the heart contracts insufficiently and pushes to the artery less blood than necessary to meet the needs of the body.
Symptoms of heart failure
Symptoms of heart failure include increased fatigue, intolerance to physical exertion, shortness of breath, and swelling. People can live for decades with this disease, but without proper treatment. Heart failure can lead to life-threatening consequences: pulmonary edema and cardiogenic shock.
Causes of the disease
Among the most common causes of heart failure are myocardial infarction and ischemic heart disease. They are followed by rheumatic heart diseases and dilated cardiomyopathy. In the over 60 age group, in addition to ischemic heart disease, heart failure is also caused by hypertension. In elderly patients, a frequent cause of heart failure is type 2 diabetes and its combination with arterial hypertension.
Risk factors for the development of the disease
Among the factors that provoke the development of heart failure are the following:
- overstrain of physical and psycho-emotional abilities;
- arrhythmias, pulmonary embolism, hypertensive crises, progression of ischemic heart disease;
- pneumonia, acute respiratory infections, anemia, kidney failure, hyperthyroidism;
- taking cardiotoxic drugs, medicines promoting fluid retention (NSAIDs, estrogens, corticosteroids), increasing blood pressure (isadrine, ephedrine, adrenaline);
- pronounced and rapidly increase in body weight, alcoholism;
- myocarditis, rheumatism, infectious endocarditis;
- non-compliance with recommendations for the treatment of chronic heart failure.
Unlike the causes, the risk factors are potentially reversible, and their reduction or elimination can delay the aggravation of heart failure and even save the patient’s life.
Heart failure is a consequence of various diseases and conditions, both cardiovascular and others. In order to establish the presence of heart failure, it is sometimes enough to have a regular medical examination, whereas a number of diagnostic methods may be needed to clarify its causes.
If you have found signs or symptoms of this disease, do not delay visiting a doctor. The disease is easier to prevent than treat.
Treatment of heart failure
Treatment of acute heart failure includes inhalation of oxygen, taking drugs for improving the contractile capacity of the myocardium, vasodilators (mainly nitrates), etc. In the treatment of chronic heart failure an important role is played by the modification of lifestyle (controlled physical activity, quitting bad habits), psychological rehabilitation of patients, proper diet and drug therapy (beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors and others).
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