The heart plays an important role in pumping blood to all parts of the body. Adequately meets the blood demand of various organs of the body at all times. In case of heart diseases, its pumping capacity decreases. If it decreases to the extent that it cannot meet the demands of the body, it is heart failure .leading to a state of A person having a heart attack will feel tired and have trouble breathing. In such a case, excess water accumulates in the body, causing the body to swell and gain weight. Swelling of the feet, bloating of the stomach and accumulation of water in the chest can cause a person to suffocate when lying down. If it is left as it is, there is further danger. In such a case even simple daily activities become very difficult for the person. A person may become so out of breath and tired that they cannot get out of bed and go to the bathroom. A person with a problem can speak out of breath!
What are the causes of heart failure?
Heart diseases can damage or weaken the heart. It can also lead to heart failure. One of the most common causes of heart failure or heart failure is coronary artery disease. In this, there is a blockage or blockage in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. It can cause heart attack and damage the heart muscle. Conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure can directly affect the heart muscle or lead to coronary artery disease and heart failure. Defective heart valves can gradually lead to heart failure.
What is cardiomyopathy?
Cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart muscle weakens. It can be idiopathic (weakening of the heart muscle without or without known cause) or caused by alcohol, viral myocarditis, cancer-treatment drugs, drugs like cocaine, etc.
Alert; Due to intense emotional and physical stress, the heart muscle is weak
Sometimes after severe emotional or physical stress the heart muscle weakens, enlarges and leads to heart attack. This is called ‘broken heart syndrome’ or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. In congenital heart disease, the heart does not form properly. People are born with such defects. It can lead to heart failure.
Heart failure is easy to diagnose. Cardiovascular health history, physical examination, some blood tests, X-ray, ECG and echocardiogram are some of the routine tests done to diagnose heart disease and heart failure. Sometimes a CT scan and MRI may be necessary.
How is the treatment?
In most patients, heart failure can be effectively managed with medications and simple measures. Sometimes hospitalization and administration of injections may be required. The root cause should be corrected if possible. This may require heart surgery. In some patients, the condition may worsen to the point where medications are ineffective. This is called terminal heart failure. Treatment options are available for such patients as well. One of them is a heart transplant. A healthy heart is transplanted into a brain-dead or brain-incapacitated person. After the transplant, one can lead a normal life with some restrictions and precautions.
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How does an artificial heart work? What is the benefit of artificial heart transplant?
Heart transplantation is very successful today and the whole process is very standardized. Artificial hearts are also available today for some patients with terminal heart failure, if a suitable heart is not available. These are small pumping devices that are implanted in the chest just below the heart. A set of rechargeable batteries and a controller are placed in a small case outside the body and connected by a cable that passes through the skin to the pump inside.
These devices are getting smaller and more efficient with the availability of advanced technologies. These devices can be installed completely without any external components. The batteries are then charged transcutaneously, which is across the skin! Fortunately, all these treatment options are available across our country. Patients from abroad are also coming to India for this treatment.
A sedentary lifestyle is as bad as smoking!
However, the best treatment is to prevent heart problems from occurring. One should try to lead a healthy life and avoid these problems. Build a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise. A sedentary lifestyle is as bad as smoking! Exercise has many benefits beyond maintaining body fitness. Eat a balanced diet with plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Watch your weight and avoid gaining too much. Avoid smoking. Alcohol is not good. If there is diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, it should be identified and treated accordingly. Most people can cure it with diet and exercise.
Sometimes medication is needed. Reduce mental stress. Yoga and meditation can be done for this. Spend time with family and friends, pursue hobbies. Check your health regularly. If a problem is identified, solve it immediately with the help of experts. Do not succumb to homemade and self-medication.
Everyone should take responsibility for maintaining not only their own heart health but also the health of their family and friends.
Dr. Rajesh TR (Author Consultant, Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgeon, Kaveri Hospital, Electronic City, Bangalore)
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