What causes heart failure and how is it diagnosed?

What causes heart failure?

Several conditions can increase the likelihood of developing heart failure—some of these can be controlled, but others cannot.

Some of the common conditions are:

  • Diabetes
  • History of heart attack or coronary artery disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Being overweight
  • Heart problems you were born with (congenital heart defects)

Patients with Type 2 Diabetes have more than double the risk of developing heart failure18 How is heart failure diagnosed?

Doctors typically diagnose heart failure by gathering information and running tests:

  • Medical history
  • Physical exam
  • Chest X-ray
  • Signs and symptoms
  • Blood tests
  • Echocardiogram

What to expect if you have heart failure

Hearing that you have heart failure can be frightening, and can impact loved ones as well. It can become harder to stay positive. Favourite activities may become hard to do. The loss of independence is discouraging. Aside from the emotional struggles, there can be practical stresses as well.

Caregivers are often the trusted champions of people with heart failure. But they may have to balance their added responsibilities with their own personal lives, figure out the logistics of multiple doctor’s appointments, and handle employment and financial issues that can arise.

Your doctor will likely begin treating you by recommending changes in your lifestyle habits and prescribing certain medicines, which can help you feel better.

10 September 2020

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