Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure or congestive cardiac failure, is a condition in which the heart is unable to pump an adequate supply of blood to the body’s tissues. The main body organs and tissues are therefore deprived from oxygen and nutrients, and, as a result, do not function properly. It can also lead to oedema, which is the build-up of fluids in the tissues.
There are different types of heart failure:
- Left-sided heart failure, in which fluid may back up in the lungs and cause shortness of breath
- Right-sided heart failure, in which fluid may back up into your abdomen, legs and feet, causing swelling
- Systolic heart failure, which results when the left ventricle is unable to contract sufficiently
- Diastolic heart failure, which results when the left ventricle is unable to relax or fill fully
Heart failure is a chronic condition with serious consequences. It affects your general well-being including your mental, physical and social status, and its prevalence increases with age. There is no cure for heart failure, but a combination of lifestyle changes, medications and sometimes surgery can help in the management and the treatment of this condition.