How to detect heart failure

Written by: Dr. Eduardo Alegría Ezquerra
Published: | Updated: 06/02/2019
Edited by: Roser Bernés Ubasos

arterial hypertension

What are the first signs that warn us to be suffering heart failure?

The most striking signs are dyspnea (shortness of breath, especially with exercise training) and water retention that can be seen with edema, ie, swelling of the ankles; in addition to increased abdominal girth, people notice that every time it costs more buttoning skirt, pants or belt or sudden weight gain.


What are its causes?

The most common is high blood pressure controlled long evolution or insufficiently. It can also occur after acute cardiac complications such as myocardial infarction or chronic situations such as malfunction or wear heart valves. There are many other less common causes, such as cardiomyopathies or toxic substances such as alcohol excessively. Diabetes also   It contributes greatly.


What people are more predisposed? Can it be prevented in any way?

Undoubtedly heart failure is a common disease of the elderly, in which the high frequency of hypertension are added, the progressively greater stiffness of the left ventricle (which is known as diastolic dysfunction) that alters its filling and contributes to the retention liquids and the appearance of a disorder increasingly common as rhythm is atrial fibrillation, which worsens the picture.

Preventing the occurrence of failure it is based on hypertension: often measure blood pressure, low-salt diet, weight control, avoiding alcohol and taking prescribed medication.

Another aspect is how to prevent the person with stable chronic heart failure present exacerbations ( "decompensation"). The main causes of these episodes are taking anti - inflammatories, excess salt, abandonment of medication and intercurrent infections.


What is your treatment?

The lifestyle advice is essential. To treat water retention Diuretics are used, which they are dosed according to the degree. To control the process and prevent its progression based in cardiology there are two basic groups of drugs: inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone axis and beta blockers. There are other complementary drugs for certain cases.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Eduardo Alegría Ezquerra

Prestigious specialist in Cardiology, Dr. Alegría Ezquerra has a degree in Medicine from the University of Navarra and a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Navarra since 1975.

For more than 20 years he was Director of the Coronary Unit at the University Clinic and between 2009 and 2014 he was Director of the Integrated Cardiology Service at the Gipuzkoa Polyclinic. It also belongs to the steering committee of the MESYAS study (metabolic syndrome in active subjects), to the advisory committee of the European Society of Cardiology (cardiovascular, lipid and diabetes prevention) and since 2009 of the Steering Committee of the Society's Preventive Cardiology section Spanish Cardiology.

Throughout his career he has combined his care work with teaching as an assistant and assistant professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Navarra for more than 35 years. Its multitude of publications and communications to scientific congresses of national and international scope seal a first level trajectory.

Currently, he is a consultant to the Cardiology Service of the Gipuzkoa Polyclinic and Director of the online educational platform of the Spanish Society of Cardiology.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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