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.