Recognizing Heart Failure: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment


In Germany around three million people are affected by heart failure, of which 50,000 die every year. Many of them don’t even know they are sick. We tell you which signals you can use to recognize heart failure and what causes and treatment options are available.

Definition: With heart failure – also known as heart failure or heart failure – the heart can no longer pump enough blood around the body.

When the heart’s pumping capacity decreases

“Chronic heart failure is a disease in which the pumping capacity of the heart decreases so much that not enough blood and therefore not enough oxygen and nutrients are pumped into organs such as the brain, kidneys or muscles,” explains Professor Michael Boehm from the Department of Internal Medicine. Saarland University Hospital in the information brochure of the German Heart Foundation “The weak heart”.

Symptoms: Ten warning signs indicate heart failure

Heart failure has typical symptoms that should be taken seriously. The German Heart Association advises you to act and consult a doctor if you have the following symptoms:

  1. shortness of breath
  2. decreasing efficiency
  3. rapid fatigue
  4. Chest pain
  5. Cardiac arrhythmia
  6. Water retention in the legs
  7. night cough
  8. Loss of appetite, sudden weight loss
  9. Dizzy spells
  10. urinate more

The most common causes heart failure

Coronary artery disease (CHD) is the cause of heart failure in two-thirds of all cases: “With coronary artery disease, heart failure usually develops after several heart attacks or after a very extensive first heart attack,” writes the Dutch Heart Foundation. This destroys so much heart muscle tissue that the heart can no longer perform its activity properly.

Another major trigger is a longstanding one high blood pressurethis is not dealt with, or only inadequately. Myocarditis, a congenital heart defect, alcohol, drugs, and certain medications such as those used to treat malignancies can also lead to a weak heart.

Weak heart: therapy opportunities

At an advanced stage, heart failure can endanger the patient’s life. The earlier heart failure is detected, the sooner the disease can be stopped or slowed down.

Chronic heart failure often cannot be cured, but it can be treated. Therapy aims to do this Heart- to relieve with the help of certain drugs. Depending on the symptoms, the doctor may prescribe tablets with antihypertensive and drying effects or drugs to stabilize the heart rhythm.

Important note: The information is not a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and licensed doctors. The content of t-online cannot and should not be used for the independent diagnosis or initiation of treatment.

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