About Heart Failure
Types of heart failure
There are three main types of heart failure. They are:
- heart failure caused by left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) – this is because the part of the heart that pumps blood around your body (the left ventricle) becomes weak
- heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF) – usually a result of the left ventricle becoming stiff, making it difficult for the heart chamber to fill with blood
- heart failure caused by diseased or damaged heart valves
Causes of Heart Failure
The most common causes of heart failure are:
- Coronary artery disease (CAD), a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. This can weaken the heart muscle over time or suddenly.
- High blood pressure that is not well controlled, leading to problems with stiffness, or eventually leading to muscle weakening.
If you have heart failure you’ll have follow-up your appointments at least every 3 to 6 months with your doctor, but sometimes much more often. You will also have tests to check your heart function. Knowing your body and the symptoms that your heart failure is getting worse will help you stay healthier and out of the hospital. At home, watch for changes in your heart rate, pulse, blood pressure, and weight. Weight gain, especially over a day or two, can be a sign that your body is holding onto extra fluid and your heart failure is getting worse. Talk to your doctor about what you should do if your weight goes up or you develop more symptoms. Limit how much salt you eat. Your doctor may also ask you to limit how much fluid you drink during the day.