Heart failure is a serious medical condition that occurs when your heart does not pump the blood in the body like it is supposed to. What this means is that the blood that is present in your body doesn’t have the ability to deliver sufficient oxygen to your body so it can work correctly. Heart failure does not mean that your heart will stop working but it does mean that your heart is having a hard time meeting the needs of your body. The are six main causes of heart failure: coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, congenital heart defects, drug abuse, heart valve disease and inflammation of the heart.
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease is a condition that is brought on when plaque (a waxy substance) collects inside the arteries of your heart. The job of these arteries is to supply the muscle in your heart with blood that is rich in oxygen. When this plaque builds up in your arteries, it restricts the flow of blood to your heart. In addition, this plaque build up increases the chance that blood clots will form in your arteries. Blood clots have the tendency to block the flow of blood, whether partially or fully. Coronary heart disease may also lead to other things as well including heart damage and heart attack.
High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is known as the pressure of blood pushing against the artery walls. In the event that this pressure increases and stays elevated over a period of time, it can cause your heart to become weak and may also cause plaque to build up.
Congenital Heart Defects
There are some types of congenital heart defects that may lead to heart failure. Congenital heart defects are those that develop before birth and can occur in the chambers, vessels or valves of the heart. The most common defect is a hole in the heart and occurs when the muscular wall that separates the right and left ventricle of the heart fails to form fully.
Long-term drug use can have a great effect on your heart. Also, injecting drugs can lead to significant heart problems down the road. The drugs that are most commonly found in heart failure include cocaine, heroin, inhalants, LSD, MDMA, methamphetamine, PCP, prescription stimulants and steroids.
Heart Valve Disease
Your heart valves are responsible for making sure that your blood flows in the right direction instead of the wrong one through your heart. In the event that your heart valves do not properly function, this means that they will not close or open the right way each time your heart beats. This is a problem because it means your heart has to work overtime to be sure the blood is moving the right way. This additional work may prove to be too much for you heart and heart failure may develop.
Inflammation of the Heart
Inflammation of the heart is also called myocarditis. It is the inflammation of the heart muscle, which is responsible for contracting and releasing so that blood can pump in and out of the heart properly. Once this muscle gets inflamed, it can no longer do the pumping job as well as it normal can. This disease is mainly caused by infections that are fungal, viral or bacterial that makes their way to your heart.
Naturally, these six only begin to scratch the surface on the causes of heart failure. Protect yourself and your loved ones, and have your heart checked once every six months to a year by a professional.