Heart And Its Functions: Congestive Heart Failure And Treatments
The heart is one of the major and most important internal organs in your body. Its role which is mainly to pump oxygenated blood is second to none. When the heart stops, all other bodily functions do too. It is why a person is pronounced brain-dead when the heart is unable to pump blood, which means the lungs stop working and the brain is without oxygen for minutes. Manyhailment befalls the heart and one which is very popular is conductive heart failure, which may be caused by many preexisting ailments. To know about how you can manage it, check out heart failure treatment in New Jersey.
There are so many things you need to know about your heart, the four chambers, the functions and so many more.
The four chambers of the heart consist of two small upper chambers called the atria and then two larger lower chambers called the ventricles. The left and right sides of the heart are then separated by a wall of muscle called the septum.
Functions of the heart
The main functions of the heart include
- Pumping of oxygenated blood to other parts of the body.
- Pumping of hormones and other vital substances to different body parts.
- Receiving deoxygenated blood and then carrying metabolic waste products from the body, and also pumping it to the lungs for oxygenation.
- Preserving blood pressure.
Congestive heart failure (CHF)
Heart failure is a chronic condition in whereby the heart does not pump blood as it should. It can occur when the heart cannot pump (systolic) or fill (diastolic) adequately.
Many procedures can be used in diagnosing CHF, but first, your medical history needs to be known. Some risk factors make you susceptible to CHF, such as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and/or diabetes.
When your doctor wants to diagnose you, he/she crosses these risks out and then listens to your lung’s fluid buildup, and lung congestion and also listens to your heart for murmurs or shooting sounds. These may suggest impending heart failure. They may also check for fluid buildup in your legs and abdomen, after which the following tests would be carried out:
- Blood test
- Chest x-ray
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Stress test
- Cardiac computerised tomography scan (CT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Cardiac angiogram
- Myocardial biopsy
Classes of heart failure
- Class I, no symptoms
- Class II, shortness of breath and fatigue after doing anything strenuous.
- Class III, find it difficult to compel day-to-day activities.
- Class IV, has shortness of breath even while doing nothing.
Different treatments may be employed, either surgery and/or medications.
Classes of medications that you may use include
- Angiotensin-converting enzymes, eg, lisinopril, captopril, enalapril, etc.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers, eg candesartan, valsartan, losartan, etc.
- Beta-blockers, eg bisoprolol, carvedilol, atenolol, propranolol, metoprolol etc.
- Diuretics, also known as water pills eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, chlorthalidone etc.
- Aldosterone antagonists eg spironolactone.
- Other medications include digoxin, hydrazine, and cholesterol-lowering drugs like atorvastatin, simvastatin or blood thinning medications and/or antiplatelets such as clopidogrel.
Surgery treatments include
- Coronary bypass surgery
- Heart valve repair or replacement
- Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs)
- Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT)
- Ventricular assist devices (VADs)
- And lastly, a heart transplant