what is heart failure | Dr Raghu


Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. It’s a serious condition that requires treatment by your doctor, but there are several options available. If you’re concerned about heart failure and want to know more about your options for treatment, keep reading.

Heart failure treatment

What Is Heart Failure?

Heart failure occurs when your heart doesn’t pump blood as well as it should due to one or more problems with its cardiac function. The heart can’t pump blood as well because it has to work harder than normal just in order to keep up with the body’s needs for oxygen and nutrients. The extra effort causes structural changes in the heart over time.

Types of Heart Failure

Although there are many specific types of heart failure, the two broad categories are as follows:

  • Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction or diastolic heart failure
  • Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction or systolic heart failure

Heart failure can also be categorized depending on the side of the heart that’s affected. These include:

  • Left-sided heart failure
  • Right-sided heart failure

The treatment of heart failure depends on the type of heart failure you’ve developed. The most common treatment options include:


Beta-blockers are a class of drugs that slow your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and reduce the force of contraction in your heart muscle. They work by blocking the effect of certain hormones that cause the heart to beat quickly. 

Beta-blockers can help you feel better if you have high blood pressure or chest pain (angina) due to coronary artery disease or atherosclerosis. But they’re not recommended for people who have low blood pressure (hypotension).

ACE Inhibitors

ACE inhibitors are a class of drugs that lower blood pressure and reduce the workload of the heart. They are used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, and kidney problems.

ACE inhibitors include:

  • Captopril 
  • Enalapril
  • Lisinopril 
  • Ramipril 


If you have heart failure, your doctor may prescribe digoxin. This medication is used to slow the heart rate and increase its force of contraction in order to improve blood flow to the body. 


Diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), furosemide and torsemide help your kidneys get rid of excess fluid. If you have heart failure or high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe a diuretic.

Diuretics can cause side effects like dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. They also interact with other medications. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any drug interactions before taking them.

Aldosterone Antagonists

Aldosterone antagonists work by blocking the effect of aldosterone, a hormone that causes your body to hold on to sodium and water. This excess fluid can cause heart failure symptoms, including swelling and shortness of breath.

Aldosterone antagonists are used to treat primary hypertension (high blood pressure) or heart failure. They work best when combined with other medications that block the action of angiotensin II (a hormone secreted by the kidneys).

In Conclusion

Heart failure can be managed with a variety of medications, and in some cases, it may even go away on its own. If you have heart failure, talk to your doctor about what treatments might help you feel better and live longer. We hope this article has given you some insight into the different types of treatments available and how they work!

If you or anyone you know has been experiencing symptoms of heart failure, feel free to reach out to Dr. C Raghu, one of India’s leading cardiologists.

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      What is Heart Failure? 

      Heart failure is not a single disease instead it is a constellation of symptoms. In this disease the heart  is unable to meet the requirements of the body by its inability to pump or be able to do so by increasing the filling pressures so that it might pump effectively.

      Heart Failure

      Heart Failure is not a disease but a  group of symptoms. It is the result of  many diseases affecting not only the  heart but other organs of body.

      Related : Types of Heart Failure

      Heart Failure vs Heart attack vs Cardiac Arrest

      All the three terms refer to different medical issues.

      • Heart failure is consequent to inefficient functioning of heart.
      • Heart attack is due to the interruption of blood supply to the heart.
      • Cardiac arrest is a situation where the heart stops to beat.

      Symptoms of Heart Failure

      Inefficient functioning of the heart leads to fluid logging in the body

      • Fluid logging in the lungs – presents as breathlessness – Left Heart failure in medical parlance Early stages of heart failure – breathlessness can be present on walking.
      • Advanced stages of heart failure –Breathlessness can be present at rest or, Inability to lie flat or may be awakened from sleep.
      • Fluid accumulation in other organs of the body – Right heart failure in medical parlance Legs causing swelling of the feet, Swelling of face, abdomen, Pain in upper right abdomen.
      • Heart failure symptoms which are related to the lungs are called left heart failure symptoms, those symptoms which are related to other organs are called right heart failure symptoms.
      • Concept of left and right heart
      • failure is important in treatment
      Related : What Is Systolic Heart Failure?

      What causes heart failure?

      Heart failure is a result of many disease processes in the body. Common among them being: Coronary artery disease

      • The most common disease that is responsible for heart failure is coronary artery disease. • Coronary artery disease means accumulation of cholesterol in the blood vessels supplying the heart leading to interruption of blood supply to the heart.This interruption of blood supply can either directly reduce the blood supply to the heart resulting in dysfunction or can cause heart attack which can also reduce the heart pumping ability.
      • Common diseases – such as diabetes, hypertension and sometimes abnormalities of the valves of the heart and fast beating of the heart of which most commonly atrial fibrillation can all result in reduced efficiency of the heart.

      In addition, advanced age itself beyond the age of 65-70 the efficiency of the heart reduces leading to heart failure.

      What tests are required for diagnosis of heart failure?

      The tests for the diagnosis of heart failure are

      • Imaging test
      • ECG
      • Blood test

      Blood tests in heart failure :

      • The most common blood test that is done is a pro-BNP test. If it is less than 125, we can safely exclude heart failure as the cause for breathlessness.
      • In addition, we look at presence of Anaemia, Renal dysfunction and blood glucose elevation in a patient with heart failure.

      Electrocardiogram (ECG) : This remains an important test

      Electrocardiogram (ECG) : This remains an important test

      ecg report

      • Can detect the presence of previous heart attack.
      • Irregular heart beat – most common is atrial fibrillation.
      • Presence of any Bundle branch block.

      Echocardiogram : The most common and important test for the diagnosis of heart failure is the  echocardiogram where we estimate the left ventricular ejection fraction (measures the pumping  ability of the heart) or in short called as EF.

      Other test done to manage heart failure are cardiac MRI and nuclear test.

      Related : Heart Failure – Role of Electrocardiogram (ECG)

      What is the role of Angiography in heart  failure?

      For every 3 patients with heart failure 2 have underlying obstruction to the heart’s blood supply. Identifying this is super important because removal of these obstructions by angioplasty and stent can lead to improved cardiac function. 

      The blood vessels supplying the heart are the  coronary arteries and obstructions are called coronary artery disease. So, whenever there is a  coronary artery disease, we can identify that only by performing a coronary angiography.

      The major advantage of this investigation is apart from diagnosis in coronary artery disease, in case  if any blocks in heart vessels are identified they can be treated by performing a balloon angioplasty  and a stent procedure.

      The benefit of removing the cholesterol plaques in the heart vessels is that – there can be a strong  chance for the heart functioning to recover once the blood flow is restored back to the heart.

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          Call us now if you are in a medical emergency need, we will reply swiftly and provide you with a medical aid.


          Call us now if you are in a medical emergency need, we will reply swiftly and provide you with a medical aid.

          Dr. Raghu | Heart Specialist in Hyderabad
          Aster Prime Hospital, Plot No: 2, Mytri Vihar, Satyam Theatre Lane Nearest Metro Station: Ameerpet Metro (100 Mtrs), Telangana 500016

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