Signs and symptoms of heart failure in women - features of early diagnosis

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The term "heart failure" in medicine is understood as the inability of the heart to maintain the blood flow necessary for normal activity of the body.

The situation when the heart can not provide the necessary volume and speed of blood supply arises in two cases - with loads exceeding the natural rate established by nature and with the weakening of the muscular strength of the heart for some reason.

It is the second case that is the subject of medical attention.


General description

  • 1 General description
  • 2 Developmental outcome
  • 3 What affects the sex of the patient on the symptomatology
  • 4 Main features
  • 6 Features that can not be missed
  • 6 What should be the alarm

General description

It should be understood that heart failure is not a disease, but a condition that arose inthe result of the worsening of the work of the victim from heart disease. Reasons :

  • mechanical damage( injury, bruise, contusion);
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  • effects of inflammatory heart disease;
  • disorders caused by the cessation of blood supply of a part of the muscle tissue of the heart itself due to thrombosis or embolism of the feeding vessel( infarction);
  • prolonged overload, which occurs in the pathology of blood vessels, diseases of the respiratory system, heart rhythm disturbances;
  • congenital genetically determined causes( cardiomyopathies).

Please note that the manifestations of the disease may not depend on age: signs of heart failure in women under 40 and after 50 will be the same, and they need to pay attention.

The outcome of the development

The circulatory system supplies the body with the oxygen energy necessary for the course of biochemical cellular reactions.

The level of vital activity is directly related to the effectiveness of blood supply.

Reducing the volume of blood flow to a critical level leads to the arrest of biological processes - death.

The division into acute and chronic insufficiency is determined by the rate of its development.

Acute - suddenly occurring and instantly progressing - in most cases leads to the death of the patient in a short time.

Chronic - slowly but steadily evolving - lends itself to medical correction, the purpose of which is to slow down the process as much as possible. The success of treatment directly depends on the timeliness. The earlier started - the more effective.

Does the sex of the patient affect symptomatology

The weakness of the cardiac muscle is externally manifested:

  • by the rapidity of breathing during normal exercise( dyspnea);
  • increase in the number of cardiac contractions per unit of time( tachycardia);
  • accumulation of fluid in the tissues( edema).

Increased respiratory rate and tachycardia - direct compensatory reactions by the command of the brain, which noted the lack of oxygen delivered by blood. Low oxygen - increase airflow into the lungs .The oxygen content in the blood is normal, but the incoming blood volume is insufficient - to increase the heart beat frequency.

Compensation mechanism is necessary for the work of the organism under varying loading. Increase in respiratory rate and pulse acceleration in this case - the norm .Symptoms of heart failure direct compensation reactions become in case of obvious inadequacy of the degree of their manifestation under insignificant loads or at rest.

What is the cause of edema? Walls of blood vessels have two-sided permeability.

This means that the liquid in an equal volume as it leaves the lumen of the vessels in the tissues located around it, and comes back.

Reduction of cardiac muscle contraction force leads to a slowing of blood flow through the vessels of and disruption of fluid balance in tissues and vascular bed. The outflow from the vessels exceeds the return.

The current increase in the volume of the tissue fluid is called edema.

It is obvious that neither the mechanism of compensatory reactions, nor the regularities manifested in the formation of edema, do not have sexual differences. Symptoms and signs of heart failure are exactly the same for both women and men. And yet take into account the sex of the patient in the diagnosis - it is necessary.

Main manifestations of

It was previously thought that women are less likely to develop heart failure. The leading factor was the protective effect of sexual female hormones - estrogens. Time has shown that this view was incorrect.

The development of society transforms the social environment and changes the conditions of life. If earlier a woman stopping a horse at a gallop and entering a burning hut was the subject of admiring attention and heroine poems, now the emancipation has led to a logical result, and both sexes have become equal - both in terms of status in society, and in terms of social burdens. It is worth adding - and for the disease.

The inertia of established views of physicians and the patients themselves leads to a lack of alertness to the early subtle symptoms of heart failure in women.

The first signs of heart failure in women are minor initially swelling, appearing in the outermost region - at the feet of .

The difficulty of correct diagnosis in women lies in the fact that such swelling is often associated not with the weakening of the heart activity, but with the wearing of shoes.

A high thin heel fixes the foot muscles in a static functionally unfavorable position and causes blood stasis, accompanied by fluid accumulation. Episodes of dyspnea and increased heart rate are written off to female impressionability and emotional excitability.

Features that can not be missed

Unfortunately, the correct diagnosis is more often performed only at the stage when both the patient and the physician can not help but notice noticeable symptoms:

  • constant swelling of the feet( regardless of the severity);
  • shortness of breath with little physical exertion;
  • a strong increase in heart rate with little activity;
  • persistent feeling of fatigue, weakness;
  • may have a feeling of "heaviness" in the heart area.
You can read about the symptoms and the first signs of a stroke in women in a separate article on our website.

How to treat a bradycardia and what it is, you have the opportunity to learn here.

Did you know that an extrasystole can be easily detected using an ECG?What is dangerous for the extrasystole of the heart and what are its signs, we suggest to find out separately.

What should be the alarm signal

With heart failure, the definition of "timely" means - "as soon as possible".

At the first appearance of swelling of the feet, an episode of dyspnea or tachycardia, you should consult the therapist .

Even an ordinary thorough examination without the use of instrumental examination methods, only with the use of palpation, percussion and auscultation, will allow the attentive doctor to confirm or refute the suspicions.

If there is persistent swelling, shortness of breath attracts attention, the heart "pounding in the chest" - delay in visiting a doctor can not be any excuses.

We offer you to watch a video in which Elena Malysheva will talk about chronic heart failure:

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