Heart Failure

The principal functions of the heart are to receive blood from the veins, send it to the lungs for oxygenation, and pump the oxygenated blood to the body. Heart failure occurs when there is a substantial disruption of these functions secondary to a loss of normal contractile ability. 1 Heart failure that results in abnormal fluid retention is commonly referred to as congestive heart failure (CHF). The major clinical manifestation of heart failure is shortness of breath, especially with exercise. The heart may fail when it performs excessive work for a prolonged period, such as in patients with hypertension and valvular heart disease. Heart failure is also seen in a variety of infectious, inflammatory, and infiltrative conditions that affect heart muscle. In the acute setting, heart failure is commonly due to a loss of heart muscle via infarction or to a loss of nourishment via ischemia.1,2 The common causes of heart failure are summarized in Table 49-1.1,2,,3456,Z.,8 and 9

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Reducing Blood Pressure Naturally

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