There are two different interpretations of ‘heart failure’, one by the lay man and the other by medical world. A lay man terms heart failure as the complete stoppage of the working of our heart. But in medical term, heart failure means heart is not pumping adequate amount of blood as it normally does.
Normally, a healthy heart delivers nutrients and oxygen-rich blood throughout our body’s cells. If the cells are getting their nutrients and oxygen adequately, they can function well and in normal way.
Clinical meaning of heart failure
Clinically, a heart failure means heart cannot supply enough blood to our body system. This results in shortness of breath and fatigue. A person with the problem has difficulty in walking, carrying groceries or climbing stairs.
Heart failure is always a serious condition, in some cases no cure can be provided to the affected person. However, many are there who can lead a normal life with the situation, provided they are under doctor’s observation and with medications and that of course with proper lifestyle changes. The situation also needs proper support of the friends &family members, who can well understand the affected person.
Normal working of our heart
Normally our heart, a little larger than our fist, is a muscular organ and a strong pumping system. Our total blood circulatory systems are connected with this invaluable organ.
Our heart has 4 chambers, which are equally divided in the two sides, left & right. Two lower chambers are known as ventricles and two upper chambers are known as atria; each one of them in singular number is called ‘atrium’.
Left atrium of our lungs gets oxygen-rich blood, after that the blood travels to the left ventricle, from where the blood is pumped to the rest of our body. The job of our right atrium is to receive oxygen-depleted blood from our body system and to send it to the lungs by taking the service of right ventricle.
Importance of all the four chambers of our heart
A highly organized contraction helps our blood to pump blood to all the body tissues and lungs by the sequences of our heart’s four chambers. These sequences of chambers maintain proper functioning of our heart. This means all the chambers of our heart must work in sequence, otherwise of it can be known as heart failure.
Heart failure is a chronic as well progressive condition. If our heart muscles cannot pump required amount of blood to our entire body for meeting the oxygen quantity, the condition is termed as ‘heart failure’. It can be said in other way that in this condition our heart fails to meet the adequate supply of blood & oxygen requirements to our entire body system.
What heart tries but fails:
Our heart fails to enlarge to its strength. In normal condition, our heart stretches itself more and also adequately contracts itself in reverse way. By this way it can pump more and more blood.
In healthy condition, our heart develops more muscle mass, by this way our heart’s contracting cells become bigger, allowing the heart to become bigger and rightly pump in a stronger way. As the heart can rightly pump it can supply full amount of oxygen-rich blood to our entire body.
How does our body respond to this?
Our blood vessels become narrowed for increasing blood pressure for compensating the heart’s lost power.
Our body also diverts the blood away from those organs and tissues which are not that much important and maintains the supply of blood to our brain and heart, the most important functionaries in our body.
All these are temporary measures that can save our heart to fail, but they are not the permanent solutions of heart failure. If the condition continues and further worsens and this temporary function ceases to work anymore, it is considered as heart failure.
In this situation, our body and heart cannot work in tandem, making the affected person to feel breathing problem, fatigue and such type of uneasiness that compels calling a doctor.
Do our body prompt anything before it is too late?
Human body’s compensation mechanism always indicates about the declining condition of some of our organs’ functioning. But, many do not care for the simplest indications and keep them going on, until the body takes the person to the unbearable stage.
Which side of the heart normally fails?
Either of the side of our heart can fail, in some cases it maybe both the sides. But in most of the cases it is the left side of our heart that fails to work.