How Common Is Right
More than 6 million Americans have heart failure. Each year, more than 900,000 people receive a heart failure diagnosis.
Heart failure is rare in people younger than 50. With age, it becomes increasingly common. Studies have shown that around 2% of the population younger than 54 years old have heart failure. The number increases to around 8% about 1 in 12 for people over 75.
What Are The Symptoms Of Right
The main sign of right-sided heart failure is fluid buildup. This buildup leads to swelling in your:
- Feet, ankles and legs.
- Gastrointestinal tract and liver .
Other signs include:
Where you accumulate fluid depends on how much extra fluid and your position. If youre standing, fluid typically builds up in your legs and feet. If youre lying down, it may build up in your lower back. And if you have a lot of excess fluid, it may even build up in your belly.
Fluid build up in your liver or stomach may cause:
- Appetite loss.
Once right-sided heart failure becomes advanced, you can also lose weight and muscle mass. Healthcare providers call these effects cardiac cachexia.
Right Sided Heart Failure: Other Causes
There are other things that can lead to right-sided heart failure occurring, and they are:
Coronary artery disease.
This is a very common kind of heart disease. Once it occurs, it usually triggers heart failure. When a person is suffering from coronary artery disease, the arteries in the heart are usually blocked by plaque formation, which leads stops the blood flow to the muscles in your heart. This one cause of right-sided heart failure apart from the left ventricle failing.
High blood pressure.
This is usually the measurement of how your heart is beating and pumping the blood via the arteries.
As your blood pressure increases, the heart will have no choice but to pump harder. What this means is that as time goes on, the muscles of your heart thicken and weaken since they have a lot of work to carry out. The more they pump harder, the higher the risk of one developing right-sided heart failure.
Damaged heart valves.
The valves are what ensure that the blood flows in the right way in the heart. If the valves are destroyed because of a heart defect or an infection of some kind, then your heart has no choice but to work very hard to have the blood pumped.
This makes the heart to weaken quickly.
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How Can I Prevent Left
Living a heart-healthy lifestyle can lower your risk of left-sided heart failure. If youve already experienced this condition, healthy habits can help you avoid future issues.
Steps you can take to prevent left-sided heart failure include:
- Get high blood pressure or coronary artery disease under control.
- Make time for regular physical activity and a good nights sleep.
- Maintain a healthy weight and eat fruits and vegetables.
- Manage stress with deep breathing or relaxation techniques.
- Quitting tobacco if you use it and avoiding secondhand smoke.
Causes Of Heart Failure
Heart failure is often the result of a number of problems affecting the heart at the same time.
Conditions that can lead to heart failure include:
- coronary heart disease where the arteries that supply blood to the heart become clogged up with fatty substances , which may cause angina or a heart attack
- high blood pressure this can put extra strain on the heart, which over time can lead to heart failure
- cardiomyopathy conditions affecting the heart muscle
- heart rhythm problems , such as atrial fibrillation
- damage or other problems with the heart valves
- congenital heart disease birth defects that affect the normal workings of the heart
Right Sided Heart Failure
When the heart is unable to pump blood adequately to meet the demand of the body, it is referred to as heart failure. It affects all the body functions since their requirement of blood is not met. Various conditions collectively cause heart failure and also cause the weakening of the heart. The right or left side of the heart can be affected by heart failure, or sometimes both. It is a chronic condition in any case. We will look at what is right sided heart failure here.
Classification Based On Pumping Ability
Nowadays, heart failure is increasingly being classified based on the pumping ability of the heart. This is because the pumping ability plays an important role when choosing the most suitable medication. There are two types of heart failure here:
- Heart failure with reduced pumping ability: The heart muscle has become weaker, and no longer pumps enough blood around the body when it contracts . As a result, the organs in the body dont get enough oxygen. The medical term for this is heart failure with reduced ejection fraction.
- Heart failure with preserved pumping ability: Although the heart muscle is still strong, it can no longer relax and widen enough after it has squeezed blood out, so it doesnt fill up with blood properly. Despite pumping strongly enough, not enough blood is pumped out into the body as a result, especially during physically strenuous activities. Doctors call this heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.
Heart failure with reduced pumping ability is sometimes referred to as systolic heart failure, and heart failure with preserved pumping ability is also known as diastolic heart failure. The systolic phase of the cardiac cycle is the phase when the heart contracts , and the diastolic phase is when the heart relaxes and widens.
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What Are The Causes
Sometimes it just happens. But usually itâs left-side heart failure that causes right-side heart failure. As the left chamber of your heart loses some of its ability to pump, blood continues to back up — sometimes into your lungs.
Heart failure is a long-term condition that gets worse over time. In most cases, you get it because you have other health issues that have damaged or weakened your heart.
Some other causes of right-side heart failure include:
Coronary artery disease. This is the most common form of heart disease and cause of heart failure. When you have coronary artery disease, plaque blocks your arteries, causing blood flow to your heart muscle to slow or even stop. Read more on clogged arteries and the causes of arterial plaque.
High blood pressure. It measures how hard your heart pumps blood through your arteries. The higher your blood pressure, the harder your heart is working to pump it. That means over time, your heart muscles can thicken and weaken because of the extra work they do. Learn about the symptoms of high blood pressure.
Damaged heart valves. Valves keep blood flowing in the right direction through your heart. If they get damaged, by an infection or heart defect, for instance, your heart has to work harder to pump blood. Eventually, it will become weakened. Get more information on heart valve disease symptoms and causes.
What Are The Symptoms Of Left
Symptoms may be mild at first or you may think it’s a cold or allergy. You might not even notice them. But as heart functioning worsens, you may experience:
- Constant coughing.
- Shortness of breath with walking or bending over.
- Waking up short of breath or unable to lie flat at night.
- Weight gain.
- Swelling in your ankles, legs or abdomen.
Over time, the heart works harder to do its job. This causes complications that may include:
- Abnormal heart rates and rhythms .
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What Do I Need To Know About Heart Failure
Heart failure is a condition that does not allow your heart to fill or pump properly. Heart failure may begin on the left or right side of the heart. If one side does not work properly, the other side has to work harder to function. Over time, heart failure affects both sides of the heart. Heart failure is a long-term condition that tends to get worse over time. It is important to manage your health to improve your quality of life.
When Should I See A Healthcare Provider About Right Heart Failure
If you have chest pains or suspect you may be having a heart attack, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Get in touch with your healthcare provider if you experience:
- Shortness of breath.
What else should I ask my provider?
If you have right-sided heart failure, ask your provider:
- What treatment is best for me?
- Is there a special diet I should follow?
- Should I go to cardiac rehab?
- Will I need surgery?
- Will I need a heart transplant?
- What can I do to stop heart failure from progressing?
- What medications will I need?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Right-sided heart failure means the right side of the heart can no longer pump blood efficiently. Fluid builds up in tissues, causing swelling. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms so the disease doesnt worsen. Healthy lifestyle habits, along with cardiac rehab, improve symptoms for many people. Other treatment options include cardiac devices and surgery. If you have shortness of breath, swelling or chest discomfort, talk to your healthcare provider.
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What Is The Difference Between Left
Heart failure can occur in the left side of the heart, the right side of the heart or on both sides. The major difference between left-sided heart failure and right-sided heart failure is in the side of the heart that is weakened. In left-sided heart failure, the left side of the heart is weakened and results in reduced ability for the heart to pump blood into the body. In right-sided heart failure, the right side of the heart is weakened and results in fluid in your veins, causing swelling in the legs, ankles, and liver.
To understand these conditions, it is important to know a little about how blood flows through the heart.
The heart is made up of four chambers. The upper chambers are called atria and the lower chambers are called ventricles. Each side of the heart has paired upper and lower chambers. Blood returns from the body and enters the right atrium. From there it moves to the right ventricle, which pumps it to the lungs where it is oxygenated. Blood moves from the lungs into the left atrium, down to the left ventricle and then out to the body to supply organs and tissues with oxygen and nutrients.
What Is Heart Failure
Although the term heart failure suggests your heart isnt able to function at all, it actually means your heart muscles just arent functioning well enough to support your bodys needs. It develops when your heart muscles are either too weak or not elastic enough to pump blood properly. About 6.2 million people in the United States are living with heart failure.
Heart failure is usually a chronic and progressive condition, but it can develop quickly after a heart attack or other conditions that damage your heart. The most common cause of heart failure is coronary artery disease, which is a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to your heart.
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What Are The Heart Failure Causes
Sometimes, right-sided heart failure may just occur out of the blue, without any tangible cause. Usually, in the case of right-sided heart failure, the left ventricle failing causes it. Once the left ventricle is unable to pump blood, the blood moves back to the veins, and may even decide to stay in the lungs.
One thing that should be noted is that heart failure is a condition that lasts for a long time, and may worsen as time progresses.
Sometimes, heart failure may have stemmed from the existence of other health problems in your body. These health conditions damaged the way your heart operated.
Outlook For Heart Failure
Heart failure is a serious long-term condition that’ll usually continue to get slowly worse over time.
It can severely limit the activities you’re able to do and is often eventually fatal.
But it’s very difficult to tell how the condition will progress on an individual basis.
It’s very unpredictable. Lots of people remain stable for many years, while in some cases it may get worse quickly.
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Will I Need A Procedure As Part Of My Left
A procedure may be necessary if:
- Your symptoms dont improve.
- Your testing or labs show signs of worsening heart failure.
Your care may include:
- Cardiac resynchronization therapy : An implantable device that uses a gentle electrical current to stimulate your hearts pumping action. Its also called a biventricular pacemaker.
- Electrical cardioversion: This procedure helps restore a normal rhythm.
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator : This implantable device detects arrhythmias and sends a gentle electrical current to restore a normal rhythm.
- Left ventricular assist device : An implantable pump that helps the heart circulate blood.
- Heart transplant: Procedure to replace a worn-out heart with a healthy one from a donor. This treatment is for patients with the most severe forms of left-sided heart failure.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Heart Failure
The signs and symptoms depend on how severe your heart failure is. The signs and symptoms you have may be due to the backup of fluid and blood in your tissues. It may also be due to decreased oxygen in your blood. You may have any of the following:
- Trouble breathing with activity that worsens to trouble breathing at rest
- Shortness of breath while lying flat
- Severe shortness of breath and coughing at night that usually wakes you
- Feeling lightheaded when you stand up
- Purple color around your mouth and nails
- Confusion or anxiety
- Periods of no breathing, then breathing fast
- Lack of energy , or trouble sleeping
- Swelling in your ankles, legs, or abdomen
- Heartbeat that is fast or not regular
- Fingers and toes feel cool to the touch
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How Is Heart Failure Diagnosed
Tell your healthcare provider about your health history and the medicines you take. He or she will ask about your shortness of breath and other symptoms. Your healthcare provider will make a diagnosis based on your physical exam, symptoms, and tests. The diagnosis may be left-sided or right-sided heart failure, or heart failure that affects both sides. You may need any of the following:
Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy
Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy is a genetic form of cardiomyopathy characterized by fatty/fibrofatty infiltration of the myocardium affecting mostly the right ventricle but occasionally the left ventricle too.16 ARVC is an autosomal dominant inherited disease with variable penetrance and expression. Prevalence of ARVC is estimated to be 1:1000 1:500017,18 affecting men more frequently than women with a ratio 1:3.19
ARVC should be suspected in a patient with unexplained RV dysfunction, dilation, or RHF, a history of ventricular tachyarrhythmia or syncope, characteristic ECG changes , a family history suggestive of syncope or sudden death, and in young people or athletes with a history of syncope or cardiac arrest during exercise or sports activities.
In 2010, the 1994 European Society of Cardiology/International Society and Federation of Cardiology joint task force criteria for ARVC were revised by introducing quantitative measures into the criteria.20 Current Task Force Criteria for ARVC diagnosis developed diagnostic criteria based on six categories: typical ECG findings , ventricular arrhythmias , morphological and functional changes in RV, histopathology, family history, and genetic findings. On the basis of these criteria, 3 levels for the ARVC diagnoses were established. Major and minor criteria for ARVC are listed in Table 21.
Table 21: Comparison of Original and Revised Task Force Criteria
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Different Types Of Congestive Heart Failure: Left And Right Sided Symptoms
1 Minute Read
Your heart is a pump that pushes blood through your body. Sometimes, this pump weakens and isnt able to keep the blood flowing through your body as well anymore. This is called heart failure, or congestive heart failure. It doesnt mean your heart has stopped working, but rather that it doesnt work as well as it used to.
Heart failure can happen when one or both sides of the heart become weaker. Your heart has two upper atria and two lower ventricles. Most people with heart failure have left-sided heart failure.
Right Sided Vs Left Sided Heart Failure
When right sided heart failure occurs, the increased pressure in the veins causes dispersion of fluid to surrounding tissues. This happens because this side of the heart is too weak to pump blood forward to the lungs.
The result may be a buildup of fluid in various parts of the body, including the legs, abdomen, and liver.
When left sided heart failure occurs, a person
Right sided heart failure can be due to the following conditions:
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What Can I Do To Manage Swelling From Extra Fluid
- Elevate your legs above the level of your heart. This will help with fluid that builds up in your legs or ankles. Elevate your legs as often as possible during the day. Prop your legs on pillows or blankets to keep them elevated comfortably. Try not to stand for long periods of time during the day. Move around to keep your blood circulating.
- Limit sodium . Ask how much sodium you can have each day. Your healthcare provider may give you a limit, such as 2,300 milligrams a day. Your provider or a dietitian can teach you how to read food labels for the number of mg in a food. He or she can also help you find ways to have less salt. For example, if you add salt to food as you cook, do not add more at the table.
- Drink liquids as directed. You may need to limit the amount of liquid you drink within 24 hours. Your healthcare provider will tell you how much liquid to have and which liquids are best for you. He or she may tell you to limit liquid to 1.5 to 2 liters in a day. He or she will also tell you how often to drink liquid throughout the day.
- Weigh yourself every morning. Use the same scale, in the same spot. Do this after you use the bathroom, but before you eat or drink. Wear the same type of clothing each time. Write down your weight and call your healthcare provider if you have a sudden weight gain. Swelling and weight gain are signs of fluid buildup.