Signs of heart failure in women after 40 years

Why does heart failure occur? This condition occurs due to a variety of etiological factors. Most often, the etiology of this disease is associated with atherosclerosis and arterial hypertension. Increased pressure in the bloodstream and atherosclerotic narrowing of the lumen of the vessels lead to the fact that it becomes difficult for the heart to push blood.

The body’s resources make it possible to compensate for this pathological condition – at first there are no clinical symptoms of circulatory failure due to increased heart rate and increased heart rate. When the myocardium is depleted, decompensation of the disease occurs – this is manifested by shortness of breath, edema, decreased tolerance to physical stress. All these are symptoms of congestive heart failure (CHF).

The pathogenesis of heart failure also includes diseases accompanied by direct damage to the heart. These are myocarditis, valvular defects, infectious and autoimmune diseases, intoxication. With lung diseases, an increase in pressure in a small circle can often occur. All these reasons lead to an increase in the load on the heart, because of which the efficiency of the organ is significantly reduced. This can happen with fluid retention in the body, for example, with kidney diseases.

In many cases, the causes of heart failure and the etiology of this condition are caused by a previous heart attack. Most often, this leads to acute heart failure with the rapid development of complications and the death of the patient.

Many negative factors can lead to the appearance of heart failure in women at different ages, namely:

  1. Pathological changes in the myocardium.
  2. Bad habits (frequent drinking and smoking tobacco).
  3. Overweight.
  4. Arrhythmia (namely, atrial fibrillation, which is much more common in women than in men).
  5. Congenital heart defects.
  6. Diabetes mellitus (increases the risk of heart failure by 7,8 times, and in men – 4,7).
  7. High blood pressure leading to hypertension is considered a neuro-functional violation of vascular tone.
  8. IHD (coronary heart disease, or pathological changes in the myocardium).

The etiology of the disease associated with the ability of the myocardium to contract can be conditionally divided into primary and subsequent. Anomalies that affect the functionality of the heart:

  • acute myocarditis due to infection;
  • arteriosclerosis of arteries;
  • dystrophy with intoxication;
  • disruption of the endocrine system – diabetes, myxedema;
  • lack of iron in the blood, anemia;
  • damage to the heart muscle.

Secondary causes are a number of factors that can cause the disease:

  • high blood pressure
  • coronary atherosclerosis,
  • birth defects
  • pericarditis.

The main manifestation of heart failure is observed in women after 50 years during the onset of menopause, when estrogen production ceases. Without them, processes in the heart, kidneys, and liver are disrupted.

Risk factors for the development of anomalies in women under 40 years of age and older, based on a long-term study, are determined by the following:

  1. The most serious and common cause of failure is diabetes. An increased concentration of glucose in the blood provokes myocardial hypertrophy.
  2. Arterial hypertension. The risk of pathology increases with the onset of menopause.
  3. Renal hypoxia leads to high creatinine concentrations and circulatory disorders.
  4. Atrial fibrillation.
  5. Smoking affects the onset of early menopause and the cessation of the production of sex hormones.
  6. Excess body weight can lead to ischemia and high blood pressure – companions of heart failure.

Taking into account the causes of the anomaly, it is possible to compile an average image of the patient. A woman over the age of 40 who has diabetes, hypertension due to overweight, as well as atrial fibrillation.

The development of the disease in women occurs gradually, while serious pathological processes can become the causes. Among them, primary and secondary are distinguished. Primary causes are factors affecting the heart muscle. Among them are:

  • rheumatic lesions;
  • acute or chronic myocardium;
  • pathologies of the endocrine system, including prolonged anemia.

Secondary causes are those that lead to a gradual fatigue of the myocardium. It:

  • various heart defects;
  • lung diseases that are chronic;
  • arterial hypertension;
  • atherosclerosis of large vessels.

One of the most common causes of this ailment in women is hypertensive crisis. This disease is one of the most dangerous, because it can lead to heart failure or complications on other organs, and in some cases to death. The signs of a hypertensive crisis are pronounced, because they are accompanied by:

  • feeling of fear;
  • chills;
  • visual impairment;
  • repeated bouts of vomiting;
  • palpitations
  • severe headache;
  • swelling of the face.

Such signs indicate serious violations requiring urgent intervention by doctors, because this manifestation can adversely affect the work of all organs. Any of these causes a lot of problems for the body, and subsequently cause heart failure, which is very difficult to cope with, especially for an older woman. After all, the female body after 40 years is preparing for menopause, which takes power and is the cause of failures.

Therefore, special attention should be paid to the symptoms of a hypertensive crisis or heart failure for women about 50 years old. The risk group includes those who have problems with the work of the heart or have a suspicion of the development of this disease.

The venous system of a person is quite complex and very important. Extending throughout the body, veins play a very important role and problems with them that arise for a variety of reasons can bring many unpleasant consequences. If the disorder occurs in the lower extremities, chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) occurs.

  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnostics
  • Treatment
  • Aftermath
  • Prevention

Signs of this pathology are found in 25 percent of the inhabitants of developed countries, and in Russia signs of this disease are found in every second resident, who is in the age range from twenty to fifty years.

Many people deal with such a problem too late or do not contact at all, so they face some problems and consequences. How does CVI develop?

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Ninety percent of blood flows from the lower extremities through deep veins, and only ten percent through superficial veins. The outflow of blood from the bottom up allows important functions in the body to develop, for example, muscle contraction, which occurs when the physical plan is loaded.

When a muscle contracts, it puts pressure on a vein. The force of gravity causes the blood to fall back down, however, venous valves are not allowed to flow back. Thanks to this system, a normal blood flow is carried out. The valve apparatus allows the constant movement of the fluid, which occurs against gravity, to be maintained.

The physiological change in the venous lumen with a change in the position of the human body and the stable tone of the venous wall contribute to this.

If any of these moments is carried out incorrectly, a pathology begins to develop, consisting of several stages that follow one after another:

  • vein expansion that occurs below the vein;
  • valve failure;
  • further expansion of the veins, which occurs due to constant increased blood pressure;
  • the development of venous reflux, that is, pathological discharge from top to bottom;
  • stagnation of blood in the vessel, it presses on the venous wall;
  • increased permeability of the vein wall;
  • sweating plasma into the tissue through the wall;
  • swelling of the tissues and violation of their nutrition.

What causes circulatory failure? Because of this, tissue metabolites accumulate in small vessels, increase local inflammatory mediators and free radicals, local blood clotting, and so on.

As you can see, the process is quite complicated, because there should definitely be reasons that lead to it. They should be given special attention.

Causes, classification and treatment of heart failure

This disease is classified according to the rate of development of the clinic:

  • acute HF – progresses in a very short time (several minutes – several hours). Complications of this type of disease are often pulmonary edema or cardiogenic shock. The most common causes of heart failure are heart attack, valve defects (aortic and mitral), damage to the walls of the heart;
  • chronic heart failure – progresses for many months or years. The cause of heart failure is compensated pathological conditions with damage to the heart and other organs (arterial hypertension, defects, chronic lung diseases, etc.).

There are several classification options for heart failure. Depending on the severity of the clinic, the following are distinguished:

  • The first degree – clinical symptoms are absent.
  • In the second degree of heart failure, the symptoms are mild, wheezing may be present.
  • The third degree is a more pronounced clinical picture, the presence of wheezing.
  • A fourth degree of severity is characterized by the presence of complications, for example, cardiogenic shock, collapse (a decrease in systolic blood pressure below 90 mm Hg).

According to the degree of patient resistance to physical stress, heart failure is divided into four functional classes (FC):

  • 1 FC – shortness of breath and other symptoms appear with pronounced physical exertion, for example, during the rise to the third floor and above. Normal physical activity does not cause signs of disease.
  • 2 FC – moderate heart failure, it makes itself felt only after climbing two flights of stairs or when walking fast. Patient’s daily activity may be slightly reduced.
  • 3 FC – the symptomatology of the disease becomes pronounced even with small physical exertion and with everyday activities. At rest, shortness of breath completely disappears.
  • 4 FC – in this case, shortness of breath and other manifestations disturb the patient at rest. The heart is under heavy stress, complications of heart failure are often observed.

Types of heart failure according to its classification by stages:

  • The first stage is the onset of the disease. It is characterized by a hidden course, symptoms of circulatory failure occur only in cases where the patient experiences a pronounced physical or emotional stress. At rest, the activity of the circulatory system is not disturbed.
  • The second stage – pronounced clinical manifestations. Signs of prolonged stagnation of blood appear, this is noticeable in the absence of physical activity. Stagnation appears in the large and small circles of blood circulation, which is primarily manifested by edema. This stage is divided into IIA and IIB. The first is characterized by dysfunction of only the left or right ventricle. In this case, shortness of breath appears during normal physical exertion for a person, its activity is markedly reduced. Externally, the patient has a blue skin, swelling of the legs, enlarged liver and hard breathing. Stage IIB is characterized by a deeper degree of hemodynamic disturbances, the cause of which is stagnation from both circles of blood circulation.
  • The third stage of the disease is terminal. In this case, the heart ceases to cope with its function, which leads to irreversible disturbances in the structure of internal organs, to the depletion of their resources.

Heart failure in infants and adolescents

This disease in children and newborns is quite difficult to diagnose, since it often resembles manifestations of other pathologies. The cause of heart failure at an early age is usually associated with congenital diseases:

  • heart defects;
  • lesions of the central nervous system;
  • glycogenic disease, heart form;
  • endocardial fibroelastosis.

It is also worth taking into account that this condition can occur with infectious diseases caused by viruses or bacteria.

There are no significant differences in how heart failure manifests itself in children. Typically, the symptomatology consists in the appearance of shortness of breath and swelling, increased heart rate. The main changes in the internal organs – the liver is enlarged, the borders of the heart are expanding.

Heart failure in adolescents occurs when they have a cardiac defect. Signs of heart failure in adolescents do not differ from those in children and adults, which helps to establish a diagnosis.

Signs of chronic heart failure in women

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The first signs of a heart disease are difficult to detect, but when the most severe form of the disease is clearly observed, you should immediately seek qualified help from specialists. Most often, acute symptoms occur with pathological changes in the left ventricle of the heart. The most characteristic manifestations of the disease in severe human conditions:

  • A bluish tint of the lips and fingers appears.
  • There is shortness of breath, a man as if “catches the air with his mouth.”
  • Facial expression expresses the emotions of fear and fear.
  • Tachycardia.
  • Dry wheezing occurs in the back of the chest.
  • The number of breaths is more than 20 in 60 seconds.

If there is stagnation in the lungs of the patient, swelling occurs, and signs of the disease appear, such as:

  1. Wet, wheezing sounds appear already across the entire surface of the chest.
  2. The risk of hypotension increases.
  3. Cough and cardiac asthma at night.
  4. Diagnosed with cough, in which there is a release of foamy sputum with a small amount of blood.
  5. Shortness of breath appears both during physical activity and at rest.

When heart failure occurs both in the early stages and in severe forms of the disease, women are prone to fatigue, confusion and weakness. In most cases, you may notice a decrease in daily urination. At the end of the day, women can observe swelling of the hands and feet, which may be the first sign of heart problems. In the later stages of the disease, the symptoms only increase, patients become disabled, and the likelihood of a fatal outcome increases.

It is worth remembering that the female sex is characterized by difficulties with the respiratory system, therefore, with heart failure, the rhythm and respiratory rate may be impaired. In men, such symptoms in heart disease are much less common.

In this article, you will find out whether the symptoms of heart failure in women differ from those in men. What are the signs of this pathology observed in women.

Heart failure (HF) is a complication of almost all heart diseases, the signs of which are almost the same in both men and women. With this pathology, the heart does not fully cope with its functions. The main differences in heart failure between the stronger and weaker sexes are what diseases of the heart led to its development, the symptoms in both sexes are identical.

Depending on the type and severity of heart failure, its manifestations can be mild or severe, and in some cases, pose a direct threat to a woman’s life. The prognosis is affected by both the severity of heart failure and the causes of its occurrence.

Symptoms depend on the type of heart failure. Traditionally, heart failure is divided into acute or chronic, right ventricular or left ventricular.

  1. Acute HF is the sudden onset of severe symptoms and signs of heart failure, which usually include shortness of breath, swelling in the legs, and fatigue. This type of heart failure can develop due to myocardial infarction, severe cardiac arrhythmias, sudden decompensation of chronic circulatory failure. In acute heart failure, emergency treatment is necessary, with the help of which it is often possible to quickly improve the patient’s condition.
  2. Chronic heart failure is a slowly developing and gradually worsening signs of circulatory failure, which are most often the result of chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system (arterial hypertension, coronary heart disease).
  3. Right ventricular heart failure – develops with worsening contractility of the right ventricle and is characterized by symptoms of stagnation in a large circle of blood circulation (edema, enlarged liver).
  4. Left ventricular heart failure – develops in violation of left ventricular contractility, which leads to congestion in the lungs and the appearance of shortness of breath.

It should be understood that the cardiovascular system is not a set of two isolated circles of blood circulation. Since the functioning of one circle directly depends on the state of another, an isolated left ventricular or right ventricular heart failure practically does not exist. In almost every patient, the manifestations of these two types of heart failure are intertwined.

Manifestations of chronic left ventricular heart failure develop gradually. They include:

  • Shortness of breath, aggravated by physical exertion and in a supine position. It develops due to stagnation of blood in the lungs. Excess fluid makes the alveolar-capillary barrier thicker, which leads to a deterioration in the penetration of oxygen from the air into the blood.
  • Fatigue and severe fatigue. With heart failure, muscles do not get enough oxygen, which quickly makes them tired. Women in the early stages of circulatory disorders may notice a decrease in exercise tolerance. As the disease progresses, even light tasks, such as cooking or dressing, can be tiring.
  • A cough that develops due to stagnation of blood in the lungs. The cough worsens when lying down, and may also be accompanied by the release of foamy sputum.
  • Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea – waking at night caused by dyspnea.
  • Rapid heartbeat – develops as a result of compensatory reactions of the heart, trying to increase blood pumping through the lungs and eliminate the lack of oxygen in the body.
  • The feeling of lack of air.
  • A deterioration in appetite, which develops due to the fact that the digestive tract does not receive enough blood.
  • Weight gain caused by the accumulation of excess fluid in the body.

Since the left ventricle has greater compensatory abilities than the right one, this type of HF is almost never observed in isolation.

When the contractility of the left ventricle worsens, the pressure in the vessels of the pulmonary circulation increases. This increased pressure is transmitted to the right ventricle, leading to deterioration and its functioning. Therefore, the symptoms of chronic left ventricular failure are almost always accompanied by manifestations of right ventricular heart failure, which include swelling on the legs, ascites, and an increase in liver size.

Chronic right ventricular heart failure develops gradually. Its main manifestations in both women and men are:

    Swelling on the legs, resulting from the release of flu >8a6aae6da23dd29e7eb114b7f5aa0f44 - Signs of heart failure in women after 40 years

Most often, chronic right ventricular heart failure is caused by left ventricular failure, chronic lung diseases, pulmonary hypertension, congenital or acquired heart defects.

The right ventricle receives venous blood from the entire body and throws it into the lungs. With weakening contractility, the right ventricle does not cope with pumping blood, because of which it stagnates in the veins of a large circle of blood circulation. If this happens acutely, typical signs of chronic right ventricular failure (edema, enlarged liver) do not have time to develop.

Acute right ventricular failure in women is characterized by the sudden development of the following symptoms:

  1. Shortness of breath – develops due to the fact that the right ventricle cannot pump blood enough through the lungs, which is why the whole body suffers from a lack of oxygen.
  2. Cyanosis is a blueness of the skin (first on the lips and nail beds), which develops as a result of an insufficient amount of oxygen-enriched blood.
  3. An increase in the diameter of the veins on the neck – develops as a result of increased pressure in the right heart.
  4. Increased heart rate.

After some time, with the deterioration of the patient’s condition and the absence of the effect of treatment, the following develop:

  • Rapid enlargement of the liver in size, which leads to severe pain in the right hypochondrium.
  • Swelling on the legs.
  • Ascites is the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity.

Since acute right ventricular heart failure is most often caused by pulmonary embolism or myocardial infarction involving the right ventricle, in most cases these patients have pain in the heart.

Acute left ventricular failure is a condition that poses an immediate danger to a woman’s life. The main symptoms of this type of heart failure:

  • Severe shortness of breath, worse when lying down.
  • Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea.
  • The feeling of lack of air.
  • Cough with frothy sputum.
  • Wet wheezing in the lungs, audible from a distance.
  • Cyanosis.
  • Drop in blood pressure.
  • Fatigue and general weakness.

These symptoms are caused by the fact that the left ventricle cannot cope with pumping blood throughout the body. Because of this, a deterioration in the pumping function of the heart develops, which can lead to a drop in blood pressure, and blood stasis in the pulmonary circulation, causing pulmonary edema and pronounced shortness of breath.

Signs of heart failure in women and men are identical. The differences relate only to the causes and time of development of HF.

Statistics show that cardiovascular diseases leading to the development of heart failure in women develop about 10 years later than in men. Doctors say that this time difference in the onset of symptoms of heart failure is partly due to the protective properties of female hormones.

After the onset of menopause, the risk of developing various heart diseases in women increases dramatically.

However, this difference in age – when a pathology occurs – can be affected by a more healthy lifestyle of women.

Compared with men, heart failure in women is more often caused by arterial hypertension, coronary heart disease, pathology of the inner layer of the blood vessel wall (endothelial dysfunction).

  • Shortness of breath on exertion or at rest.
  • Weight change.
  • Forced position in bed (the headboard is lifted by cushioning). Sleep half-sitting.
  • Swollen neck veins.
  • Wheezing in the lungs.
  • Liver enlargement.
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat.
  • Swelling of the lower extremities.
  • Excessive fluid retention in the body.
  • Restriction to physical activity.
  • Lethargy, lethargy.
  • Weakness, fatigue.
  • Discomfort lying on the left side.
  • Restriction of movement, sometimes even around the apartment.
  • With cyanosis in connection with the pulmonary heart, oxygen therapy is indicated.
  • Assign: Riboxinum.
  • Vitamins.
  • Light sedatives.
  • Sulfocamphocaine.
  • If there is a suspicion of infection or pneumonia, antibiotics are prescribed.
  • B-blockers: verapamil, disopyramide.
  • With atrial fibrillation, an antiplatelet agent is prescribed.
  • In severe and sedentary patients, small doses of heparin are administered to prevent thrombophlebitis.
  • B-adrenostimulants: dobutamine.
  • Skin care is important due to the appearance of pressure sores and ulcers.

Signs of heart failure in women: symptoms of the disease before 40 and after 50

The clinical symptoms of heart failure are the same for both acute and chronic variants of this pathology. The difference lies in the speed of development of the manifestations of the disease and the body’s ability to adapt to hemodynamic changes. Therefore, in acute circulatory failure, complete compensation does not occur, as a result of which the terminal stage quickly sets in and the risk of death is increased. The chronic variant of the disease may not manifest itself for a long time, and therefore the diagnosis and treatment are often late.

How to recognize heart failure? The clinical picture consists of symptoms associated with stagnation of blood in the vessels due to the inability of the heart muscle to fully perform its function. As a result, there are swelling on the lower extremities and stagnation in the pulmonary circulation, which causes wheezing.

Blood stasis leads to a violation of oxygen transport in the tissue – hypoxia develops, metabolism changes, cyanosis (cyanosis) of the skin of the limbs, nasolabial triangle appears.

Headache. This symptom is not characteristic of heart failure. Loss of consciousness, dizziness, darkening in the eyes are more likely.

Nausea and vomiting. Such manifestations of heart failure are also not characteristic of this disease. However, in rare cases, they may indicate the development of metabolic disorders.

Drowsiness. Decreased performance, fatigue and drowsiness can be a consequence of circulatory failure, which leads to a decrease in tissue oxygenation.

Heart failure is a disease that is associated with the inability of the heart to fully function. This problem often develops in older people. But recently, there has been an increase in the number of cases among young people. And the most affected are the fair sex. Signs of heart failure in women can form gradually. Therefore, it is not always possible to recognize a problem in the early stages. And this is extremely important for maintaining health and even life.

Symptoms of heart failure in women can vary depending on which side of the heart is affected. Among the signs of a right ventricular disease, the following are distinguished:

  1. An increase in the liver in a size that becomes noticeable during palpation.
  2. The appearance of swelling of the extremities.
  3. Unpleasant sensations in the right half of the chest.
  4. Tachycardia.
  5. Arms and legs get too cold.

Right ventricular failure can lead to the development of gastritis, a sharp decrease in appetite and attacks of nausea. In severe cases, oxygen starvation of brain cells is noted. With damage to the left ventricle, the following symptoms are observed:

  1. The appearance of severe shortness of breath. It becomes noticeable not only after physical exertion, but also at normal times. May intensify when a woman is in a horizontal position.
  2. Hemoptysis.
  3. Blue fingertips, as well as lips.
  4. Dry cough with wheezing. May appear at night or after exercise.
  5. Increased sweating.
  6. Sleep disturbances.

Heart failure in women under the age of 40 can be caused by abnormalities in the endocrine system, hormonal changes in the body and its preparation for menopause, and deterioration of the body’s protective functions. During this period, the symptoms of the disease can be lubricated. Among the warning signs are:

  • Pain in the chest. Most often, a burning sensation is observed, less often the pain can be compressive.
  • Frequent bouts of heartburn.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Drowsiness, fatigue.
  • Increased body weight.
  • Swelling of veins in the neck.
  • Initially, latent edema appears, which subsequently appears.

If you begin to notice such symptoms in yourself, you should immediately seek help from a doctor. Only timely diagnosis and therapy will help prevent the development of the disease and the appearance of complications.

photo 731 - Signs of heart failure in women after 40 years

At an older age, heart failure often develops against the background of other cardiovascular diseases, for example, hypertension, ischemia, myocarditis. The course of the disease is exacerbated by the accumulation of cholesterol in the vessels, the formation of plaques that interfere with the normal flow of blood. After the age of 50 years, the disease often manifests itself in acute form. It is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Attacks of difficulty breathing.
  • Strong pain in the heart.
  • Lowering blood pressure.
  • Arrhythmia.

In severe cases, loss of consciousness may occur. The disease develops quickly enough. There is a high risk of complications in the form of pulmonary edema or cardiac asthma.

Diagnosis of the disease may vary depending on which part of the heart is affected. With left ventricular heart failure, the following examination of patients is performed:

  1. Blood stasis in the large and small circle of blood circulation.
  2. Slowing blood flow in organs and tissues. Because of this, a lot of liquid (water) accumulates in the tissues – this can be seen immediately.
  3. A person gains weight dramatically, and then swelling of the trunk and legs is added.
  4. Edema in heart failure is a very serious symptom.
  5. Certain areas of the skin acquire a bluish tint and visible mucous membranes.
  6. In this condition, the usual dose of salt in food creates an excess of it in the body and swelling is aggravated.

Onset of symptoms

Cardiovascular disease can occur in women, depending on which part of the muscle organ was affected. The following signs of heart disease appear in women more often and more sharply than in men. The female body becomes weaker, and increased fatigue is felt.

Symptoms of heart failure in women with damage to the right ventricle:

  1. Swelling of the extremities (arms and legs).
  2. Liver enlargement.
  3. Tachycardia.
  4. A high probability of ascites.
  5. The appearance of a feeling of heaviness in the hypochondrium.
  6. Congestive gastritis, accompanied by nausea and decreased appetite.
  7. Uncomfortable conditions felt on the right side of the chest.

Symptoms in women with heart failure (lesions of the left ventricle):

  1. Frequent dyspnea both during severe physical exertion and at rest. Initially, the symptom appears with vigorous physical activity, and with a severe form it also occurs in a state of relaxation.
  2. Blue fingertips and toes, and lips.
  3. Expectoration of sputum with blood.
  4. Increased sweating.
  5. The appearance of a dry and wheezing cough.

Signs of heart failure in women are more common than in men. This is due to the characteristics of the body. With age, the muscle weakens under the influence of factors:

  1. Failure of the endocrine system.
  2. Disruption of the hormonal background, physiological changes before menopause.
  3. Reducing the amount of produced sex estrogen, weakened immunity.

A threat to a woman is late pregnancy and childbirth. Bearing the fetus doubles the work of the body. Due to age, endothelial cells lose their elasticity, heart failure develops. The first signs:

  • shortness of breath with minor physical exertion and walking;
  • tachycardia, weakness, fatigue, excessive sweating;
  • swelling of the lower and upper limbs;
  • pain behind the sternum on the left side;
  • the skin becomes cyanotic on the fingers and nasolabial triangle;
  • there is a pulsating movement in the veins in the neck;
  • a wet cough in a dream is possible;
  • noisy breathing;
  • a decrease in the daily amount of diuresis;
  • suffocation at night associated with cardiac asthma.

The initial symptoms of heart failure in women are shortness of breath and fatigue, fatigue does not go away even after rest. Often the fair sex attribute this to emotional instability, physical activity. Over time, the anomaly manifests itself at rest, and this becomes the reason for going to the doctor. The situation means that the disease is progressing and may become severe.

Pathology has the peculiarity of developing due to primary and secondary causes, with each of them having their own characteristic manifestations and symptoms. But we must not forget about the general symptoms, thanks to which it is possible to recognize such processes in the body. Among them:

  1. Constant weakness and a feeling of tiredness, which manifests itself even after rest. These symptoms can occur regardless of the time of day.
  2. Severe shortness of breath, which occurs during the slightest exertion. Appears even with ordinary walking, while a strong heartbeat is felt.
  3. Pain in the chest area that appears after exercise.
  4. Unreasonable interruptions in heart rate.
  5. Swelling of the extremities, usually become visible on the hands.
  6. The apparent blueness of the skin that occurs on the fingers and toes, in some cases on the lips, ears and nose.
  7. Swollen veins on the neck that may throb.
  8. Chronic cough with sputum. There may be wheezing when breathing.

All these symptoms are basic, therefore, if most of them are detected, it is urgent to visit a specialist’s office. The first thing you should pay attention to is weakness and fatigue, because these are the initial signals of the body about the problem. This occurs when the heart is not able to cope with the entire volume of blood passing through it. Therefore, in the extremities, on the abdomen or hips, fluid residues can accumulate, which leads to edema.

Due to this process and a constant increase in pressure, the patient has interruptions in breathing and shortness of breath. Rapid breathing leads to the fact that a woman can wake up at night due to lack of air and suffocation. In especially dangerous cases, fluid gradually builds up in the abdominal cavity itself, leading to pulmonary edema called ascites.

In addition to these symptoms, insufficient blood supply affects the intellectual abilities of the elderly, reduces mental activity. In this case, a strong effect on the nervous system can be observed, which is accompanied by a woman staying in a state of constant depression.

The acute form is the most severe and proceeds almost always with complications. Signs of heart failure in women who are acute are usually manifested by cardiac asthma. This can occur as a result of severe nervous or psychological stress. Most often, such asthma occurs at night, which makes the patient’s sleep simply unbearable.

  • pallor of the skin, which in some places has a distinct gray shade;
  • cold sweat;
  • frequent arrhythmic pulse;
  • shortness of breath and feeling of incomplete breathing;
  • lowering blood pressure;
  • wheezing when breathing.

In addition to such manifestations, the patient can observe a sitting position with legs down, severe fright on the face and attempts to swallow air through the mouth. Such manifestations usually last about 30 minutes, while they can pass both independently and with the help of doctors. Having noticed this condition, it is important to urgently call an ambulance.

If untreated, these processes cause pulmonary edema, which can lead to terrible consequences for a woman. Cardiac asthma cannot occur on its own, it is a consequence of:

  • serious emotional stress;
  • severe overeating;
  • physical activity;
  • drinking alcohol.

Of course, such factors do not immediately cause complications in the form of cardiac asthma, but they should not be overlooked in order not to get a complication. The load on the body and the use of alcohol can provoke the disease for many years, but as a result, it will manifest itself at the most inopportune moment.

Symptoms of acute heart failure are always more pronounced than in the chronic form. Moreover, the consequences of these symptoms are much harder to treat. Therefore, having noticed similar symptoms, you should immediately visit the doctor’s office to find out the seriousness and neglect of this case.

Such heart failure in about 70% of cases occurs in women over the age of 65. Its development proceeds in 3 stages:

  1. The initial stage of the disease is special due to its hidden signs, which appear with strong physical exertion. It can be shortness of breath, palpitations and fatigue.
  2. The severe stage of the disease is characterized by the same manifestations as the initial stage. But unlike her, symptoms occur both during exertion and during complete rest. In this case, the second stage is the longest, since it starts with minor symptoms, and ends with the patient’s disability due to ascites and cyanosis.
  3. The final stage of the disease is very difficult, as it has persistent insufficiency of blood circulation and metabolism. In such patients, severe exhaustion and all the symptoms inherent in this disease are observed.

The symptoms that manifest themselves in the chronic course of the disease are very difficult for the female body to tolerate. Older women are faced with the fact that they can not even bear minor physical exertion, and the emotional state with disability is greatly worsened. It is the psychological state that creates the disease preliminary soil for development.

In accordance with the damage to the organs of the patient, her general condition worsens. Initially, the usual swelling of the extremities with the course of the disease passes into the chest cavity, where the lungs are located, which with excessive moisture lead to suffocation and a strong cough with sputum. After the fluid has entered this organ, the patient cannot be in a supine position, because this causes an attack of lack of air. Against this background, there are problems with the liver, which is manifested in its increase.

The chronic form of the course usually occurs in women with congenital heart defects, hypertension or anemia. It is this heart failure that can have a negative effect on the work of all organs and systems of a woman and cause mental and physical developmental delay. Therefore, you need to be very careful about the symptoms and, even with their minor manifestations, immediately seek medical help.

  1. Violation of conduction and heart rhythm.
  2. Deterioration of hypertension (crises).
  3. Chronic heart failure.
  4. Chronic renal failure.
  5. Disability with loss of quality of life.
  6. Pulmonary edema.
  7. Sudden cardiac death (according to statistics, after receiving a diagnosis, only 5% of patients remain alive for 50 years).

Features of heart failure in women:

  • In women, heart failure occurs later than male.
  • A common cause is diabetes and hypertension.
  • Most often, heart failure occurs with a rise in diastolic pressure.
  • Heart failure in women occurs with symptoms of depression.
  • Women are more likely to use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Most often hospitalized.

First aid for heart failure in women:

  • You need to go to bed immediately.
  • If there is severe dyspnea, put a pillow at the head of the bed, raising your body, take a tablet of nitroglycerin on the tongue.
  • After taking the pill, your head may suddenly get sick, tinnitus will increase, dizziness will appear, do not be afraid of this, this is your body’s reaction to nitroglycerin. Unpleasant sensations will soon pass by themselves.
  • While lying in bed, do not lie in one position because of the risk of blood clots, either rest and relax muscles passively at rest, or change your posture more often.

Heart failure diagnosis methods

Heart failure syndrome is a secondary disease that occurs against the background of other pathologies. In this regard, examination and diagnostic measures should be aimed primarily at identifying the causes of this condition. Important early diagnosis of circulatory failure, when there is no pronounced clinical symptoms.

It is important for those patients who have been diagnosed with a heart attack and other myocardial diseases, arterial hypertension, to pay attention to the presence of a symptom such as shortness of breath arising from physical stress. Other characteristic signs that make it possible to suspect the presence of HF are swelling on the lower extremities, expansion of the borders of the heart to the left.

The pulse in patients with circulatory failure is usually low-amplitude. Pulse rate is also characteristic.

A clinical blood test for heart failure is nonspecific or reflects changes caused by the primary pathology. More specific are the analysis of the gas composition of blood and electrolytes. It is also important to determine the pH of the blood, the level of creatinine, urea and indicators of protein metabolism in a biochemical analysis. It is possible to determine the level of cardiospecific enzymes, which can increase both with heart failure and with myocardial ischemia.

Diagnosis of heart failure is largely determined by the instrumental research methods. According to the ECG, the signs of myocardial hypertrophy are determined, which develops in response to an increased load on the heart muscle. You can also identify rhythm disturbances or signs of ischemia of muscle tissue in the heart.

There are special stress tests, which are the removal of an ECG with physical activity. This is possible when using an exercise bike or treadmill. The load is gradually increased, due to which it is possible to determine the functional class of heart failure and the presence of signs of myocardial ischemia.

Echocardiography makes it possible to both determine heart failure and visualize the structure of the heart in order to establish the cause of the violation of its function. At the same time, with echocardiography, the functional state of the heart is evaluated, for example, the ejection fraction and other indicators of pumping function. MRI makes it possible to determine the presence of defects in this organ. Radiography of the lungs and chest organs shows the presence of stagnation in the pulmonary circulation.

To determine the degree of damage to other internal organs with a severe degree of circulatory failure, an abdominal ultrasound is performed. It shows changes in the spleen, liver, pancreas and other organs.

He will prescribe an adequate treatment. The main methods for detecting heart failure in women can be:

  • Ultrasound procedure.
  • X-ray.
  • Analysis of urine.
  • Echocardiogram.
  • General and biochemical analysis of blood.
  • ECG.

Cardiovascular diseases entail pathological changes in almost all organs and systems, so the symptoms of the disease can manifest itself differently in every woman. It is worth remembering that the transition of chronic heart disease to an acute attack always exists.

  • Complaints: (they listen to the patient, look, ask questions).
  • Clinical manifestations (wheezing in the lungs, enlarged liver, edema).
  • Objective signs.
  • ECG (electrocardiogram). If the patient has a normal ECG, you need to double-check the diagnosis.
  • A blood test for the content of leukocytes, platelets, hemoglobin (anemia exacerbates the course of heart failure in women.).
  • An analysis is made for hematocrit (pulmonary origin of dyspnea, a consequence of cyanotic malformations).
  • Analysis of potassium in the blood (applies to diuretic therapy, as well as ACE therapy).
  • The sodium content is very important (hyponatremia, decreased renal function indicates a poor prognosis).
  • ECHO (echocardiography).

There are 3 stages of chronic heart failure:

  • The first is the initial stage, signs of heart failure are noticeable only with exercise.
  • The second – moderate heart failure, appears already at rest, but the functions of other organs do not change significantly.
  • The third stage – severe, far-reaching heart failure, with changes in the functions of other organs, cardiomegaly, cachexia.

They also pay attention to the circle of blood circulation where stagnation is expressed and how it manifests itself.


The treatment of heart failure implies conservative therapy. It includes the following areas:

  • reduction of clinical manifestations of circulatory failure. For this, cardiac glycosides are prescribed – with AHF, intravenous high-speed drugs are used, with CHF – prolonged action drugs;
  • reduction in the load on the myocardium – this is achieved by the use of beta-blockers, which lower blood pressure and reduce the pulse;
  • the appointment of diuretics in order to reduce the total amount of fluid in the body.

It is worth noting that it is impossible to cure heart failure, you can only reduce its symptoms and signs. The best results are given by the treatment of heart failure of the first degree. A patient who has taken all the recommended drugs in this case may not notice an improvement.

If the patient has a history of arrhythmia, which may have caused the development of myocardial insufficiency, then surgical treatment is possible. It consists in the implantation of an artificial pacemaker. Surgical treatment is also indicated in those cases. When there is a significant narrowing of the lumen of the arteries due to atherosclerosis, when there is a pathology of the valves.

After the diagnosis, it is necessary to strictly follow the recommendations of the cardiologist to eliminate the disease. You can influence the anomaly using traditional methods or recipes of traditional medicine.

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When choosing drugs, it is necessary to take into account the age of the patient, concomitant chronic diseases, individual intolerance, the cause of heart failure. Prescribed drugs:

  1. Stimulating the work of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system: Captopril, Lisinopril, Ramipril, Fozinopril.
  2. Angiotensin, an enzyme inhibitor.
  3. Adrenergic blockers: Carvedilol, Bisoprolol, Metoprolol.
  4. Diuretics: “Hypothiazide”, “Furosemide”, “Uregit”, “Bumetanide”.
  5. Cardiac glycoside – Digoxin.
  6. To relieve the load on the myocardium – Nitroglycerin.

A glucose solution is used to normalize blood pressure.


Treatment of anomalies with traditional medicine recipes from natural ingredients enhances the effect of the main therapy and is applied comprehensively. The following tools will help the heart work:

  1. The collection of nettle leaves, reeds, quinoa is crushed. For 0,5 liters of water, 3 tablespoons of the mixture are taken, poured with boiling water in a thermos, infused for a day, drunk three times for 12 hours.
  2. The color of lily of the valley, strawberry shoots, blueberry leaves (dry), one tablespoon per liter of water. The broth boils for 15 minutes, is cooled, divided into 6 equal parts, it is drunk two days 3 times.
  3. Motherwort grass, hawthorn fruits are chopped, poured with boiling water (a tablespoon of 200 grams of water), insisted. The medicine is drunk during the day in small sips.

You can use folk remedies after consulting a doctor if there is no allergic reaction to the components.

  1. Exclude all loads that increase tachycardia and shortness of breath.
  2. With a far-reaching form of the disease, bed rest is indicated, and it is better to stay in a comfortable chair.
  3. In order not to get a complication in the form of bronchopneumonia or thromboembolic complications, bed rest should not be constant.
  4. Useful breathing exercises and physical education for the legs.
  5. Reception of salt is reduced to 2-5 g/day.
  6. The amount of fluid taken, depending on the severity of the condition, can be 1-1,5 liters/day.
  7. Food should be frequent and low-calorie. Potassium-rich foods are helpful.
  • Hypothiazide, triampur, furosemide, ethacrylic acid. Assign in doses that take into account the patient’s condition, swelling and shortness of breath. All diuretics cause a loss of potassium, and this badly affects the condition of patients (tolerance of cardiac glycosides worsens, arrhythmias develop). Potassium-sparing diuretic: triamteren. It is important to follow a diet enriched with foods containing potassium (apricots, apples, raisins, dried apricots, beets).
  • If the potassium diet is not prescribed enough drugs: potassium chloride, panangin.

Drugs in this group facilitate the work of the heart, reducing blood flow to it and peripheral vascular resistance.

  • Nitroglycerin, nitrosorbide.
  • Captopril (initial dose of 6,25 mg 1-2 times a day).
  • Enalapril (initial dose of 2,5 mg).
  • Perindopril (initial dose of 2 mg).

Absolute contraindications: bilateral renal artery stenosis. All vasodilators reduce blood pressure, they are not prescribed for hypotension.

  • Digoxin (initial dose of 0,25 mg 2-3 times a day)
  • Digitoxin.
  • Intravenously (digoxin, strophanthin, korglikon).

Cardiac glycoside treatment is more effective if heart failure is combined with atrial fibrillation with a frequent ventricular rhythm.

There is a high probability of intoxication from taking these drugs.

If you have any:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Diarrhea, impaired vision.
  • Violation of the central nervous system (central nervous system).
  • Bradycardia (rare pulse).
  • Extrasystoles (interruptions in the work of the heart).

These symptoms indicate discontinuation of the drug. Need help from doctors. Be sure to seek medical help.

  • Infusion of spring adonis or adonis they contain cardiac glycosides:

To prepare the medicine, pour and boil 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Add 5 grams of grass, keep on fire for 3 minutes, insist 20 minutes and take a tablespoon 3 times a day.

For heart rhythm disturbances:

  • Tachycardia, angina pectoris, atrial fibrillation:
  • Liquid extract of hawthorn fruit or tincture of hawthorn flowers helps a lot, it’s better to buy it at a pharmacy, it’s inexpensive.

Whatever the reasons for heart failure in women, it is now your companion, and you can’t launch it in any way.

If not treated, over time you will have a deterioration in health, if everything can be controlled, you can live with it.

Reasonable people do this, well, we are not fools, we will monitor our health in both. Therefore, I can only wish you a healthy heart.

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What is the danger of heart failure, consequences and complications

Circulatory failure is progressive in nature, resulting in the absence of proper treatment for this condition, over time, the patient’s condition worsens, the degree of hemodynamic disorders increases, which often leads to death as a result.

The frequent consequences of heart failure arise due to pulmonary edema, when there is congestion in the pulmonary vessels, the liquid part of the blood penetrates the tissues of this organ. Because of this, the ability of the lungs to saturate the blood with oxygen is sharply reduced, hypoxia develops.

With circulatory failure, signs of cerebral ischemia may appear, which is manifested by fainting, dizziness, darkening in the eyes.

Grade 1 heart failure is usually the least likely cause serious consequences.

Regardless of the course of heart failure, this disease has a number of dangerous consequences. In addition to a possible malfunction of all the organs of a woman in the case of this disease, the danger is also a fatal outcome, which is observed at an advanced stage of the disease. But usually the symptoms of the disease are so strong that women pay attention to them when the chance of recovery is large enough. This helps to preserve not only the woman’s life, but also her functionality.

As you know, the consequences of hypertensive crisis cause this disease. And then what can heart failure lead to and what consequences can it cause? One of the negative outcomes of the development of this disease is the disability of a woman. The risk of depressive conditions that can lead a woman to death is increased. One of the scenarios for the development of this pathology can be a violation of the organs, which will lead to even more serious diseases.

After all, the second stage of this pathology is almost untreatable, and the third causes irreversible processes in the body.

To protect yourself from such a development of the disease, it is best to start taking care of the health of the body from a young age. By following the simple rules, you can prevent the occurrence of this disease. It is necessary to regularly visit the cardiologist’s office, which will be able to monitor all the processes associated with this disease, and the functionality of all organs and systems.

Serious enemies for people with heart problems are alcoholic drinks and smoking, because they have a very bad effect on the body of both women and men. Getting rid of these bad habits significantly increases the quality and life expectancy. You should listen to these simple tips so that the disease could not destroy women’s health.

Risk group

A high probability of the onset of the disease appears in women giving birth after 40 years. This can be explained by the fact that:

  • During pregnancy, women experience strong physical exertion, provoking high blood pressure, leading to heart disease.
  • During pregnancy, the normal functioning of organs and systems is disrupted.
  • Over the years, accumulated cholesterol contributes to the appearance of plaques that prevent blood flow in the body.
  • Endothelial cells (the cell layer lining the inner surface of blood vessels and cardiac cavities) age and wear out with age.

disease prevention

Prevention of heart failure is based on the treatment of diseases whose development leads to circulatory failure – hypertension, valve defects, etc. On the other hand, it is important to adjust the patient’s lifestyle to reduce the number of risk factors.

If the heart function is already impaired, the prevention of heart failure should be aimed at maintaining an optimal level of daily physical activity, constant monitoring by a cardiologist, taking prescribed medications.

What to do with heart failure to increase the chances of recovery? In addition to taking drugs in the treatment of circulatory failure, an important role is played by the correction of the patient’s lifestyle. In order for the treatment to be effective, people with this disease must reduce body weight to normal values, since overweight is one of the most common causative factors of hypertension.

Patients with this pathology are recommended to adhere to a diet. It consists primarily in limiting salt intake. Patients with heart failure should completely abandon this flavor enhancer, since salt reduces the excretion of fluid from the body, which leads to an increase in the load on the myocardium.

If the patient smokes or drinks alcohol, then these habits will have to be completely abandoned.

You must also exercise regularly. Depending on the severity of the disease, the permissible amount of loads also changes. For example, with functional class III, regular walking for about 40 minutes is sufficient, and with lighter versions of circulatory failure, special exercises can be added.

Tatyana Jakowenko

Editor-in-chief of the Detonic online magazine, cardiologist Yakovenko-Plahotnaya Tatyana. Author of more than 950 scientific articles, including in foreign medical journals. He has been working as a cardiologist in a clinical hospital for over 12 years. He owns modern methods of diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and implements them in his professional activities. For example, it uses methods of resuscitation of the heart, decoding of ECG, functional tests, cyclic ergometry and knows echocardiography very well.

For 10 years, she has been an active participant in numerous medical symposia and workshops for doctors - families, therapists and cardiologists. He has many publications on a healthy lifestyle, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

He regularly monitors new publications of European and American cardiology journals, writes scientific articles, prepares reports at scientific conferences and participates in European cardiology congresses.