It is the term used when the heart becomes less efficient at pumping blood round the body.
It may result from damage to the heart muscle, most commonly by a heart attack, but sometimes by drinking too much alcohol, a viral infection or by disease of the heart muscle called cardiomyopathy.
It can also be as a result of other conditions which put extra workload on the heart.
For example, high blood pressure, heart valve disease, anaemia or thyroid gland disease.
- Severe tiredness
- Swelling of feet/ankles
- Reduced exercise tolerance
A physical examination and history will be taken by your Doctor.
Usually an Electrocardiogram (ECG) and chest x-ray and blood tests will be performed.
An echo cardiogram will be required to test the pumping action of the heart which is a type of ultrasound scan.
- Diuretics or water tablets
- ACE inhibitors
- Beta blockers
- Aldosterone antagonists
- Cardiac resynchronisation therapy - a special type of pacemaker
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
- Heart surgery, for example, a replacement heart valve
- Heart transplant