Heart Conditions

Heart Failure

Heart failure is a problem with the way your heart pumps. Systolic heart failure means the heart can’t pump enough blood out to the rest of the body where the heart chambers become weak over time. Diastolic heart failure means the heart chambers are stiff and fill with less blood than usual. It is one of the leading causes of hospitalization in Australia.

SYMPTOMS – Symptoms may vary from person to person.

  1. Shortness of breath with activity or at rest.
  2. Extreme tiredness or weakness.
  3. Rapid changes in weight with swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, or tummy.
  4. Feeling light-headed.
  5. Rapid or irregular heart beat.

Common causes include heart valve problems, heart attacks, sleep apnoea, heart rhythm disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, family history, and heavy alcohol or drug use.

ATRIAL FIBRILLATION: Is a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat causing it to beat irregularly. This may increase the risk of blood clots forming in the heart chambers, which may cause strokes. It can be paroxysmal (coming and going), persistent (lasts > 1 week and may become permanent), or permanent. Sometimes people with atrial fibrillation may have undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnoea.

Treatment can include rate or rhythm control using medications or electrical cardioversion, anticoagulation using blood thinners to reduce stroke risk, lifestyle changes including weight loss and alcohol reduction, or catheter-based pulmonary vein ablations.

SYMPTOMS – Fatigue, Shortness of Breath, Light-headedness or dizziness, awareness of heart fluttering or beating fast or irregularly, chest pain, or no symptoms.