If you have been diagnosed with heart failure, your doctor will attempt to find out what caused it.
There are numerous reasons why your heart may become weak. I have listed some of the common ones in the image below.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a common cause of a weak heart. The excessive stress that high blood pressure exerts on the heart can make it weak as time passes.
Coronary Artery Disease
Reduced blood flow to the heart due to heart artery blockages is another cause of heart failure.
Coronary artery disease, a condition where the arteries supplying blood to the heart are narrowed, can lead to the heart failing to work as a pump. In the medical world, this is called ischemic cardiomyopathy.
Diabetes is another common cause of heart failure. Most patients who have heart failure often have coexisting diabetes.
Observational studies have shown that people with diabetes have a 2- to 4-fold higher risk of heart failure than people without diabetes.
In fact, there is a detailed guideline that is set out for cardiologists regarding diabetes and heart failure, which exemplifies its importance as a risk factor.
Damaged Heart Muscle
Heart muscle damage can take place due to numerous causes.
For example, the use of illicit drugs has been associated with heart muscle disease and subsequent heart failure. Viral infection can cause heart muscle inflammation, causing myocarditis. This can in turn cause heart failure.
Certain forms of valve disease can increase the risk of developing heart failure. This is because blood flow within the chambers is faulty, and this places a lot of stress on the heart muscle to do its job.
Irregular Heart Rhythms
Certain heart rhythm irregularities can occur due to electrical wiring issues within the heart.
Due to this, the heart muscle beats erratically, leading to the weakening of the heart muscle.
High Alcohol Intake
Excess intake of alcohol on a regular basis can weaken the heart muscle. I have discussed this in another post here.
In short, it is excessive intake and not moderate intake that is a concern. Furthermore, with each alcohol binge, you raise your heart rate, increase your blood pressure and increase your body weight (over time).
These can stress your heart and worsen heart function.
Conditions such as thyroid disease, HIV, and certain cancer drugs can lead to heart failure. Excessive iron in the body can also weaken the heart.
Idiopathic Heart Failure
This is a condition where no cause for heart failure is identified.