Is nocturia a sign of heart failure

Global heart failure (heart failure on both sides)

In global heart failure, both chambers of the heart are too sick to carry a sufficient amount of blood. This has an impact on the entire body: In addition to a drop in performance, there are often water retention (edema) and breathing problems. We will show you which symptoms you can still use to recognize global heart failure (also known as biventricular heart failure) and which causes can lead to the disease.

AdobeStock_71691666_Thomas Mucha

Anyone who is quickly exhausted when going for a walk may suffer from global cardiac insufficiency.

Straight to the correct section:

How does global heart failure develop?

Heart failure, also called heart failure, is characterized by a decreased heart pumping power out. The heart is a strong muscle that pumps up to 10,000 liters of blood through our body every day.1 Various causes can mean that the organ can no longer perform to its full potential. Often is first the left half of the heart affected, doctors speak of left heart failure.

It is not uncommon for heart failure to spread to the right side, affecting the whole heart. So that is global heart failure a simultaneous left and right cardiac insufficiency.

In the following we explain what happens with global heart failure and which route the blood takes through a healthy heart:

  • In the lungs, the blood is enriched with oxygen and reaches the left atrium and the left ventricle.
  • From there it is transported with great pressure via the arteries of the body down to the smallest branching vessels.
  • Once the blood has given up the oxygen it has absorbed, it returns to the right atrium of the heart and the right ventricle.
  • The oxygen-poor blood flows from the right ventricle into the lungs, where it is enriched with oxygen so that it can begin its journey through the body again.

Find out more about blood flow in the heart in our video:

Understand heart failure better

In global heart failure, the left half of the heart can only insufficiently distribute the oxygen-rich blood from the lungs throughout the body. This can two reasons have: Either the diseased left half of the heart can no longer contract as usual and therefore pump less well (systolic heart failure). Or the left ventricle is stiffened and therefore takes in less blood (diastolic heart failure).

In addition, the right half of the heart only to a limited extent, so that the oxygen-poor blood from the body is no longer fully transported to the lungs.

Common causes for global heart failure are coronary heart diseases, for example a heart attack. High blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias or congenital heart malformations are also among the triggers.

Global heart failure can cause the heart to grow abnormally over time.

Global Heart Failure: Symptoms at a Glance

Since the patient suffers from left and right heart failure at the same time, the symptoms of both subtypes occur. At the beginning, for example, it is often noticeable that exhaustion occurs more quickly: Again and again, those affected have to take breaks in everyday life, for example when walking briskly or climbing stairs.

Other important symptoms global heart failure are:

  • Shortness of breath and shortness of breath, possibly rattling breathing noises (as with the left-sided heart failure) and coughing
  • decreased exercise capacity
  • swollen ankles, backs of feet, and legs due to water retention (edema)
  • congested and dilated blood vessels in the neck
  • sudden weight gain (as with right-sided heart failure)
  • frequent night urination (nocturia)
  • Cardiac arrhythmias

Have swollen ankles or rattling breath sounds Water retention (edema) in the body down. You belong to the Main symptoms global heart failure. Edema occurs when the blood builds up in front of the heart because it is unable to cope with the return transport. Due to the increasing pressure in the blood vessels, the liquid components of the blood are pressed into the surrounding tissue. During the night, part of this water retention is mobilized from the tissue and excreted via the kidneys. As a result, those affected often have to go to the toilet.

Backward and Forward Failure in Global Heart Failure

To adequately understand the effects of backward and forward failure, the directions of blood flow must be clear. As shown in the graphic, flows

  1. oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left side of the heart
  2. oxygenated blood from the left side of the heart into the body
  3. deoxygenated blood from the lower half of the body to the right half of the heart
  4. deoxygenated blood from the upper half of the body to the right half of the heart
  5. deoxygenated blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs

If there is now a bilateral pumping weakness of the heart, both forward and backward failure can occur in global heart failure:

  • At the Backward failure Blood builds up in the lungs or in the legs, feet and ankles because the heart does not have enough strength to carry the blood back to the heart.
  • At the Forward failure The heart can no longer build up enough pressure in the arteries due to the weak pumping. As a result, less blood is pumped from the heart into the body. The oxygen supply to the organs and muscles is reduced as a result.

A heart that fails backwards is primarily characterized by water retention. These in turn can cause shortness of breath in the lungs. The forward failure leads to the fact that those affected quickly feel exhausted and short of breath, as they lack the necessary oxygen for physical exertion.

tip: If you experience symptoms of global heart failure in yourself or a loved one, do not hesitate to get medical help. Treated in time, the chances of getting the symptoms under control increase.

The heart's pumping power can be weakened in two directions.

Frequency of global heart failure

Under which requirements does bilateral, i.e. biventricular, heart failure actually occur?

  • At the onset of the disease, many sufferers hardly notice the symptoms or pretend to be normal signs of age from. This is fatal, however, because the longer left heart failure goes untreated, the greater the risk that a global form will develop.
  • Doctors have different Risk factors that can cause or worsen heart failure. These include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption or being overweight. If the patient is only able to lead a healthy lifestyle to a limited extent, this increases the unfavorable course of the disease.
  • Comorbidities such as diabetes, depression or kidney failure also promote the progression of heart failure.

With increasing age the number of sufferers with heart failure is increasing. If 6.9 percent of the 65 to 69-year-olds are affected, the rate for the 80 to 84-year-olds is already 24.5 percent.2 Both men and women develop heart failure; women are only older on average when they are diagnosed.3

What can be done about global heart failure?

To treat global heart failure, drugs are used that, among other things, drain water, stabilize blood pressure and promote processes that have a protective effect on the heart. Even if the symptoms improve with treatment, the medication must be taken as directed. Otherwise there is a risk of the disease progressing. Through exercise, patients can improve their attitude towards life and alleviate symptoms. You can find out to what extent you can be active in a conversation with your doctor.