Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure

What is Congestive Heart Failure?

Congestive heart failure is when your heart muscle weakens, making it unable to pump out enough oxygen and nutrients to the rest of your body. The disease can be fatal if not treated. It is commonly known as heart failure; however, it does not imply that the heart has stopped working.

This life-threatening condition is caused by various risk factors that eventually damage the heart muscle walls, fill the lungs with fluid and diminish the blood flow to the kidneys.

Once the physician evaluates the patient’s condition, symptoms, and medical history, they will perform a physical exam to find the cause of the heart failure. In addition, they would recommend tests like an electrocardiogram, ECG, stress test, cardiac catheterization, etc.

On completion of the diagnosis, the physician will then determine the treatment plan for the patient. Depending on the severity, the treatment method can vary from medication, lifestyle changes, surgical procedures, or implantable devices.

What are the symptoms and risk factors of Congestive Heart Failure?

Numerous risk factors can cause congestive heart failure. The most common include:

  • High blood pressure

  • Smoking

  • Diabetes

  • Obesity

  • Heavy alcohol use

  • Faulty heart valves

  • Inflammation in the heart muscle

Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure

It's possible that you won't detect any symptoms. Signs of congestive heart failure can be mild or severe, constant or inconsistent. Here are a few common symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fatigue

  • Dizziness

  • Wheezing

  • Swollen ankles, legs, abdomen

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Chest pain

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