Congestive Heart Failure Definition, Symptoms And Treatments


Congestive heart failure signs and symptoms ordinarily start slowly and may at first be observed only through periods of activity. Having said that, over time, shortness of breath and other indications may be seen even during times of rest. Congestive heart failure is a disease in which the heart becomes an inefficient or weak pump. This report shares information so it is possible to learn to recognize the symptoms linked with this chronic disorder and start to create an online diagnosis making you better prepared for your visit to your medical physician’s office.

This heart problem is a long-term and chronic problem, which typically includes both sides of the heart. Even so, the condition may impact only the right side of the heart (right-sided heart failure) or the left side (left-sided heart failure). The ailment happens when your heart muscle tissue are weakened and can not pump the blood from the heart effectively (systolic heart failure) or when your heart muscle groups are stiff and do not fill up with blood very easily (diastolic heart failure).

In any type of heart failure, the heart becomes incapable of adequately pumping oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body, especially during instances of physical exercise or exertion.

Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms and Causes

Symptoms have a tendency to grow gradually, nonetheless, they can come about abruptly in certain cases like after a heart attack or other heart problem. Originally symptoms may be viewed only in the course of periods of activity. As time goes on, signs can appear even during periods of rest.

Common signs of congestive heart failure involve:

  • Shortness of breath with exertion or when lying down
  • Cough
  • Inflammation or swelling in legs, feet and ankles (pooling of blood)
  • Swelling of the abdominal area
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of appetite, indigestion
  • Irregular or fast pulse
  • Low blood pressure
  • Weakness and exhaustion
  • Heart palpitations (feeling the heart beat)
  • Problems sleeping
  • Various other signs and symptoms may include:
  • Reduced alertness or capability to concentrate
  • Decreased urine production
  • Nighttime urination (the necessity to get out of bed to go to the rest room)
  • Nausea and vomiting

If congestive heart failure is seen in an infant, a father or mother or guardian may notice the infant sweats during feedings or with various other activities.

Some sufferers may have no apparent signs and symptoms. In these sufferers, signs and symptoms may only exist with an accompanying condition such as anemia, arrhythmias (abnormal heart beat or rhythm), hyperthyroidism, infection with high fever, and kidney ailment.

Congestive heart failure is usually the outcome of a significant complication of some chronic illnesses similar to coronary artery disease, which is a narrowing of the blood vessels which supply the heart. Other causes may involve an infection which weakens the heart muscle (i.e. cardiomyophathy), congenital heart disease, several heart attacks, heart valve disease, or certain infections.

Various other ailments which may lead to heart failure involve, chronic high blood pressure (hypertension), emphysema (lung ailment noticed in long-term smokers), severe anemia, hyperthyroidism.

Congestive Heart Failure Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis may commence with the observation of the earlier mentioned signs and should be confirmed by way of an evaluation by a medical practitioner. The evaluation may involve a physical examination, ECG, chest x-rays, Heart CT scan, MRI of the heart, echocardiogram, angiography (x-ray of the heart and blood vessels using a radiopaque contrast medium), heart catheterization, nuclear heart scan, and blood or urine analysis.

A physician will keep track of your disorder carefully with repeated follow-up visits (i.e. every 3 to 6 months). You could also keep track of your issue closely and weigh yourself regularly. Excess weight gain can indicate that your body is retaining fluid.

Home care comes with taking your medications as directed, limiting salt intake, quitting smoking, remaining physically active under your doctor’s direction, controlling or losing weight, receiving plenty of rest with your feet elevated.

Your medical doctor may prescribe medications to help control signs like:

  • ACE inhibitors, that open up blood vessels and reduce the work load of the heart (i.e. captopril, enalapril, lisinopril, and ramipril)
  • Diuretics, which decrease the accumulation of fluid (i.e. hydrochlorothiazide, chlorthalidone, chlorothiazide, furosemide, torsemide, bumetanide, and spironolactone)
  • Digitalis glycosides, that help the heart muscle contractcorrectly and help treatsome heart arrhythmias
  • Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), which can be taken in place of ACE inhibitors (i.e. losartan and candesartan)
  • Beta-blockers (i.e. carvedilol and metoprolol)

Certain medicines must not be taken as they may worsen congestive heart failure. These medicines include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), thiazolidinediones, metformin, cilostazol, PDE-5 inhibitors (sildenafil, vardenafil), and others. Discuss any medications with your physician