Congestive Heart Failure – Overview

By | January 7, 2018

Congestive Heart Failure also known as CHF or otherwise known as just heart failure is a state where the heart is not able to pump enough blood to supply the organs of the body. The heart keeps working but not as it should. This is a very serious condition that can be caused by a number of different things.

Causes
There are several different abnormalities that can cause a person to go into congestive heart failure. Here is the list of some of the causes of congestive heart failure.

1. A past heart attack or myocardial infarction that resulted in scar tissue that affects the way the heart functions.
2. High blood pressure.
3. Narrowed arteries or otherwise known as coronary artery disease that supplies the heart with blood.
4. Heart valve disease that has been caused by Rheumatic fever or various other reasons.
5. Congenital heart defects. Defects of the heart that has been present since birth.
6. Cardiomyopathy – This is disease of the heart muscle.
7. Endocarditis or Myocarditis. Infection of the heart muscle or heart valves.

Swelling is usually a positive sign of congestive heart failure. As the heart pumps blood to the rest of the body becomes slow, the blood in the veins that is returning to the heart begins to back up in the system. This can cause swelling. CHF also affects the kidneys ability to dispose of sodium; therefore, causing the patient to retain water which increases the swelling. You will usually notice the swelling more so in the extremities, feet and legs, as they are the farthest from the heart and there has to be increased pressure for the blood to flow back up towards the heart itself.

Treatment
You will definitely have to be diagnosed as having congestive heart failure from your physician and a treatment program is inevitable. You will more than likely have to take a variety of medications and maintain a healthy diet and exercise program to help get you back in the proper shape to continue on with a long life.

A variety of medications is usually prescribed to a patient who has experienced congestive heart failure. Diuretics, ACE inhibitors, Beta blockers, etc are just some of the few that you could be prescribed. You will have to modify you daily routine in terms of activities, obtain plenty of rest, eat healthier and get regular exercise as much as possible.

Most people who experience congestive heart failure can be treated. In more rare cases, like when the heart is so badly damaged that it cannot be fixed, then a heart transplant will be needed. Depending upon the cause of the patient’s congestive heart failure will determine the treatment that will be prescribed. If the CHF was because of a problematic valve, then valve replacement surgery will be needed and can cure the problem.

In the end, heart problems are very serious and should not be taken lightly. If you are experiencing problematic breathing or have noticed swelling, especially in your feet and legs, contact and inform your physician as soon as possible.

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