Congestive Heart Failure and Heart Failure (HF) are generally accepted terms describing a wide range of complex heart problems.
Congestive Heart Failure occurs after adverse cardiovascular conditions have existed long enough to weaken the heart and make it incapable of pumping adequate amounts of blood and nutrients throughout the body’s organs and cells.
i.e., the diseased heart’s pump-beat isn’t strong enough to move a normal blood flow through the lungs and body. This weak blood flow results in a buildup, or congestion, of blood inside the lungs, and also causes the retention of fluids inside body tissues.
According to the NIH website:
As your heart grows weaker, symptoms get worse. You may begin to feel tired and short of breath after getting dressed or walking across the room. Some people have shortness of breath while lying flat.
Fluid buildup from heart failure also causes weight gain, frequent urination, and a cough that’s worse at night and when you’re lying down. This cough may be a sign of acute pulmonary edema (e-DE-ma). This is a condition in which too much fluid builds up in your lungs. The condition requires emergency treatment…
CHF, or HF, doesn’t mean your heart has stopped.
Nor do they always require hospitalization.
Yet, they’re ‘serious-as-a-heart-attack’, conditions…
So serious, that in the 5 years after a diagnosis of heart failure, nearly half of the people will die.
Genetics, birth defects, injures and infections aside, a history of foolhardy lifestyle choices is the biggest contributor to unhealthy conditions that eventually cause heart failure.
And, according to The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute:
The majority of heart failures are caused by the effects from long-term coronary artery disease, chronic high blood pressure and the ravages of diabetes.
Congestive Heart Failure Causes:
- Habitually excessive alcohol intake
- Diet heavy with high-fat, processed foods
- Lack of regular exercise
- Being overweight
- Too much vitamin E
- Thyroid disorders
- Sleep apnea
By its nature, CHF is a ‘sneaky’ disease with symptoms that may seem random and unrelated, that are too easily ignored, until a crisis hits.
Signals Of Impending Heart Failure:
- Shortness of breath during normal physical activities
- Chronic coughing/wheezing
- Edema: swelling in feet, ankles, legs, and abdomen (caused by retention/build-up of body fluids)
- Frequent feelings of tiredness and fatigue without due cause
- Loss of appetite
- Uncharacteristic feelings of confusion and muddled thinking
- Rapid weight gain, especially in stomach area
- Unjustified episodes of increased heart rate
To see an excellent explanation of the above symptoms, click on the following blue link: Heart Health Org
By its lonesome, any one sign of heart failure might not be cause for alarm.
Yet, if you’ve more than one of these symptoms, even if you don’t have a known heart problem, it’s probably a good idea to ask a healthcare professional for an evaluation of your heart’s performance.
Video: Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms:
Not to offer false hope, but…
If diagnosed in time, CHF needn’t be a killer.
If not curable, many aspects of CHF do respond well to treatment.
Treatment specifics should vary to fit individuals.
Generally though, they include lifestyle changes, fluid intake control, taking prescribed medicines, close monitoring and treatment of blood pressure ratios, weight monitoring and sometimes surgery. More CHF Treatments
As a frequent reader, you may know I was given a year to live after being hospitalized with congestive heart failure back in 2004.
Yet, until lately, treatment has helped me live a pretty normal lifestyle.
However, over the last 3 months, I’ve been having signs CHF.
Enough so that I’ve sought out medical attention. I’ll let you know how that’s going in the near future…
As usual, I’ll remind you…
“I don’t know anything for certain and I’ve no advice about anything. My role is reporting upon my research and sharing personal stories with you.
Talk to you next time.
Really enjoy hearing from you!