Understanding Congestive Heart Failure

Understanding Congestive Heart Failure

Mar 01, 2021

The heart is a vital organ in the body because it is responsible for delivering nutrients and oxygen to other body parts and carrying away waste. However, heart failure can result in the heart being unable to efficiently pump blood to other organs.

Structure and Function of The Heart

The heart is a muscle at the center of the circulatory system that is responsible for delivering blood to various parts of the body. Notably, the heart has a network of blood vessels that pump blood, oxygen, and nutrients to every body part to enable them to remain healthy and function properly.

The heart has a complex structure because it constitutes a mechanism that facilitates a continuous flow of blood from the heart to other body parts and back to the heart. Facilitating this continuous flow of blood are two main blood vessels that are the veins and arteries. Veins return deoxygenated blood to the heart whereas the arteries carry oxygenated blood from the heart.

Causes of Congestive Heart Failure

Heart failure is a significant health issue affecting a huge population worldwide, especially the elderly. Notably, congestive heart failure occurs as a result of blockage or damage to the blood vessels thus affecting the pumping power of the heart muscle. As a result, the body becomes congested with fluids such as water from the kidneys that build up within the legs, lungs, arms among other body parts.

Eventually, other body cells and organs are unable to function effectively because of low nutrient and oxygen supply. Although the body may be able to compensate for the low pumping ability of the heart, it may only last for a short while before resulting in progressive heart failure in the long term.

Various conditions can damage the heart muscle leading to congestive heart failure. These include:

  • Heart Attack
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Defect at Birth

Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms

Heart failure can be acute or chronic, therefore, there may be instances where a person experiences mild to no symptoms. However, this does not mean that a person does not have heart failure. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Body swelling
  • Difficulties in concentrating
  • Nausea
  • Wheezing
  • Chest pains

These symptoms may vary because heart failure worsens with time especially when one does not have access to medical assistance. If you are experiencing these or other similar symptoms to heart failure, you must seek immediate emergency care services for diagnosis and treatment.

What Are The 4 Stages of Congestive Heart Failure?

Congestive heart failure is categorized into four stages (A, B, C, and D) based on the functional abilities of the heart and the risk of developing heart failure. Notably, once individual suffering from heart failure advances from one stage to another, the condition is not reversible to the previous stage. As a result, the treatment received also changes.

  • Stage A: This stage is considered to be a pre-heart failure stage because it constitutes of individuals from a family background with a history of heart failure, diabetes, hypertension among other conditions. Early detection of heart failure at this stage can easily be reversed since there is no dysfunction of any activity of the heart.
  • Stage B: This is the stage when heart failure proceeds although some people may not experience any symptoms. Notably, it is possible to suffer a heart attack at this stage.
  • Stage C: This is the stage of heart failure progression. Symptoms such as shortness of breath and fatigue are often reported during this stage due to the interference of a healthy blood flow.
  • Stage D: Being the last stage of chronic heart failure, significant symptoms such as wheezing, lack of appetite, coughing, among others are experienced.

Congestive Heart Failure Treatment

Congestive heart failure is a serious health condition, but it can no longer be categorized as a death sentence. Notably, advancements in the medical field have led to the innovation of ways that one can manage the condition. Today, there is a treatment option that can suit any individual’s general health. Medication based on one’s stage and lifestyle modification are some of the treatment options available.

However, the sooner a person detects the symptoms and seeks treatment, the better. Therefore, when a person begins to experience any symptoms of heart failure, looking up for the “er near me” is the most ideal thing to do. If you have already been diagnosed with heart failure, it is important to work with a certified heart specialist. To find one, you can inquire from friends and family or lookup for ” cardiologists in an emergency room near me.”

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