Congestive Heart Failure: Type, Symptoms, Cause, Stages & Treatment

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Congestive heart failure (CHF) is defined as a chronic progressive condition that affects the pumping power of the heart muscles.


Congestive heart failure often referred to simply as heart failure, CHF definitely refers to the stage in which the fluid builds up around the heart and causes it to pump ineffectively.


Mainly we have four chambers in our heart. The upper half of the heart has two atria, and the lower half of the heart has two ventricles.


These ventricles pump blood to the body’s tissues and organs, and the atria receive the blood from the body as it circulates back from the rest of our body.


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What Is Congestive Heart Failure?

Heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped working. Preferably, it means that pumping power of the heart is weaker than normal. With the heart failure, blood moves from and to the heart and body at a slower rate and the heart’s pressure increases.


Hence, the heart cannot pump enough nutrients and oxygen to meet the body’s needs.


The four chambers of the heart may respond by increasing to hold more blood to pump through the body or by becoming contracted and thickened.


With this condition, the blood moving becomes hard, but the heart muscle walls may ultimately weaken and become unable to pump as efficiently.




What Are The Most Common Types Of Congestive Heart Failure?

There are mainly two categories for CHF including left-sided CHF and right-sided CHF on which they are further divided into two parts.


Left-sided CHF is the most common, it usually occurs when the left ventricle of the heart doesn’t properly pump blood out to the body. As the condition proceeds, fluid can build up in the lungs, which makes a person’s breathing difficult.


There are two kinds of left-sided heart failure:

Systolic heart failure:

It occurs when the left ventricle fails to contract normally and leads to the reduction of the force level which is available to push blood into circulation. Without this force, the heart can’t pump correctly.


Diastolic failure:

It is also known as diastolic dysfunction which only happens when the muscle in the left ventricle becomes hard. Because ventricle can no longer relax, the heart can’t quite fill with blood between beats.


Right-sided CHF occurs when the right ventricle faces the difficulty in pumping blood to the lungs. Blood backs up in the blood vessels, which further causes fluid maintenance in the lower abdomen, extremities, and other vital organs.


It’s likely to have left-sided and right-sided CHF at the same time. Normally, the disease starts on the left side and then travels to the right when left untreated.




What Are The Most Common Symptoms Of Congestive Heart Failure?

There are several common symptoms of CHF including;

  • Fatigue
  • Swelling of ankles, feet, and legs
  • Weight gain
  • Increased need to urinate
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • A cough in congested lungs
  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting



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What Are The Most Common Causes Of Congestive Heart Failure?

CHF mainly results from other health conditions that directly affect the cardiovascular system. This is why it’s so important to get annual checkups to lower the risk for heart health problems.

These heart health problems include;

  • Hypertension
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Valve conditions
  • Other conditions like diabetes, obesity, and thyroid disease




What Are The Stages Of Congestive Heart Failure?

There are mainly 4 stages of including;

Stage 1:

People those are at high risk of developing heart failure of stage 1, including people with:

  • High blood pressure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • History of cardiotoxic drug therapy
  • History of rheumatic fever
  • History of alcohol abuse
  • A family history of cardiomyopathy

Stage 2:

Those people who are diagnosed with systolic left ventricular dysfunction but who have never had symptoms of heart failure, including people with:

  • Prior heart attack
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Valve disease


Stage 3:

Those patients with known systolic heart failure and have prior symptoms. Then they have most common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Reduced ability to exercise
  • Fatigue


Stage 4:

The stage includes patients with systolic heart failure and has advanced symptoms after receiving optimum medical care.




What Are The Treatment Options Available For Congestive Heart Failure?

There are more treatment options available for the heart failure than ever before. Making tight control over the medications and lifestyle as well as coupled with careful monitoring, are the basic steps of primary treatment.

As the condition progresses, doctors offer specific treatment for the heart failure. As well as the treatment options depend upon its stages such as;

  • Regular exercise
  • Quit smoking.
  • Treat lipid disorders
  • Treat high blood pressure
  • Discontinue alcohol or illegal drug use



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By considering all the above treatment option you can actually protect yourself from congestive heart failure.

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