Overview Of Congestive Heart Failure: Expert’s Voice


Congestive heart failure (CHF), is a chronic growing condition that affects the pumping power of the heart muscles. In general, it is known as “heart failure,” In this condition, the fluid builds up around the heart and causes it to pump inefficiently.


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There are four heart chambers. The upper half of heart has two atria, and the lower half of your heart has two ventricles. The ventricles pump blood to your body’s tissues and organs, and the atria receive blood from your body as it circulates back from the rest of your body. CHF develops when your ventricles are not able to pump enough blood volume to the body. Gradually, blood and other fluids can store up inside your abdomen, lungs, liver, and lower body.


What Causes the Causes of Congestive Heart Failure?


Congestive heart failure occurs due to other health conditions that directly affect your cardiovascular system. So, it is important to get annual checkups to reduce the risk of heart problems, including coronary artery disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), and valve conditions.




If you are having blood pressure higher than normal, it can lead to CHF.


Coronary Artery Disease


Fatty substances like cholesterol can block your coronary arteries. This makes your arteries narrow. Narrower coronary arteries restrict your blood flow and can lead to damage to your arteries.


Valve Conditions


Your heart valves regulate blood flow through the heart by opening and closing and allow blood to flow in and out of the chambers. If valves don’t work properly it can force your ventricles to work harder to pump blood. This can be a result of a heart defect or infection.


Other Conditions


There are some other conditions too which can lead to congestive heart failure are diabetes, thyroid disease, and obesity. Severe infections and allergic reactions.


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What are the Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure?


Some CHF signs and symptoms may include:


• Shortness of breath (dyspnea) when you lie down or when you exert yourself.

Fatigue and weakness

• Swelling (edema) in ankles, your legs, and feet

• Irregular or rapid heartbeat

Reduced ability to exercise

• Continuous wheezing or a cough with white or pink blood-tinged phlegm

• Increased need to urinate at night

• Swelling of your abdomen

• Very rapid weight gain

• Nausea and lack of appetite

• Difficulty concentrating or decreased alertness

• Sudden, severe shortness of breath

• Chest pain if heart failure occurs due to heart attack


Factors Which Can Increase Your Risk of Congestive Heart Failure?


Having any of the following conditions can increase your risk for heart failure:


• High blood pressure

• Past heart attack


• Sleep apnea

• Congenital heart defects

• Valvular heart disease

• Viruses

• Alcohol use

• Tobacco use


• Irregular heartbeats


Prevention For Congestive Heart Failure:

The only key to prevent congestive heart failure is to reduce your risk factors. You can eliminate or control many of the risk factors for heart disease by controlling your high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.  If you feel any of the above symptoms then consult your cardiologist as soon as possible.


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Dr. Birinder Singh Thind

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