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Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) – The Symptoms and Treatment

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September 06th, 2013

Congestive heart failure (CHF) occurs once the heart is unable to pump sufficient blood according to the needs of the body. The weakened chambers permit blood to go inside the heart as well as nearby veins. This further stimulated fluid retention, especially in the legs, lungs, and abdomen. CHF is referred to as congestive cardiac failure or chronic heart failure.

The chief reasons of heart failure can be hypertension, coronary heart disease, cardiomyopathy and other heart ailments. Coronary heart disease is considered as the most common among these. The main contributing factors for coronary heart disease are a diet rich in cholesterol and saturated fats, obesity, diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, and lack of physical activities. CHF is more common among elderly. The survival rate for people with this disorder usually depends on the severity of the condition. Treatments can include proper medication, alterations in lifestyle, and sometimes surgery in severe cases.

A look at the symptoms of congestive heart failure:

Breathlessness during light exercise or at rest
Too much breathlessness during activity
Muscular fatigue and tiredness
Swelling of legs or ankles and abdomen
Inexplicable coughing and wheezing

Congestive Heart Failure –The Treatment

It is essential to consult your cardiologist timely and start the treatment immediately. Treatment may include:

Lifestyle changes: Try to change your lifestyle and start with regular gentle exercises. This will help you to lose excess body fat, quit smoking and limit the alcohol, stick to a low-fat and low-salt diet and have adequate rest.

Medications: This will include:
ACE inhibitors that will open up blood vessels, reduce blood pressure and decrease sodium as well as water retention.
Diuretics to remove excess fluid.
Vasodilators to unblock blood vessels.
Digitalis to support the heart pump more effectively.
Certain beta blockers to slow the heart rate and reduce its work.

Addressing the underlying disorder: If you are suffering from other disorders like high blood pressure, it is advised to get the treatment of it first.

Surgery: The surgery will be conducted to substitute leaking or narrowed heart valves.

Coronary bypass surgery: This will be executed in some critical cases.

Heart transplant: Heart transplant surgery will be conducted in severe cases.

Florida Heart Group has been providing cardiovascular services since 1979. We aim to provide the best medical care to each of our patients. At Florida Heart Group, the team of well-qualified Florida cardiology physicians and support staff endeavors to assist people with cardiovascular diseases as they understand the value of human life.