Recognizing the Signs of Congestive Heart Failure

Nearly 6.5 million people in the United States are living with heart failure and about one in five people will be diagnosed with the serious condition. The good news is that when it’s caught in its earlier stages, there’s much we can do to manage and even reverse the problem, which is why recognizing the signs of heart failure is so important.

At Humble Cardiology Associates, Dr. Madaiah Revana, and our team believe that patient education is one of the keys to safeguarding your cardiovascular health. And when it comes to congestive heart failure, knowledge is critical in helping you take the necessary steps to avoid a life-threatening outcome.

With that in mind, here’s a look at the major warning signs of heart failure and what steps you should take.

Congestive heart failure 101

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a progressive condition in which your heart is unable to pump enough oxygen-rich blood throughout your body to support your organs. 

Your heart is made up of four chambers — two atria on the upper half and two ventricles on the lower. Your right atrium receives oxygen-depleted blood and pumps it to your right ventricle, which sends the blood into your lungs to exchange carbon dioxide and pick up oxygen. This blood is then delivered into your left atrium where it’s pumped to your left ventricle to be circulated throughout your body.

With CHF, your ventricles are unable to pump out enough blood to your body to sustain optimal function, and fluids can build up in your:

In most cases, the problem starts in your left ventricle and then travels to your right ventricle if the condition goes untreated.

Know the signs of congestive heart failure

We can’t stress enough the importance of intervening quickly when it comes to congestive heart failure, so we urge you to be on the lookout for the early signs, which include:

As heart failure progresses, you may begin to notice:

All of these symptoms will likely get progressively worse. For example, the shortness of breath that you feel during exercise becomes more constant, even when you’re at rest.

In the most severe stages of heart failure, you may experience:

Of course, our goal is to have you come in to see us at the first signs of a problem as there’s much we can do to stop the progression of heart failure.

Treating heart failure

Since heart failure is progressive, our treatment depends upon the stage of your heart failure. In its earliest stages, we will likely turn to medications that encourage the flow of blood in your body and regulate your heart rate.

While we can provide you with many effective medications that help you manage heart failure, you can also do your part by making some changes to your lifestyle, such as:

Rest assured, if we diagnose you with congestive heart failure, we design a customized treatment plan that will give you the best chances for success.

If you suspect you may have congestive heart failure, or you’d like to know more about the condition, please contact one of our two offices in Humble or Houston, Texas, to set up a consultation.

You Might Also Enjoy...

The Dangers of Hypertension

When a health condition has earned the nickname, “Silent Killer,” it’s one condition that’s worth understanding. Here’s what you should know about the dangers of hypertension and how we can help lower your blood pressure.

Can Laser Hair Removal Free Me From Shaving Forever?

You’re tired of waxing, shaving, and plucking to achieve your hair-free goals, and you want to look into laser hair removal. Here’s a look at what we can accomplish with this innovative approach to unwanted body hair.

Are My Spider Veins a Threat to My Health?

You’ve developed thread-like veins in your legs, and you’re wondering whether there’s cause for concern. In an overwhelming majority of cases, spider veins are only a cosmetic nuisance — a nuisance we can easily treat.

Could My Leg Pain Be Cardiovascular in Nature?

Your legs feel cramped or achy and you haven’t really done anything to warrant the discomfort. Or, perhaps they throb for no discernible reason. These examples, and other leg issues, could be related to your cardiovascular health.

How Losing Weight Improves Your Heart Health

When you have obesity or you’re overweight, your risks for heart disease increase exponentially. The good news is that these risks can be reversed by losing just 5-10% of your overall body weight.

Stubborn Fat? We Can Help

You’ve been working hard to lose weight and your overall results are good, but stubborn fat hangs on in certain areas. The good news is that we can fight back through innovative fat-reduction technology.