What You Should Know About Congestive Heart Failure

What You Should Know About Congestive Heart Failure

When the word, “failure,” is attached to something as important as your heart, it’s time to sit up and take notice. More than 6 million adults in the United States are diagnosed with heart failure, a condition in which the organ is unable to pump enough blood and oxygen to your body. 

There are many roads to heart failure, as well as common symptoms, and the team here at Humble Cardiology Associates wants you to better recognize them. Under the direction of Dr. Madaiah Revana, we pulled together a brief overview of congestive heart failure and the steps we can take to improve your heart health.

Congestive heart failure basics

When your cardiovascular system is working well, your heart pumps 60-100 times per minute, circulating the 6 quarts of blood in your body 3 times every minute. This incredibly efficient system is designed to ensure that all of your body’s cells receive the oxygen and nutrients they need for optimal function.

When you have congestive heart failure, your heart isn’t pumping as well, depriving your cells of the blood they need. 

There are many roads to congestive heart failure, including:

There are also several lifestyle factors that place you more at risk of heart failure, including smoking, a high-fat diet, and lack of activity.

Symptoms of congestive heart failure

Since the cells in your body aren’t getting enough oxygen, one of the first signs of congestive heart failure is abnormal fatigue, especially when you’re trying to be active. 

Other important signs include:

Congestive heart failure is progressive, which means these symptoms may not be noticeable, at first. The longer the condition goes unaddressed, however, the more likely you are to notice signs of a problem.

Diagnosing congestive heart failure

If, after reviewing your symptoms and your medical history, we feel that heart failure may be present, we first measure your heart’s ejection fraction (EF). Using an MRI, echocardiogram, or nuclear testing, our goal is to determine how much blood is pumped out of the left ventricle of your heart, which is the primary pumping chamber.

We also use other diagnostic tools, such as blood tests, stress testing, an electrocardiogram, and more, until we identify the source of your heart health problem.

Treating congestive heart failure

While there’s no cure for heart failure, plenty of people lead happy, healthy lives by slowing and managing the condition, especially during the earlier stages. During early heart failure, medications and lifestyle changes can make a big difference in aiding your heart function and slowing the progression of the condition.

We can’t stress enough how important your participation is in treating your heart failure. The steps you take to mitigate your risk factors, such as quitting smoking, losing weight, and exercising more, are crucial to your success.

There’s much more to congestive heart failure than we can fit here, so if you have any questions or you’d like to determine your risks, please contact one of our two offices in Humble or Houston, Texas.

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