What is Congestive Heart Failure?
Heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalizations in adults over 65 in the United States, and about 670,000 people are diagnosed with heart failure each year.
Congestive heart failure is often misunderstood as a stopped heart – this is not the case. Congestive heart failure simply means that the heart’s ability to pump is weaker than it should be. This means that the blood is moving throughout the body at a slower rate, thus increasing the amount of pressure on the heart. Because the blood is moving so slowly, the heart has a hard time keeping up and providing enough oxygen and nutrients to meet the body’s needs.
The chambers of the heart often stretch to hold more blood or become stiff and thickened to keep the blood moving. This may be sufficient for a while, but soon, the heart muscle walls will weaken and become unable to pump blood, oxygen and nutrients efficiently. This condition puts a strain on the kidneys and causes the body to retain water buildup in the arms, legs, ankles, feet, lungs and other organs. This is where the term “congestive” comes from.
If you have a family history of congestive heart failure or you are experiencing shortness of breath, difficulty breathing at rest, hacking cough, wheezing, fluid and water retention, dizziness, fatigue, weakness or rapid or irregular heartbeats, make an appointment with Dr. Madaiah Revana today.
What are the Causes of Congestive Heart Failure?
Any conditions that can potentially damage the heart muscle can cause congestive heart failure.
- Heart Attack
- Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
- High Blood Pressure
- Valve Diseases
- Thyroid Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Birth Defects (Relating to the heart)