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Information About Congestive Heart Failure

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  Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is a serious, chronic condition that causes a deficiency in the heart’s ability to pump oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. Like Congestive Heart Failure, Left-VentricleHeart Failure occurs when the heart’s left ventricle cannot pump blood efficiently from the heart to the rest of the body. Right-Ventricle Heart Failure occurs when the heart’s right ventricle is not pumping blood efficiently. This usually results after Left-Ventricle Heart Failure. Right-Ventricle Heart Failure causes swelling in the veins and in the legs and ankles. The words "heart failure" sound alarming, but the name is not meant to indicate that your heart has suddenly stopped working. However, what is meant instead is that your heart is not pumping as well as it should to deliver oxygen-rich blood to your body's cells. Congestive Heart Failure happens when the heart's weak pumping action causes a buildup of fluid called congestion in your lungs and other body tissues.

The most frequent underlying cause of Congestive Heart Disease is hypertension or in other words high blood pressure. The incidence of high blood pressure can more than double the risk of contracting Congestive Heart Failure. Another risk factor of Congestive Heart Failure is diabetes mellitus. Diabetics have a very high likelihood of developing Congestive Heart Disease. In addition, the following forms of cardiac disease can lead to Congestive Heart Failure:

  • valve disease
  • myocardial infarction
  • rheumatic heart disease
  • certain other types of congenital conditions

Secondary risk factors include smoking, obesity, and high cholesterol.

In most instances, Congestive Heart Failure develops slowly. It may be years before any symptoms are noticeable. After symptoms become noticeable, the symptoms will tend to get worse with time. The slow onset and progression of Congestive Heart Failure is caused by the heart's efforts to compensate for its weakening condition. The heart compensates for its weak state by enlarging and by working harder to pump faster.

Consider the following symptoms associated with Congestive Heart Failure:

  • fatigue
  • edema (fluid accumulation)
  • persistent coughing
  • dyspnea (shortness of breath)
  • orthopnea (cardiac asthma)

Consider the following list of medication available for Congestive Heart Failure treatment:

  • Diuretics
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Nitrates
  • Digoxin
  • Potassium
  • Aspirin
  • Calcium antagonists
  • Coumadin (Warfarin)
  • Beta-blockers
  • Magnesium

Always consult with a physician or other comparable medical professional before attempting to diagnose and or treat Congestive Heart Failure.

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