Heart failure is the inability or failure of our heart to meet all that our organs need. It refers to a decrease in cardiac output and lowers the level of amount of blood the heart can pump. In simple words, when our heart stops functioning the way it should, it can be heart failure. Here, we will tell you what congestive heart failure symptoms are and how to cure or prevent it.
Congestive heart failure causes
The congestive heart failure symptoms show up when our heart cannot pump blood or pass oxygen the way it should. It is a common problem in the US and it usually happens due to:
- Coronary artery disease
- Years of alcohol abuse
- High blood pressure
- Unknown causes like recovering from myocarditis
- Disorder in the heart valves
Causes like thyroid disorders, viral infection leading to heart stiffening, and abnormal heart rhythm can also be reasons for congestive heart failure. However, they are less common compared to the ones listed above.
Congestive heart failure symptoms
You might not find symptoms of heart failure or is might seem mild enough for you to ignore it. However, you never know when this condition gets serious. The most common congestive heart failure symptoms are given below and they will give you an idea about what it is:
1. Congested lungs
When there is a fluid backup in our lungs, we might have shortness of breath. It makes us have difficulty to breathe, rest, or lie flat on a bed. You can diagnose lung congestion with dry cough and wheeze.
2. Water retention
When you have less blood in your kidneys, it can cause water retention that results in swollen legs, ankles, abdomen, and make you put on weight. The symptoms can cause a need to urinate at night, stomach bloating, nausea, and loss of appetite.
3. Dizziness and weakness
When there is less blood flowing to major organs or muscles, your body becomes weak and tired. When you have less blood in the brain it leads to dizziness, confusion, and lack of focus.
4. Irregular heartbeat
Our heart beats fast so that we can pump enough blood to our body. It tends to cause quick and irregular heartbeat.
People who have such congestive heart failure symptoms might have a weak heart and need immediate medical attention.
Congestive heart failure stages
Most people don’t recognize congestive heart failure symptoms until they reach stage C and are critical. There are four stages of heart failure, namely A, B, C, and D.
If the condition progresses to stage five, there are fewer chances of surviving for a long time. Know all about these stages for congestive heart failure diagnosis:
People who are in the first stage of heart failure don’t usually have any dysfunction in pumping activity. But they have more chances to develop failure due to other reasons. The reasons can be diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and more.
People who are in this stage don’t have any problems with the structure of their heart or how it works. They rarely experience symptoms of failure but might have mild conditions that indicate a doctor’s assistance.
We recommend you to take regular check-ups and never ignore any uneasy sign of the body. Curing the condition in the first stage can save your life from risk.
In the second stage, people have structural heart diseases. There is a reduced level of the pumping function of your heart and enlarged left ventricle. You can reach this stage if you had a heart attack once before. But people who have heart failure at this level remain asymptomatic.
By this stage, most people start looking for congestive heart failure treatment as they already find out their condition. It is linked to the underlying structural heart problem that includes signs like breathlessness and fatigue. The symptoms occur from issues like squeezing function of our left ventricle or pumping chamber of our heart.
In stage four, people have advanced structural heart disease and have significant symptoms that reflect their condition. The stage can be extremely severe and need specialized treatment. A patient needs continuous inotropic infusion, mechanical circulatory support, cardiac transplant, and constant hospital/hospice care.
Congestive heart failure treatment
Depending on the stage an impact, there can be many forms of treatment to cure heart failure. Check out the most common ways that doctors will take up:
1. Blood Thinners
Blood thinners reduce the risk of blood clots that might break and travel loose all across the heart, lungs, brain, and body. There are risks of blood thinner as they can increase the level of bleeding.
2. Angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitors
The angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitors reduce congestion in the heart and reduce the risk of untimely death.
3. ACE inhibitors
The ACE inhibitors relax our blood vessels and help us reduce the possibility of heart failure.
4. Angiotensin receptor blockers
The angiotensin receptor blockers work towards reducing the tension in blood vessels.
5. Anti-platelet drugs
The antiplatelet drugs help the blood stop blood clots and prevent platelets in the blood from attaching with each other.
The beta-blockers are drugs that reduce your heart rate, so that you don’t feel pressure to make your heart beat. It also manages blood pressure level and induces your heart to take rest.
7. Sino-atrial node modulators
The sino-atrial node modulators reduce heart rate in people who consume beta-blockers.
People use Statins to reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol. It increases high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol and helps you maintain a healthy body.
Diuretics help our body excrete excess fluid in the form of urine and remove it from our lungs and heart. It reduces condition like swelling and prevents shortness of breath.
Vasodilators reduce the level of oxygen your heart needs. It eases chest pain that is a common symptom of heart problems.
The best way to prevent heart failure is by taking measures to keep it healthy. From eating right to exercising every day, there are many ways to maintain a happy and healthy heart. These can prevent cognitive heart failure and help you live longer.