What is Congestive Heart Failure?
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. This can cause fluid to build up in the lungs, legs, and other parts of the body.
Causes of Congestive Heart Failure
There are many causes of congestive heart failure. The most common causes are coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Types of Congestive Heart Failure
There are five main types of congestive heart failure:
-Heart failure caused by a weakened heart muscle
-Heart failure caused by high blood pressure
-Heart failure caused by a heart valve problem
-Heart failure caused by a build-up of fluid in the lungs
-Heart failure caused by a build-up of fluid in the body
Diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure
A diagnosis of congestive heart failure is typically based on a person’s symptoms, a physical examination, and laboratory tests.
People with congestive heart failure often have shortness of breath, especially when lying down or when exercising. They may also have a rapid heart rate, swelling in their feet and ankles, and a build-up of fluid in their lungs.
A physical examination may reveal a rapid heart rate, a swollen abdomen, and enlarged veins in the neck. The doctor may also hear a heart murmur or abnormal heart sounds.
Laboratory tests may show an increase in the amount of fluid surrounding the heart and a decrease in the amount of blood pumped by the heart.
Treatment of Congestive Heart Failure
There is no cure for congestive heart failure, however there are treatments that can help improve the symptoms. Treatment may include lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising, medications such as diuretics, ACE inhibitors, and beta blockers, and surgery.