Nearly six million Americans suffer from heart failure every year. Annually, 670,000 people are diagnosed by their physician with heart failure. Overall, this is the most common reason for hospitalization in people 65 and older.
What is Congestive Heart Failure?
Heart failure is when the heart cannot pump the way it is supposed to. The weaker heart muscles cause the blood to move slower through the veins. This limits the ability of cardiovascular system to transport nutrient and oxygen.
When the heart is unable to pump enough oxygen, chambers within the heart respond by trying to stretch more. This leads to it becoming stiffer. Although the thickened walls of the heart may temporarily improve blood flow, it can cause the muscles to weaken eventually.
Once this happens, the kidneys are unable to process all of the extra fluid and salt. As the kidneys stop functioning effectively, it causes fluid retention within the limbs, lungs and organs.
What are The Contributing Factors for Congestive Heart Failure?
Heart failure is often caused by coronary artery disease. This condition causes the arteries and blood veins to constrict. This leads to lower blood flow and decreased nutrients in the body. A heart attack or cardiomyopathy can also lead to additional damage to the heart muscle.
In effect, any condition that overworks the heart can cause problems. This may be caused by diseases, thyroid problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart defects or kidney disease.
What are The Causes of Congestive Heart Failure?
Typically, individuals suffer from congestive heart failure due to lifestyle factors. To remain healthy, people have to work out regularly and maintain an active lifestyle. A balanced diet is also necessary for good physical health.
Diets high in fried food, fats and oils can cause higher cholesterol and thickening of the arteries. In addition to these causes, some cases of congestive heart failure are caused by genetic problems or an underlying medical condition.
What are The Sign and Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure?
Signs of congestive heart failure vary from person to person. Some people may experience every symptom while other individuals only experience a few of them. One of the most common symptoms is dizziness. Decreased blood flow can cause fatigue or weakness.
It may also lead to fluid or water retention. Individuals may suffer from lung congestion, breathing problems, a hacking cough or wheezing. Another common symptom is an irregular or rapid heartbeat.
How Does Congestive Heart Failure Cause Water Retention?
As the circulatory system weakens, the blood veins are unable to transport oxygen and nutrients to the tissue. At the same time, they are unable to remove toxins and fluid. This directly causes fluid retention.
Indirectly, water retention is also caused by the inability of the kidneys to process all of the added toxins. Due to these causes, individuals may suddenly develop water retention in their ankles, legs and abdomen.
Bloating in the stomach can lead to nausea. Overall, the symptoms of water retention include weight gain and increased urination.
What are The Diagnosis and Treatment Option?
In the long term, congestive heart failure must be treated by a healthy diet and exercise program. Heart attacks and symptoms in the short term may have to be treated by surgery. Medication for hypertension can help with blood flow while water retention tablets can reduce the amount of fluid retained in the body.
In addition to adopting a healthier lifestyle, individuals should discuss the various treatment options with their doctor. Congestive heart failure is a serious condition and can be fatal. The only way to deal with this medical problem over an extended time period is to eat healthier and exercise.