What is congestive heart failure?
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is unable to pump blood to body tissues efficiently. Congestive heart failure is a chronic disease that progresses with time if left untreated. Heart failure can occur due to diseases of the heart, the blood vessels supplying oxygen and nutrients to the heart, or sometimes from factors outside the heart (extracardiac causes). A healthy lifestyle plays a role in the treatment and prevention of congestive heart failure.
What are the stages of congestive heart failure?
Based on the symptoms and the amount of effort required to provoke them, the New York Heart Association (NYHA) has divided degrees of heart failure into four classes:
- Class I: Patients have no limitation of physical activity.
- Class II: Patients have a slight limitation of physical activity.
- Class III: Patients have marked limitations of physical activity.
- Class IV: Patients have symptoms even at rest and are unable to carry on any physical activity without discomfort.
What causes congestive heart failure?
Several factors can cause congestive heart failure. They include:
- Coronary artery disease (disease of the arteries that supply blood to the heart)
- High blood pressure
- Cardiomyopathy (disease of muscle of the heart)
- Valvular heart diseases (diseases of the valves present in the heart)
- Diseases of the covering of the heart
- Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
- Severe infections
- Thyroid disease
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Drugs, such as hydroxychloroquine
- Chronic diseases of the lungs
- Birth defects of the heart
- Kidney diseases
- Alcohol use
What are the early signs of congestive heart failure?
The initial stage of congestive heart failure may not cause symptoms. As the disease progresses, the symptoms become more obvious and interfere with activity. Symptoms of heart failure include the following:
- Difficulty in breathing on lying down
- Chest pain/heaviness
- Pounding, irregular or fast heartbeat (palpitations)
- Increased or decreased urine frequency
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Distended abdomen
- Pain abdomen
- Swelling especially of the feet and legs
- Pale or bluish skin
- Noisy breathing
- Weight gain
- Memory impairment
- Sleep disturbances
- Bad dreams or nightmares
What are the complications of heart failure?
What is the life expectancy of a person with heart failure?
The prognosis after heart failure depends on many factors:
- Severity or stage of congestive heart failure
- Age of the patient
- Promptness and adequacy of treatment
- Lifestyle measures
- Presence of other diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure
- Addictions like smoking and alcohol
Although heart failure is a serious condition, it does not mean that the heart stops functioning altogether. With proper management, persons who have congestive heart failure can lead nearly normal lives, depending on its severity. Besides the required medical and surgical interventions, it is important to eat healthy, stay active as possible, and refrain from alcohol, smoking, and drug abuse. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half of the patients with congestive heart failure live beyond five years.
Latest Heart News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top What Causes Congestive Heart Failure Related Articles
BiDil (isosorbide dinitrate/hydralazine HCI)BiDil (isosorbide dinitrate and hydralazine hcl) is a combination of a nitrate and a vasodilator used to treat heart failure. Common side effects of BiDil include headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, fast heartbeat, swollen ankles, and flushing (redness of the face, neck, and chest) as your body adjusts to the medication.
What Are the Common Complications of Pulmonary Artery Pressure Monitoring?A pulmonary artery catheterization is a procedure of inserting a long, thin tube (catheter) into a pulmonary artery that carries blood between the heart and lungs to diagnose and manage various cardiovascular problems like heart failure.
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)Congestive heart failure (CHF) refers to a condition in which the heart loses the ability to function properly. Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, myocarditis, and cardiomyopathies are just a few potential causes of congestive heart failure. Signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure may include fatigue, breathlessness, palpitations, angina, and edema. Physical examination, patient history, blood tests, and imaging tests are used to diagnose congestive heart failure. Treatment of heart failure consists of lifestyle modification and taking medications to decrease fluid in the body and ease the strain on the heart. The prognosis of a patient with congestive heart failure depends on the stage of the heart failure and the overall condition of the individual.
Congestive Heart Failure MedicationsThere are a variety of medications to treat congestive heart failure. Most medicaiton regimines for patients with congestive heart failure are tailored to each patient. Examples of medicaitons prescribed for congestive heart failure include ACE inhibitors (for example, Altace, Capoten, Vasotec); beta blockers; digoxin (Lanoxin); and diuretics. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed before taking any medication.
What Is the Difference Between Electrocardiogram and Electrocardiograph?An electrocardiogram or electrocardiograph (ECG or EKG) are the same thing. An EKG is a test that examines the heart function by measuring the electrical activity of the heart. Based on the electrocardiogram, the doctor determines whether the electrical activity of the heart is normal or irregular, aiding in diagnosis of various heart problems.
Heart failure (congestive) is caused by many conditions including coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiomyopathy, and conditions that overwork the heart. Symptoms of heart failure include
- congested lungs,
- fluid and water retention,
- fatigue and weakness, and
- rapid or irregular heartbeats.
There are two types of congestive heart failure, systolic or left-sided heart failure; and diastolic or right-sided heart failure. Treatment, prognosis, and life-expectancy for a person with congestive heart failure depends upon the stage of the disease.
Heart Failure QuizWhat is heart failure? Learn about this dangerous condition, as well as who is at risk, and what to do about it.
How Long Can You Live With an Implanted Defibrillator?An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is an electronic device that tracks the heart rate and restores a normal rhythm, if required. It is first-line treatment for patients who are at risk of sudden cardiac death. ICD is useful in reducing the death rate amongst patients suffering from cardiac arrest, heart failure, reduced ejection fraction (reduced amount of blood pumped out of heart’s chambers), specific structural heart diseases. An ICD detects and corrects the abnormal rhythm of the heart.
Optiray (ioversol)Optiray (ioversol) is a radiopaque contrast agent that contains iodine, a substance that absorbs x-rays, and is used to help diagnose certain disorders of the heart. Common side effects of Optiray include fever, warmth and pain at the injection site, skin rash or redness, headache, or nausea.
What Causes Swollen Feet and Swollen Ankles?Swollen ankles and swollen feet is a symptom of an underlying disease or condition such as edema, medications, pregnancy, injuries, diseases, infections, lymphedema, or blood clots.
What Are Video Laryngoscopy and Fiberoptic-Assisted Tracheal Intubation?Tracheal intubation, also called intubation, involves placing a flexible plastic tube (endotracheal [ET] tube) into the trachea (windpipe) to maintain an open airway, ventilate the lungs, or administer certain drugs. Video laryngoscopy is a form of indirect laryngoscopy in which the physician does not directly inspect the larynx. Fiberoptic intubation involves inserting an ET tube over the shaft of a flexible fiberoptic scope for visualization. Video laryngoscopy and fiberoptic laryngoscope aid in tracheal intubation.
What Does a Cardiologist Do?A cardiologist specializes in finding, preventing and treating the diseases of the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular diseases). Cardiologists obtain extensive education and training. Some cardiologists may also teach at universities and do research that may help create new treatments and diagnostic approaches for heart problems.
What Is BiPAP Used For?A bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machine is a noninvasive type of ventilation. It is used to help you breathe easier when you have conditions that make breathing difficult like sleep apnea, COPD, asthma, heart conditions and other ailments.
Why Are Diuretics Used in Heart Failure?Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart is unable to efficiently pump blood to meet the body’s oxygen and nutrient needs. This leads to excess fluid in the blood that leaks from blood vessels and accumulates in the lungs and other tissues. Diuretics treat this symptom by causing the kidneys to filter out more fluid as urine.
Why Are Ventricular Repair (Cardiorrhaphy) Procedures Performed?Ventricular repair is also called cardiorrhaphy. It is a lifesaving procedure performed for cardiac (heart) trauma in the emergency room (ER). The indications for emergency thoracotomy with or without cardiorrhaphy include cardiac arrest (heart attack) in patients with penetrating chest injuries, persistent hypotension (decreased blood pressure) or signs of cardiac tamponade, and cardiac arrest in the emergency room (ER) following a blunt trauma.
Yosprala (aspirin and omeprazole)Yosprala is a prescription medicine used in people who have had heart problems or strokes caused by blood clots, to help reduce their risk of further heart problems or strokes, and who are at risk of developing stomach ulcers with aspirin. Yosprala can cause serious side effects, including stomach and intestine problems, kidney failure, liver problems, low vitamin B-12 levels, low magnesium levels, and stomach growths (fundic gland polyps).