Understanding Congestive Heart Failure
The heart, as we all know, is made up of four chambers. Two of the chambers can be found at the left part of the heart while the other two occupy the right part. Those chambers found at the upper part of the heart are known as the atria, while those that can be found at the lower part of the heart are known as the ventricles. There are some cases where the ventricles are unable to pump enough blood. This condition is what is known as Congestive Heart Failure. Since the ventricles are able to pump the blood properly, it back flows into the lungs as well as into the other organs. Because there is not enough force to keep all the blood from circulating, much of it gets backed up in the lower part of the body.
Now, while most CHF are due to ventricles being weak, the risk for it is further increased when the patient has hypertension, coronary heart disease, or certain valve conditions. In some cases, Congestive Heart Failure can come about as a result of long-term alcohol abuse, viral infection, and thyroid disorders. Heart conditions relating to its rhythm can also give rise to CHF.
Signs and Symptoms
When it comes to Congestive Heart Failure, signs and symptoms could typically vary from one person to the next. However, one of the most common sign that you might be suffering from CHF is Fatigue. This is because the body is trying to compensate for what the heart is unable to accomplish on its own. Unfortunately, while this is a common sign of a heart problem, it is typically shrugged off with the patient changing instead his or her activities in order to accommodate the feeling of tiredness.
Edema involving the lower parts of the body as well as the abdomen is also a sign that a person might be experiencing Congestive Heart Failure. When this happens, the person is said to have a right-sided heart failure. That being the case, the person may also show signs of shortness of breath and the inability to sleep unless he or she is sitting upright. The person could also experienced an increase in his or her urinating habits and might even nausea and abdominal pain which, in turn, could lead to decreased appetite.
In most cases, once a patient has been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, the doctor would recommend a number of lifestyle changes in an effort to strengthen the heart and the blood vessels. These changes would include decreasing the amount of salt in one’s food as well as regulating his or her liquid intake. An aerobic exercise would also most likely put into place.
If the condition has already affected the heart muscles, the patient might need to undergo angioplasty or intracoronary stenting.
If you or someone you know has Congestive Heart Failure, you need to make sure that you have an AED unit in place. This is because, once the heart is unable to pump sufficient blood, there is a possibility for a heart attack.