Congestive Heart Failure

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Congestive heart failure distresses the heart’s function as a pump to meet the body’s needs, affecting many organs of the body including the liver, lungs, kidneys and the intestines. Untreated, this condition will affect virtually every organ in the body. (MedicineNet, 2012) According to Healthline.com congestive heart failure (CHF) is defined as, “A condition in which the heart can no longer pump enough blood to the rest of the body.” (Healthline, 2012) Heart failure is a serious disorder that may get worse with an infection or physical stress. It is often classified as either systolic or diastolic. Systolic heart failure means that your heart muscle cannot pump or eject the blood out of the heart properly. Diastolic heart failure means that your heart’s pumping chamber does not fill up with blood. In both systolic and diastolic heart failure the heart is no longer able to pump enough blood out to the rest of the body. This is especially true when you are active or exercising. (Healthline, 2012) Diagnosis of congestive heart failure is based on the following, knowledge of the person’s medical history, a close physical examination and selected lab tests. (MedicineNet, 2012) According to MedicineNet.com, “Symptoms vary among individuals according to the particular organ systems involved and depending on their degree to which the rest of the body has “compensated” for the heart muscle weakness.” (MedicineNet, 2012) Symptoms include shortness of breath with activity or lying down for a period of time, cough, weight gain, irregular or rapid pulse, fatigue or weakness, fainting, loss of appetite or indigestion, swelling of the abdomen, leg, or ankles and trouble sleeping. Other symptoms may include decreased alertness or concentration, reduced urine production, nausea and vomiting. (Healthline, 2012) Healthline.com also claims that, “Some patients have no symptoms. In these patients the symptoms may develop only with these conditions: abnormal heart rhythms...
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