Congestive Heart Failure

Topics: Heart, Heart failure, Myocardial infarction Pages: 3 (589 words) Published: April 25, 2011
Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive Heart Failure, CFH, is a condition in which the heart is unable to supply enough blood the the rest of the body. When this condition occurs, the heart loses the ability to provide adequate blood flow to other organs such as the brain, liver, and the kidneys. Heart failure may be due to either the right, left or both ventricles. It is a long-term condition, but it can happen suddenly. There are many causes of CHF, which include Coronary Artery Disease, primary heart muscle weakness, heart valve disease, and hypertension. When your heart muscles can no longer pump or eject blood out of the heart wall, this is called systolic heart failure. When your heart muscles become stiff and can no longer fill up, this is called diastolic heart failure. As the heart loses its ability to pump blood, blood may is backed up into other areas of the body. This causes build-up of fluid in the lungs, liver, gastrointestinal tract, arm, and legs. As a result, there is a lack of oxygen and nutrition to organs. Heart failure can also occur when an infection weakens the heart muscles. Signs & Symptoms:

* Shortness of breath due to activity or after lying down * Swelling in ankles, feet and abdomen
* Persistent cough or wheezing with white and pink blood-tingled phlegm * Weight gain from fluid retention
* Difficulty sleeping
* Fatigue, weakness, faint
* Abnormal heart rhythm
* Anemia (defiency in RBC’s)
* Kidney disease
* Lack of appetite and nausea

Treatment for heart failure varies and involves reducing symptoms, and treating the underlying cause when possible with antibiotics. In mild cases, lifestyle modifications can help reduce symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and swelling. Some modifications include dietary changes, staying away from alcohol, and exercise regularly under supervision. * Medications:

* Diuretics ex. Hydrochlorothiazide: diuretics...
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