Congestive Heart Failure


Written by Deanna Proach in Diseases
Viewed by 7 readers since 06-18-2009

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is a potentially life threatening disease in which the heart loses its ability to pump sufficient blood to the body’s other vital organs. Heart failure can result from coronary artery disease, a past heart attack, high blood pressure, heart valve disease, cardiomyopathy (a disease that affects the heart muscle) and heart defects that are present at birth.

The failing of the heart does not keep the heart working properly. People who suffer from this disease often become tired and regularly experience shortness in breath, especially if they engage in any sort of physical activities, including work.

As the blood flow from the heart slows, the blood returning to the heart through the veins clogs up, causing congestion in the tissues. When this happens, swelling occurs. Most often swelling occurs in the ankles and legs. However, swelling in other parts of the body is not uncommon. The shortness of breath usually results from liquid that collects in lungs. Heart failure can also injure the kidney’s ability to dispose sodium and water. This results in water retention which, in turn, causes a person’s weight to increase.

If you are suffering from Congestive Heart Disease the best action is to seek immediate medical attention. A doctor is the only person who can make an accurate diagnosis. Taking lots of rest is good for the heart because it does not require it to work as hard to pump blood into all the vital organs of your body. Unfortunately, rest alone will not cure Congestive Heart Disease.

There are various medical drugs that do treat this disease and help certain bodily functions perform better. ACE Inhibitors and vasodilators are known to expand blood vessels, which in turn, allow the blood to flow more easily. Beta blockers can also help the heart’s left ventricle pump blood more efficiently. Diuretics are another medical drug that allows the body to remove excess water and sodium and prevents liquids from building up inside the Kidneys. If the heart failure is caused by an abnormal heart valve, the valve can be surgically removed and replaced. If your heart is severely damaged and it is beyond repair, you might want to consider getting a heart transplant. However, this is not the safest procedure and many people have died while undergoing this type of surgery.

Proper care of your body and frequent trips to the doctor will prevent your heart from becoming damaged beyond repair. Keep in mind that you should be seeing a doctor who either knows about heart diseases or who specializes in these types of diseases. You should also cut down your intake of meat and other fatty foods in your diet and eat only foods that are high in fibre and in other nutrients that are good for the heart.

While it is impossible to avoid stress altogether, it is possible to avoid situations that cause high levels of stress. Keeping a positive outlook on life, combined with a healthy diet and proper medical attention will eventually help restore your heart to good condition.


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