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Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure
- More than 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure
- Some causes include: hypertension, coronary heart disease and heart defects
- Some symptoms include: shortness of break, fatigue, nausea or a decreased appetite
- It can also be caused by poor circulation
- You should contact a physician immediately if you suspect any of these symptoms
According to WebMD.com, more than 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Although the name suggests that the heart has ceased to function at all, congestive heart failure actually refers to a condition in which the heart is pumping less effectively. As the pumping becomes increasingly weakened, the heart is unable to move the blood through the body efficiently. As a result, the kidneys cause fluids to be retained in the body and these fluids can end up congesting other parts of the body, including the lungs and other organs.
Congestive Heart Failure Causes
Congestive heart failure can be the result of a number of problems, including hypertension. Hypertension makes the heart work harder and harder consistently until eventually the muscle can no longer function. WebMD.com also cites several other causes, including coronary heart disease and cardiomyopathy, which can damage the heart and prevent it from working properly. Heart attacks, diabetes, kidney disease, and heart defects can also increase your risk of developing congestive heart failure. Unfortunately, having a history of more than one of these problems can greatly increase your risk.
Symptoms to Watch For
If you have congestive heart failure, getting the problem diagnosed and treated promptly is very important. That’s why understanding the symptoms associated with the condition is key. The following symptoms are identified by the American Heart Association and Mayo Clinic.
Shortness of breath is one of the most common of these symptoms. What happens is that blood ends up backing up into the pulmonary arteries (connecting the lungs and the heart). As a result, fluid gets into the lungs and makes breathing difficult. If you have congestive heart failure, you may have a hard time breathing while on your back or even while at rest. You may also be woken up by an inability to breathe.
As the fluid continues to build up in your lungs, you may begin coughing a great deal. You should be especially concerned if you begin coughing up white or blood-tinged mucous.
Another symptom is increased fatigue. You may feel so weak and tired that you cannot even carry out your daily activities, such as walking, traveling up stairs, or even carrying groceries. Because your heart is only able to pump out so much blood, the blood is diverted to the organs that need it the most. As a result, poor circulation in your limbs may not be receiving enough blood and this can make even simple movements feel difficult.
Because the heart cannot pump enough blood in this situation, it tries to make up for the inadequacy by pumping more frequently. As a result, you’ll notice an increase in your heart rate. You may even feel as if your heart is racing or palpitating.
Other symptoms of congestive heart failure include the retaining of water in other parts of your body, confusion or concentration problems, and nausea or decreased appetite.
If you suspect you have any of these symptoms, or if you have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure but are noticing new symptoms or an increase in the symptoms above, you should contact a physician immediately.
There are many natural supplements that can help prevent congestive heart failure and other heart diseases. An easy one to incorporate into your diet is Flax Seed which can be taken as an Organic Flax supplement or as a grain.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
One Response to “Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure”
Can congestive heart failure eventually lead to a heart attack? I have been experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned above, but not in the too severe stages. I'm not sure what I should do.February 3rd, 2011 at 7:02 am