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Congestive Heart Failure Main Common Symptoms & Treatment

What is Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)?
Congestive heart failure, or more commonly called heart failure is a condition when the heart muscle becomes very weak, so it can not pump enough blood around the body at the right pressure. Heart failure can cause the heart rate of patients being faster or even irregular. This disease can also make the blood supply to the kidneys become less, resulting in the accumulation of fluid in the body of the sufferer. Heart failure is also an end stage of any cardiovascular disease, including atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries, myocardial infarction, heart valve abnormalities, and congenital abnormalities.

Heart failure is a medical emergency that if left untreated will lead to death within minutes. The main first treatment for heart failure is cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Heart failure can be acute, such as after a heart attack or can also occur gradually. Heart failure can be indicated by the presence of short breathing, difficulty to fall flat, built without breath at night, swollen feet, and frequent urination at night. Many causes of heart failure, often due to a heart attack, high blood pressure or any problem on the heart valves. 

Diagnosis is based on symptoms above, examination of the heart, blood vessels, lungs, liver swelling and leg swelling (edema). Other tests to make sure the diagnosis is an X-ray of the lungs (no liquid or not), echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) and blood tests. Heart failure can only be solved with a heart transplant, which included rare. Most people with heart failure need drugs urination (diuretic) and other drugs such as ACE inhibitors, and statins. Several other heart failure patients need a pacemaker so that the heart work better, but the pacemaker has to be tuned periodically (usually 6 months).



Heart failure symptoms

Based on the time span of the development of symptoms, heart failure is divided into two, namely chronic and acute. In chronic heart failure, symptoms develop gradually and old. While in acute heart failure, symptoms develop quickly. Someone who develop acute heart failure should receive treatment in hospital. The main symptoms of heart failure are:
  1. Easily tired: People who have heart failure generally complain tired. In the case of early stage heart failure, the fatigue that occurs is still minimal. But as more severe state of heart failure patients, the complaint fatigue also will be heavier. Generally patients complain of tired just by doing everyday activities that should not be exhausting. Even in the late stages of heart failure, the patient can not perform daily physical activity.

  2. Breathlessness: Shortness of breath is also a common symptom in heart failure patients. As was mentioned above that in patients with heart failure there is a failure in pumping blood. This will lead to an accumulation in the heart and will eventually turn into pulmonary blood flow. This is what will cause shortness of breath in patients. Patients become easily tired and complained of tightness, particularly if you're on the move.

  3. Rather sleep in a high position or with more than one pillow: Patients with heart failure, preferring to sleep with two or three pillows head. If the patient bed with a pillow or back, shortness of breath more often arise. Patients of heart problems are much easier to breathe if the sleeping position elevated pillow support the body with a half-sitting position. If so, it is time to conduct periodic checks of your heart condition with your doctor more regularly.

  4. Swelling in some parts of the body: The body with a heart disorder condition is generally followed by a state of decreased ability to pump blood. In some cases, blood pumping often have failed. As a result of the failure of pumping blood, the blood circulation disrupted, then that will happen is a buildup of fluid in the various parts of the body, such as in the legs and abdomen. This condition will cause the patient to experience swelling seen in some parts of the body. If it is so, then it is time to conduct a medical examination of the heart, or you can do a general check-up.

  5. Limp: In patients with heart failure, blood flow to various parts of the body is not optimal. This will cause a variety of complaints such as patients feel weak, and body parts such as hands felt cold. If you have a complaint described above, you may not necessarily suffer from heart failure. To be sure, the diagnosis required a complete examination on yourself. If you feel there are similarities of symptoms described in this article with which you experience, try to consult a doctor for further examination.

Diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure

In diagnosing heart failure, first the doctor will ask the patient perceived symptoms and medical history. For example, if a patient has a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, chest pain, heart valve damage, or coronary heart disease. The doctor will also ask whether the patient is a smoker, often consume alcohol, or are taking certain medications.

After the information obtained, then the doctor will usually perform a physical examination, one is to listen to the patient's heartbeat. If a patient suspected of suffering from heart failure, a number of tests to be recommended, including:
  • Blood tests: Through a blood test, the doctor can tell if there is a problem in thyroid function and kidney patients, as well as indications of other diseases that may affect the heart, such as diabetes or anemia. Additionally, through a blood test, the doctor can also determine the levels of chemicals in the body associated with heart conditions. These chemicals are called natriuretic peptide. If the heart is burdened, then this organ will natriuretic peptide release into the blood. The higher levels of these substances, then it means worsening heart health.

  • Echocardiogram: This is one of the important tests performed in the diagnosis of heart failure. Echocardiogram done using ultrasound waves to detect the performance of cardiac function and if there is damage to the heart, for example, a problem with the valve.

  • Exercise stress test: This test was conducted to determine how well the heart functions when the body strenuous activity. In the stress tests, the patient's heartbeat will be improved, for example with drugs that are injected or sports equipment. Through the test pressure, the doctor can determine whether the patient's body may respond well when the heart back downhill or whether patients with coronary artery disease. Test pressure is usually combined with an echocardiogram so the doctor can see the state of the heart during the test.

  • Breath test: If a patient experiences shortness of breath, these tests may be conducted. Patients will be asked to inhale and exhale into a special tube. Later from these tests can be known whether the patient has problems in his lungs as a symptom of heart failure.

  • X-ray examination: In patients with heart failure, they enlarged heart size and buildup of fluid in the lungs. X-rays through the situation can be seen.

Heart failure treatment

Heart failure is a dangerous health problem that can threaten the lives of sufferers. In fact, this disease can lead to sudden death. Therefore, patients with heart failure should receive appropriate treatment. Most people with heart failure should take the medicine in the long term or even lifetime so that the symptoms can be controlled. Several other patients who have severe symptoms and even had to be fitted with braces heart, surgery, or even a heart transplant in order to survive.

Treatment of heart failure aims to:
  • Relieves symptoms of heart failure.
  • Help your heart stronger.
  • Allows the patient, can have a longer life normally.
  • Lowers the risk of heart attack and death.
Several types of surgery for heart failure:
  1. Bypass surgery or angioplasty: This surgery is done to address heart failure caused by coronary heart disease, a condition when a clogged heart arteries. Through bypass surgery, blood can flow back through the heart smoothly so as to prevent a heart attack, and cure angina. In some cases, bypass surgery may improve heart muscle function.

  2. Heart valve surgery: If the heart failure is caused by damage to the heart valve, then this surgery can be performed. There are two types of heart valve surgery, which is surgery to repair valves and surgery to replace the valve.

  3. Heart transplant surgery: This surgery is done if the treatment of heart failure with drugs, as well as other surgery do not show good results. Through the transplant surgery, a heart patient who has been removed and replaced with the heart obtained from a donor. But this procedure is not easy, given the difficulty of finding a donor heart as well as compatibility with the patient.

Here are some tools that can be attached to patients with heart failure:
  1. Heart pumping tool: This tool is installed by physicians to help patients with severe heart failure in order to stay alive, both for those who can no longer be treated by any manner or for those who are waiting for a donor heart. This mechanical device is mounted on the heart to make the organ is still beating.

  2. Cardic resynchronization therapy (CRT): CRT also known as biventricular cardiac trigger. This tool can help heart failure patients who have problems with the electrical system in the heart, so that the organ is becoming weaker. CRT sends electrical impulses to the left ventricle and the right to be able to pump efficiently.

  3. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD): The function of this device like a pacemaker. Devices connected to the heart through a blood vessel will continue to monitor the heartbeat. If the heart rate down, or even stop, the ICD will send a signal that shock the heart back to normal beating.

  4. CRT-D: This device is a combination of Cardic resynchronization therapy (CRT) and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).
To prevent heart failure, it is advisable to consume nutritious foods, and contains lots of fiber, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, and meat. Avoid foods that contain saturated fats, such as offal, lamb, shellfish, egg yolks, and shrimp. In addition, limit your intake of sugar, salt, and alcohol. If you have high levels of blood pressure and high cholesterol, immediately do a routine check. Both of these conditions can increase the risk of heart failure.

Heart failure can be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight at the limit, and to do the weight loss if needed. Do activities or sports that you can create a healthy heart, such as cycling or walking, at least two and a half hours per week. Stop smoking if you are a smoker. If you are a nonsmoker, then stay away from cigarette smoke in order not to become passive smokers.

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