Congestive Heart Failure

Introduction to Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is the specific name for what we know as heart failure and is a common syndrome in older people especially with bad diet, smoking and alcohol habits. Although heart failure may occur due to a number of reasons, aging is one of the main criteria for heart failure tendencies to show. CHF is mainly concerned about the heart’s dying power to pump blood to the body. Now this requires oxygen to be carried to the lungs through the blood vessels, which may often be congested in cases of CHF, causing the blood flow to be restricted as a result cutting off energy supply to the primary organs. The situations in which a person may contract a serious heart problem can be many, but recognizing the basic reasons for the most commonly occurring heart problem is a must for all crossing into their 40’s.

This guide on Congestive Heart Failure leads you into awareness about heart problems, diagnosing and treating them. The important area about aging people to be aware is mainly healthy lifestyle habits. They do not entail any difficult science relating to the heart, but mainly usher you into an aging life of minimum qualms about your body. Heart related diseases can strike in multitude and most of them tend to get permanent problems, all of which although not fatal, remain a constant source of inconvenience, regret and frustration.

In order to prevent the various problems that lead to a heart attack, all you need to do is give up a few bad habits, and remain in a habit of regular exercise. Alcohol, chocolates, coffee, cigarettes, fatty foods may be dangerous after 40, but if you maintain a moderation in intake besides exercising on a daily basis, you have very little to worry about. Some of the institutions fighting against heart diseases amongst large populations have released and distributed useful exercise schedules and diet guides. They are scientifically supervised and documented after extensive studies on patients.

The following articles are based on various aspects of CHF and aims at bringing about social awareness in order to prevent heart diseases amongst aging people.

Congestive Heart Failure Causes

Heart failure caused by the congestion in vascular tubes often result due blockages created by cholesterol deposits, fat collection and cellular underdevelopment or damage. Blood is mainly the medium that carries oxygen to be pumped out in various parts of the body. The path is circulatory one and a constriction in any one zone of the body tends to slow down this circulation of blood that is primary to people living, eating, breathing and most basically using energy for everyday activities

Foods rich in the amount of oxygen possess the ability to enrich the body in such a way that ample energy is available at all times of the day. Water and fruits are an excellent source of oxygen. A lack of foods such as those, and a regular habit of cholesterol addition to the body are main reasons why blockages are created, giving rise to congestive heart failure. Under the circumstance hearts lose the ability to pump more blood into circulation.

Tendencies of congestive heart failure cases are caused by:

Aging – It is important to note that a habit of excessive rich food intake and alcoholism may not affect individuals in their youth. The effects start showing once people start aging as the amount of agility and activity generally tend to decrease. This gives rise to a gradual increase in the building of blockages in the blood passage. A steady growth of these blockages usually tends to stick around for 10 – 15 years before first tendencies of heart failure are felt by a patient. Into the 30’s it is important to keep a check on overeating which is not so much of an issue at younger ages for most people.

Overworking – By understanding the situation of a heart under aging, it is also required to be understood that stressing your heart under conditions which can be dangerous with limited oxygen supply should be avoided.

Heart syndromes causing heart failure:

Coronary artery disease – This is one of the most common cases of heart failure. Also known in short as CAD, it mainly pertains to the blockage of arteries in ones body due to deposition of various unwanted elements like cholesterol, sickle cells, vein disorders and other causes. This mainly causes the blood to get starved of oxygen and other nutrients, which are essential for the body to function with minimal physical mobility. Clots are also a reason for blockages to be created and they happen mostly due to internal bleeding.

Cardiomyopathy – This is a situation when the muscles of the heart are damaged by alcohol, drug abuse and similar problems. This is a case particularly pertaining to such external influences and does not entail the collapsing of the heart muscles due to arterial or blood flow problems. The condition of weak heart muscles is a concern for blood failing to pump out blood into circulation.

Heart attack – A heart attack may also occur due to the sudden damage of an important blood vessel that is required for the blood to flow between the heart and the rest of the body.

Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms

In order to realize the tendency or possibility of a heart attack it is very important to get a reliable medical opinion. Heart functioning depends on a variety of factors and with aging, like most other organs the heart also tends towards a direction of decay, similar to our bodies in general. Although heart failure cases are caused by some obvious problems in the blood flow and / or heart muscles, symptoms may be observed in places as apparently irrelevant as joints, muscles and as a general syndrome of feeling tired very easily. All this takes place due to irregular circulation of blood in the body. It is important to realize that the blood flow through arteries and other blood vessels are given a chance of life long healthy functioning in order to prevent the symptoms of heart failure from showing.

How do you know that you might be a heart failure case?
First of all you may have experienced some difficulties in breathing, working strenuously or for long hours. As this may result due to a number of disorders in the blood circulation in your body, symptoms of these causes can come in a variety of forms. Heart failure is an instant, when the heart fails to pump any more blood and certain conditions are believed to be possible causes, and hence symptoms, recognizing which some form of preventive action or cure can be taken up by the patient.

Congested lungs – Once your heart has attained a dangerous level of weakness, it is important to realize the falling power of it. The power to pump blood is very similar to the car’s engine power, which if fails can only cause the vehicle to perform slower and weaker – just like aging bodies. Under such circumstances, it is required that the heart is not put under too much stress as the additional weakness brought about by congested lungs has already made for a lack of oxygen through breathing.

Fluid retention in the body – It is important to keep a tap on the tendencies of fluids like urine and others being retained in the body in areas like joints, liver, kidney and abdomen. The typical causes of this condition can be many, and they usually give rise to a series of conditions that may also cause appetite loss and nausea. The collection of fluids in joints is mainly the cause of swelling and puffed up feet and other areas in the body. Fluid retention in the body is one of the symptoms that signify the chances of heart failure.

Weight gain – In patients if there is a drastic weight gain, and more dangerously uncontrolled, the chances of the various preconditions of a heart failure become higher. First of all a heavy intake of alcohol and fatty foods contribute to weight gain in the later years of one’s life when the activity frequency decreases.

Rapid and irregular heartbeats – This is one of the most commonly occurring symptoms in patients of possible CHF, and occurs mainly due to the lack of smooth blood-flow in the veins and arteries.

Congestive Heart Failure Diagnosis

Heart failure syndromes are common amongst populations all across the world. Although its causes are not totally related to bad diet and physical habits, the necessity to maintain good diets and regular exercise is important. This mainly ensures that the physical changes that lead to the diagnosis of a CHF syndrome are prevented from growing in the body. Some of these typical changes are blocks in the arteries, heart muscle flaccidness and irregular circulation of blood in the body. These are checked for by means of manual and automatic techniques which help the doctors read your situation in relation with the heart functioning, and underlying causes for the condition.

Diagnosis of congestive heart failure

Stethoscope – A stethoscope allows doctors to hear sounds wherever it is placed on the body. Mainly used for the back and the heart area, the sounds that are in question for the diagnosis of CHF are abnormal sounds made by undesirable functioning of the heart. The sound for suggesting a leak in a valve would be a murmur and is classified as an abnormal sound of the heart.

Visual symptoms – Doctors look for an abnormal swelling of veins near the neck, and swellings at joints of the patient. These occur mainly due to the abnormal flow of blood near the heart, and retention of fluids in the patient’s body respectively. By visual examination of the external body of the patient, this much can be good enough for the doctor to move in for more specific tests confirming CHF syndrome.

Patient record - The doctors find it easier to diagnose when you can supply information regarding your past experiences with heart problems. It is advisable to carry files of previous heart disease records in case they are complicated. Most medical professionals also insist that all kinds of medical records are relevant and should be ready as often medications for other unrelated diseases can cause side effects which result in heart problems.

Electrocardiogram – This is a technique to get a view of the electrical signals pertaining to the functioning of the heart. A number of sensors are placed on the points of one’s body and they pick the signals before transmitting them on a readable device. The places where they attach the sensors are usually arms legs and the chest.

Echocardiogram – This method aims at getting an image of the heart so that the doctor can diagnose the problem. This is usually used in cases of final confirmation about the heart itself. It is possible to see if there has been damage, the condition of muscles that pump out blood and other abnormalities in the heart. Ejection fraction is also possible to be checked by the method, and lets the doctor know if the blood is being pumped normally into the body.

Stress test – The condition of your stamina is the main thing that goes under the scan. Various parts of your body are tested in terms of adequate blood flow and oxygen supply, and how far you are able to cope under increased stress.

Congestive Heart Failure Treatments

Conditions that show signs of a possible congestive heart failure can be alarming enough for you to visit a doctor. The symptoms mentioned in the earlier article (linked) can be reason enough for you to make verifications about the condition of your heart. Once diagnosed, the treatments depend on what exactly the situation is. Since congestive heart failure can occur due to the failure or malfunction of one or more parts of the circulatory system, the important thing to know before beginning treatment is what the affected part is. The treatments after having been diagnosed begin with a set of general lifestyle changes mostly relating to food and exercise habits. Medications depend on the particular CHF sign, and most of them come with tolerable side effects, considering that they are consumed in prescribed dosages.

Treatments – The treatments are primarily aimed at reducing the severity of the symptoms, delaying a possible heart attack, attempting to restore a healthy heart condition and treating any underlying cause that has created the condition of a possible congestive heart failure.

Lifestyle changes – One of the best ways totally void of side effects is a serious modification in your lifestyle, especially if you have been to any of the bad habits like smoking, drinking or eating fat rich foods. Curtailing on intakes and a habit of regular exercise helps in maintaining a body which can be easily transformed into a far healthier one. A high intake of vitamin rich fruits is highly recommended for heart patients in order to keep them well supplied with oxygen.

Medications

Artery dilators – Medicines like Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, help in making arteries attain a bigger cross section for the blood to be pumped from the heart more easily. This is a temporary condition caused by the medicine and arterial blockages are removed using this. However, prolonged or heavy dosages of this category of medicines are known to cause certain side effects and they usually tend to occur as dry cough, weakness, skin rashes and sudden swelling of facial parts.

A second category medicine with similar functionality is the Angiotensin II receptor blockers or ARB. These are meant to be milder than the medicines mentioned above and are prescribed to those who may have reacted negatively with side effects. Often the drugs may be prescribed with other drugs on the list and they are mandatory to be taken for preventing adverse effects.

Reduction of fluid deposits in the body – There is a category of medicines known as the diuretics or water-pills. The medicines are aimed at making the kidney flush out excess amounts of substances including water and sodium. This is a way to reduce the swelling in places like ankles, legs, arms and feet.

Alternative medicine – Inotropic drugs such as Lanoxin® are also vasodilators, but are usually given to people who might show infectious tendencies to ACE and diuretic drugs. The usual side effects of the drug vary between blurred vision, headaches, loss of appetite and nausea.

Congestive Heart Failure Prevention

Congestive heart failure not something youngsters would be bothered too much about. The reason for that is their high frequency of physical movements which come very naturally to them. As a result a rich supply of oxygen, burning of fats and strengthening of the heart muscles are enough to keep them away from the worries of a congestive heart failure. On the other hand, when we talk about older people, physical activity being naturally lessened, it is important that other aspects of lifestyle also be changed. However, maintaining a high level of physical agility irrespective of age can help everyone when it comes to keeping CHF tendencies away.

Some useful ways to keep CHF at bay

Adjust your diet with age – Although you may be an exercise freak, the important thing to realize while aging is that your muscles naturally tend to lose firmness and hence the loss of power in the heart and other muscles pull you down from straining considerably. Since the body tends to lose its natural ability to power itself up, a regular exercise pattern may not be good enough without less fatty diets. To maintain a certain level of strength to allow you the edge over others of your age a rich supply of vitamins is also necessary. Water intake provides for rich amounts of oxygen and helps keep your blood flow fed with it.

Keep a check on your body weight – One of the common symptoms shown by people who are diagnosed of CHF is a steady increase in body weight. This is mainly a result of fat deposits adding to the bloodstream due to lessened physical activity. The resulting gain in weight is considered to be alarming if it is between 3 kg in a week. Weight check ups are important to be done on a regular basis and under supervised conditions, although you can remember two things – wear minimal clothes, do it on a standard stomach condition, full or empty.

Avoid excess alcohol, drugs and smoking – Use of alcohol and tobacco are one of the most harmful sources of CHF. The oxygen carrying capacity of the blood gets drastically decreased, bringing on the chances of a CHF in a person with relatively low pumping capacity of the heart. Young adults are advised no more than 15 – 20 units of drink in a week and on a regular basis without having more than 3 – 4 units a day. Maintaining simple habits such as these can prevent CHF.

Physical exercise – Maintaining a routine of physical exercise helps in a great way. Your pulmonary functions are the main target of a CHF, and keeping them strong can really help. As you get older, the need for more cardio exercises is obvious as the stamina tends to subside. However it is important to keep a check on the stress you make yourself go through. Know your limits and a sincere exercise schedule will definitely save you from CHF.

Congestive Heart Failure related Brand Names:

Drug Name Comments / Reviews Rating Score
Prinivil 4
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Hipril 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Zestril 1
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Accupril 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Acebitor 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Acinopril 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Adalat CC / Procardia 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Arrow - Lisinopril 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Biopril 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Cipril 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Dilis 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Hypernil 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Likenil 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Lipril 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Liscard 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Lisinace 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Lisnop 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Lisopril 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Lisoril 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Listril 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Lpl 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Nivant 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Normopril 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00
Zonapril 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 1
0.00