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Doctor insights on: Congestive Heart Failure

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Dr. Bennett Werner
731 doctors shared insights

Congestive Heart Failure (Overview)

Congestive heart failure, otherwise known simply as heart failure, is a condition in which the heart muscle is weakened. It may be receiving inadequate blood flow, its valves might be malfunctioning or the heart muscle might have thickened or stiffened. As a result, the heart, which is a pump, cannot supply the body with sufficent oxygen and nutrients. When the left side of the heart is damaged, fluid builds up in the lungs, which results in difficulty breathing. When the right side of the heart is affected, fluid builds up in the extremities and abdomen, resulting in swelling of the legs and poor absorption of nutrients due to swelling of the intestines.


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What are some risk factors for congestive heart failure?

What are some risk factors for congestive heart failure?

Depends on type: Most heart failure is related to one of two things; 1. Ischemic heart disease (i.e. Heart attacks) risk factors for which include diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, smoking, and family history. This causes the muscle of the heart to weaken and pump poorly. 2. Uncontrolled hypertension which can lead the heart muscle to become thickened and stiff and also impairs pumping ability. ...Read more

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Dr. Bennett Werner
731 doctors shared insights

Congestive Heart Failure (Overview)

Congestive heart failure, otherwise known simply as heart failure, is a condition in which the heart muscle is weakened. It may be receiving inadequate blood flow, its valves might be malfunctioning or the heart muscle might have thickened or stiffened. As a result, the heart, which is a pump, cannot supply the body with sufficent oxygen and nutrients. When the left side of the heart is damaged, fluid builds up in the lungs, which results in difficulty breathing. When the right side of the heart is affected, fluid builds up in the extremities and abdomen, resulting in swelling of the legs and poor absorption of nutrients due to swelling of the intestines.


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What are the best tests for congestive heart failure?

Three: 1. Physical exam by a trained physician, 2. Echocardiogram, 3. Blood test called nt pro-bnp (done to assess elevated pressure in the ventricle, only needed if exam and echocardiogram are not definitive). ...Read more

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Living with Congestive Heart Failure (Tip)

Living with Congestive Heart Failure

Educate yourself and your family. Successful heart failure therapy hinges on knowledge. ...See more

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Living with Congestive Heart Failure (Checklist)

Weigh yourself daily. Alert doctor to any increases.
Daily
Take medications as prescribed
Once
Tell the doctor if your legs swell or you get short of breath
Once
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What are the key symptoms of congestive heart failure?

What are the key symptoms of congestive heart failure?

Short breath, edema: Leg swelling and shortness of breath with minor activity or when lying flat are signs of chf. However, you need to know that other illnesses could present the same way making it hard for the lay person to differentiate. The solid diagnosis is done by ultrasound of the heart called echo which shows weak heart contractions. If you have these symptoms consult with your doc. ...Read more

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What are treatments for congestive heart failure?

What are treatments for congestive heart failure?

Medications: The categories of medicines used are called ace inhibitors, arb's, beta blockers, diuretics, and digoxin. Other things can be done such as salt and/or fluid restriction. Control of the underlying cause of the heart failure also needs to be considered. That might require repairing a valve, removing a blockage in an artery, or treating high blood pressure. ...Read more

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Managing Mild Kidney Failure (Checklist)

Make certain your blood pressure is at the low prescribed target
once
Make certain your cholesterol has been monitored and treated
once
Make certain your blood sugars are well managed
once
Minimize weight gain and lose weight if you are overweight.
once
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Is a rapid heart rate a symptom of congestive heart failure?

Is a rapid heart rate a symptom of congestive heart failure?

Unlikely: Though patients that have a rapid heart rate for an extended period of time(weeks to months) without having symptoms can develop congestive heart failure to a weakened heart. ...Read more

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Dr. Joseph Shen
3,283 doctors shared insights

Heart Failure (Definition)

Heart failure is a complex set of conditions in which the heart "fails" to pump a normal amount of blood with each beat. This can be due to poor squeezing function (systolic heart failure) and/or a stiff heart incapable of filling normally (diastolic heart failure). Common symptoms include swelling and trouble breathing, particularly when ...Read more