Where the body accumulates too much fluid. There are many causes of heart failure . There's two general types that we call systolic or diastolic ,that necessitate a congestive heart failure treatment.
1. Systolic refers to when the heart function is weak and when the heart is enlarged. ( Heart can't pump )
2. Diastolic is a general term for excess fluid accumulation without enlargement or weakening of the heart. ( Heart can't fill )
Congestive Heart Failure Causes:
1. Heart disease or cholesterol build up
One of the most common causes of heart failure is heart disease or cholesterol build up, which can cause a heart attack and therefore damage and scar tissue to the heart muscle, which creates abnormal hemodynamics or functions of the heart, that has to change over time to compensate for the damaged area. And that's called remodeling.
But there are also hormones that are activated in that setting that create additional fluid retention in the body.
Because the heart function is not appropriate, the output of blood is not normal, the body compensates by retaining fluid, acting as if the heart was dehydrated, in terms of low blood volume.
In reality, it creates a situation where there's much, too much fluid and that fluid backs up into the lungs and creates shortness of breath. For a young patient, the most common cause may be a virus that affects the heart, and that can create scar tissue inside the heart as well, but it's more of a generalized rim of scar tissue as opposed to one area of the heart that is damaged as in a heart attack.
3. Sleep apnea
Other common causes are sleep apnea, which creates low oxygen levels at night that creates a strain on the heart and causes rhythm problems and that can certainly contribute to heart failure .
4. High blood pressure
High blood pressure is a very common cause that creates the increased thickness of the heart to compensate for the high blood pressure, that then creates more of a stiffening process within the heart that also creates difficulty in getting normal blood output and also fluid retention.
Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms:
The signs of heart failure usually are swelling in the legs and difficulty laying flat in bed, shortness of breath with activity, feeling tired, occasionally, rhythm problems or palpitations.
Young patients tend to have less swelling in the legs and often get more swelling in their abdomen and maybe feel abdominal fullness or loss of appetite, or even abdominal pain.
Congestive Heart Failure Treatment
The initial congestive heart failure treatment is to regulate fluid balance. So, water pills will prevent excess fluid accumulation.
Once the fluid levels are balanced, we also initiate blood pressure-type medications called beta blockers and ACE inhibitors.
Even if the blood pressure is not elevated , these medicines also block some of the hormones that are activated in congestive heart failure .
Whatever damage has caused , the heart not to work correctly, the heart compensates by elevated levels of adrenaline.
And so we block that with beta blockers. As well as activation of the renin-angiotensin system, and we block that with angiotensin blockers.
So these two types of medications reverse the process and help the heart recover in terms of allowing the function to improve, for the size to decrease, and prevent some of the fluid
accumulation that occurs.
Congestive heart failure is a very treatable disease. If patients are treated correctly and the underlying process that caused the heart failure is identified and that's corrected, patients do very well.
Heart function generally improves, the symptoms can be controlled, and a lot of patients return back to normal life without symptoms at all and will be on some medications to help maintain normal heart function.
So it all comes down to seeing the right person who will get you on the right Congestive Heart Failure Treatment and treat it appropriately to improve your future prognosis.
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