CHF

Congestive Heart Failure(CHF) is a condition wherein your heart has difficulty performing its function of pumping blood throughout the body. There are two types of CHF; Systolic and Diastolic heart failure. Systolic heart failure occurs when your heart muscle becomes weak and unable to exert enough force to sufficiently pump blood throughout the body. Diastolic heart failure occurs when the chambers of the heart become too stiff or thick resulting in the inability to fill with the proper amount of blood. As a result, the body will respond by retaining water and salt(edema). CHF is one of the leading causes of hospitalization among people over the age of 65. Patients with previous heart related conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and/or poor health have an increased risk of developing CHF.

Prevention Steps:

  • If you use tobacco, stop.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Get plenty of exercise.
  • Eat a low sodium diet, and avoid beverages with high amounts of sodium.
  • Drink a reasonable but not excessive amount of fluids(preferably water) throughout the day.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Manage your blood pressure.
  • Keep your doctor informed about all medications that you are taking.
  • Take medications as perscribed.
  • Diabetics should take extra care to monitor blood sugar.

Symptoms:

  • Swelling in the arms, legs, or abdomen; bloating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea.
  • Fatigue
  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Shortness of breath while at rest
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Abnormal blood pressure
  • Increased resting heart rate