Congestive heart failure is a chronic and usually lifelong condition that happens when your heart doesn’t pump as much blood as it should. This causes blood back up into your lungs and other vital organs. As a result, you can experience fatigue and shortness of breath. It is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Swelling in the hands and feet
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing or wheezing that produces bloody mucus
- Sudden abdominal swelling
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea, fatigue, and weakness
- Difficulties with focus and concentration
You may notice fatigue and shortness of breath during mild activity or while sitting or lying down. You could see a rapid increase in sudden or irregular heartbeat or even feel chest pains. In any case, these are signs that require immediate medical attention.
What Causes Congestive Heart Failure?
Congestive heart failure is highly treatable if caught in its early stages. However, doing so requires you to be aware of certain symptoms. You should see a doctor if you have any of the following problems:
- A family history of heart disease
- A history of chronic diseases such as diabetes, AIDS or HIV
- Cardiac arrhythmia
These problems are exaggerated by poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Viruses and other serious infections can damage heart muscle and tissue, thus increasing your overall risk. Age is another critical risk factor, along with lifestyle and habits.
What You Can Do
A good heart must pump a healthy blood supply to keep your organs strong and healthy. Seeking immediate medical attention for congestive heart failure is vital to preventing kidney failure and liver damage. Thankfully, there are a few simple changes you can make to protect your heart and stay ahead of your health. You can take control by eating healthy, not smoking and losing weight. You can also take control of other issues such as diabetes and hypertension through diet and exercise. Reducing stress by moderating your workload helps and can pave the way to a better life.