Congestive heart failure happens when the cardiac muscle lacks the strength and elasticity to pump oxygenated blood to all body parts. Unfortunately, more than six million American adults have a potentially deadly and progressive condition called congestive heart failure.
Let’s talk about the symptoms you should watch for–both in yourself and your loved ones for congestive heart failure and where you can go in Boca Raton, FL, for comprehensive heart care.
The Nature of Congestive Heart Failure
When the pumping action of oxygenated blood weakens, fluid accumulates in the interstitial spaces (between cells), particularly in the hands, feet, and face; also, fluid backs up into the lungs, making breathing labored. Both the respiratory and heart rates of CHF patients are more rapid and inefficient.
Why Congestive Failure Happens
CHF can develop rapidly due to a heart attack or stroke. Or, it may happen more gradually as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and weak heart valves take their toll on cardiac function.
Additionally, heredity seems to contribute to congestive heart failure. You may develop symptoms if you have family members with the same diagnosis.
Lastly, lifestyle choices advance the progress of CHF. These choices include:
- A high-sodium/fat diet
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Lack of exercise
Some mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety, contribute to the development of CHF. Many people with heart failure symptoms also have poorly managed diabetes.
The Early Warning Signs of CHF
Congestive heart failure develops more often with advanced age. However, it can appear years earlier in many people, even though the signs may show gradually, even insidiously. So, you should know the early warning signs and discuss them with your PCP or interventional cardiologist in Boca Raton if the symptoms start showing up.
- Fatigue based on poor oxygenation
- Activity limitations due to feeling tired all the time
- Coughing and wheezing which are persistent and not related to a cold, asthma, allergies, or the flu
- Edema, or swelling, of the hands, feet, and face (or sudden and unexplained weight gain)
- Shortness of breath (due to build-up of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream)
If you have these symptoms, please do not wait. Tell your primary care physician. He or she may refer you to a cardiologist for further evaluation with an EKG, echocardiogram, chest X-ray, and specialized blood work. While CHF cannot be cured, its symptoms can be managed for better heart function and overall well-being. Early treatment is key.
Advanced Heart & Vascular Institute in Boca Raton, FL
Congestive heart failure is one of many cardiac and blood vessel conditions our board-certified physicians treat. Dr. Eli Levine and Dr. Michael Schechter are board-certified interventional cardiologists who are Boca Raton’s experts in preventing and treating congestive heart failure.
If you or your PCP suspect you have this serious heart condition, please contact our clinic for a diagnostic work-up and treatment plan. If you have CHF, we can help you manage it.
Please call us at (561) 235-5621, or request your appointment online through our website. The sooner you contact us, the sooner you can begin a healthier life.