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Congestive heart disease or heart failure is a serious condition that can be life-threatening (if left untreated). It can diminish blood supply to vital organs, such as the brain, liver, and kidneys. That, in turn, can lead to organ damage.

In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into the causes and types of congestive heart failure. Also, we’ll understand the outlook for patients living with the condition. Let’s get started.

What Are the Causes of Congestive Heart Failure?

Congestive heart failure is characterized by a gradual deterioration in the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body. It can result in various symptoms, such as swelling in the abdomen, feet, and legs, shortness of breath, fatigue, weight gain, and loss of appetite. Read our blog post on heart failure symptoms for more details.

Typically, the condition is the result of an abnormality in the cardiac muscles that interferes with the heart’s pumping function. It can be due to a congenital defect or an underlying illness that exerts the heart muscles.

The most common causes of congestive heart disease include :

The following factors also increase an individual’s risk of developing the condition:

  • A family history of cardiovascular diseases
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Substance abuse

Types of Congestive Heart Failure

Depending on the part of the heart’s pumping cycle that’s been affected, congestive heart failure can be of two types: systolic heart failure and diastolic heart failure.

In systolic heart failure, the left ventricle becomes thin and weak and is unable to push an adequate amount of oxygen-rich blood into the arteries. It’s also known as heart failure with reduced ejection fraction.

In diastolic heart failure, the ventricles become thick and stick, due to which the heart can relax and let an adequate amount of blood fill the chambers. It’s also known as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.

Congestive heart failure can also be categorized into two types depending on the side of the heart that’s affected. This includes left-sided heart failure and right-sided heart failure.

Acute Congestive Heart Failure

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have outlined four distinct stages of the progression of heart failure. Stage four, or the most advanced stage, is characterized by acute heart failure.

At this stage, a patient experiences severe symptoms that don’t respond to standard treatments. They might need frequent hospitalization or specialized treatment to stay out of the hospital.

Congestive Heart Failure Prognosis

There’s no known cure for congestive heart failure. However, timely diagnosis, proper treatment, and lifestyle changes can be instrumental in improving a patient’s quality of life and longevity. Doctors usually use a cardiopulmonary stress test to predict your prognosis.

The prognosis of congestive heart failure for a patient depends on various factors, including their age, sex, medical history, and lifestyle. Chronic ailments like diabetes can worsen your prognosis. Also, the stage at which heart failure is diagnosed influences the outlook.

Dr. C Raghu is a world-renowned cardiologist who’s helped thousands of patients with cardiac ailments. He specializes in interventional cardiology and has nearly two decades of experience. If you or anyone you know has been diagnosed with congestive heart disease, feel free to consult Dr. Raghu right away.

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    Congestive Heart Disease: An Overview – Blog

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      Heart failure is a serious condition that can result in organ damage and death (if left untreated). If you want more information about the different types and symptoms of heart failure, take a look at our previous blog posts.

      In this article, we’ll explore the different causes of heart failure in greater detail. Let’s get started.

      Heart Failure: A Closer Look

      Heart failure refers to a condition where the heart is unable to pump blood throughout the body with maximum efficiency. It’s usually the result of progressive weakening, thickening, or stiffening of the heart muscles.

      In the past, doctors used to refer to the condition as congestive cardiac failure because it leads to fluid buildup and congestion in the lungs. However, recent research shows that heart failure can cause several other symptoms.

      Symptoms of Heart Failure

      It’s possible for patients to develop heart failure without showing symptoms for months. That’s because they might attribute signs like confusion and fatigue to other factors, such as old age and stress.

      However, if you’re at risk of developing heart failure, you should watch out for the following symptoms:

      • Swelling in the abdomen, feet, and legs
      • Shortness of breath that worsens due to physical exertion or when lying down
      • Weight gain due to fluid buildup
      • Loss of appetite
      • Pale or bluish skin
      Related : Understanding Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms

      Causes of Heart Failure

      Heart failure can be the result of various underlying conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, cardiomyopathy, and coronary artery disease. Also, it can be caused by damage to the heart muscles due to a viral or bacterial infection or a previous heart attack.

      Moreover, faulty heart valves can strain the cardiac muscles and lead to heart failure. Similarly, heart rhythm disturbances can create structural changes in the left ventricle and cause heart failure.

      It’s worth noting that people with a family history of cardiac ailments are more prone to developing heart failure. Also, the risk is higher in seniors and people with an African-American ethnic background. Alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking, and substance abuse also increase the risk.

      Types of Heart Failure

      Depending on the phase of the heart’s pumping cycle that’s affected by congestive cardiac failure, the condition can be of two types:

      • Systolic heart failure – Heart failure due to a problem in the contraction (systolic) phase of the pumping cycle; also known as heart failure with reduced ejection fraction.
      • Diastolic heart failure – Heart failure due to a problem in the relaxed (diastolic) phase of the pumping cycle; also known as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.

      Heart failure can also be categorized as:

      • Left-sided heart failure (caused by a weak left ventricle)
      • Right-sided heart failure (caused by a weak right ventricle)
      Related : Types of Heart Failure

      Stages of Heart Failure

      The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) have identified four distinct stages of heart failure based on the degree of severity. The course of treatment for a patient depends on the stage of heart failure they’re at.

      Diagnosing Heart Failure

      Heart failure is diagnosed through a series of lab tests, including ECG, echocardiogram, coronary angiography, chest X-ray, brain natriuretic peptide test, etc. Doctors recommend the right combination of tests to identify the causes of heart failure and devise a suitable treatment plan.

      Dr. C Raghu is an eminent cardiologist with more than two decades of experience. He specializes in interventional cardiology and has helped a plethora of patients with different heart conditions. If you’ve been diagnosed with heart failure, feel free to consult Dr. Raghu to explore your treatment options.

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        Causes of Heart Failure – Blog

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          symptom-heart-faliure.jpg

           

          Heart failure is an umbrella term for a set of physical symptoms arising due to the gradual deterioration in the heart’s pumping ability. The term “congestive heart failure” was traditionally used because the condition resulted in fluid buildup and congestion in the lungs.

          However, doctors and medical researchers have found that it causes a wide array of other symptoms. That’s why they now refer to the condition as heart failure.

          What Happens in Congestive Heart Failure?

          A healthy human heart relaxes and contracts nearly 100,000 times a day and pumps more than 2,000 gallons of blood throughout the body. The cardiovascular system also includes a network of arteries and veins to transport deoxygenated and oxygenated blood to and from the heart. If any part of the system falters, it can disrupt the flow of blood to vital organs.

          Heart failure is characterized by a progressive decline in the heart’s power to pump blood. When that happens, the heart goes through a series of structural changes (knowns as cardiac remodeling) and beats faster to pump more blood.

          Also, the blood vessels constrict to stabilize blood pressure and restrict blood supply to non-critical organs like the skin and kidneys. When blood flow to the kidneys reduces, it compels the body to retain more fluid and sodium.

          All these short-term fixes result in more damage and cause even more stress to the heart muscles. That, in turn, results in further deterioration of the heart’s pumping action.

          Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms: A Closer Look

           

          The symptoms of heart failure vary depending on whether they’re caused due to a lack of oxygen or an increase in fluid build.

          Lack of oxygen supply results in the following symptoms :

          • Confusion
          • Weight gain
          • Fatigue
          • Discolored or bluish skin

          Excess sodium and fluid buildup in the body causes the following symptoms:

          • Lung congestion
          • Shortness of breath
          • Coughing and wheezing
          • Loss of appetite
          • Swelling of feet and abdomen

          Causes and Types of Congestive Heart Failure

          The most common causes of heart failure include:

          • Coronary artery disease (Narrowing of arteries due to cholesterol buildup)
          • Damaged or dying heart tissue due to a heart attack
          • Cardiomyopathy (damage to the heart muscles)
          • Heart rhythm disturbances due to atrial fibrillation
          • Underlying medical conditions like hypertension and diabetes

          There are various ways to categorize congestive heart failure. Depending on the part of the heart’s pumping that’s affected due to heart failure, it can be of the following types:

          • Systolic heart failure or heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction
          • Diastolic heart failure or heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction

          Also, depending on the side of the heart that’s affected, heart failure can be categorized as left-sided failure and right-sided failure. The treatment approach a doctor will use depends on the type of heart failure a patient has developed.

          Stages of Heart Failure

          The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association has outlined four stages to denote the progression of heart failure. While Stage A is characterized by risk factors like underlying medical conditions, stage B shows structural changes in a patient’s heart. The more advanced stages (C and D) present visible symptoms.

          In Conclusion

          Heart failure (also known as congestive heart failure) is a progressive condition caused by the heart’s inability to pump blood adequately. It results in symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, weight gain, and brain fog.

          Dr. C Raghu is an eminent cardiologist with more than two decades of experience. If you or someone you know has developed congestive heart failure symptoms, consult Dr. Raghu to explore your treatment options.

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            Understanding Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms Blog

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              Systolic-heart-failure-img.jpg

              Heart failure is a common condition with no known cure. However, proper treatment can control the disease progression and thus improve a patient’s quality of life and longevity. To decide the proper course of treatment, a doctor must first determine the type of heart failure a patient has developed.

              Depending on the part of the heart’s pumping cycle that’s been affected, heart failure can be of two types – diastolic and systolic. You can learn more about the symptoms, causes, treatment of diastolic dysfunction and differentiation from systolic dysfunction in our previous article.

              In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into systolic heart failure and understand its causes and symptoms.

              Systolic Heart Failure: A Closer Look

              Systolic heart failure occurs due to a problem in the heart’s contraction (or systolic) phase. It’s characterized by stretching and weakening of the left ventricular muscle, due to which the heart pumps out less oxygenated blood to the body.

              It’s also known as heart failure with reduced ejection infraction. As the condition worsens, it can also weaken the right ventricle and take a toll on its pumping power too.

              Related: What Are the Symptoms of Diastolic Dysfunction?

              Causes of Systolic Heart Failure

              Systolic heart failure is caused by underlying medical conditions that damage the left ventricle. The most common causes include :

              • Hypertension (the left ventricle has to use increased pressure to pump blood through the body)
              • Coronary artery disease (buildup of cholesterol in the arteries) – with or without a heart attack.
              • Dilated cardiomyopathy (weakening of the left ventricle due to an infection or long-term exposure to alcohol and narcotics)
              • Abnormal heart rhythm (also known as atrial fibrillation)
              • Previous heart attack

              Additionally, people who are older or have diabetes are at a higher risk of developing systolic heart failure.

              Related: Understanding Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms

              Symptoms of Systolic Heart Failure

              In systolic heart failure, an adequate amount of oxygen-rich blood doesn’t reach all organs. The most common indicator of the condition is a lower ejection fraction.

              It can result in the following symptoms:

              • Breathlessness – initially on exertion and in later stages even at rest or lying down. 
              • Swelling of feet, face, abdomen – due to fluid accumulation in various organs 
              • Engorged and pulsatile neck veins
              • Confusion (due to a lack of oxygen supply in the brain)
              • Weight gain (due to a buildup of excess fluid in the body)
              • Fatigue (due to reduced blood supply to the muscles)
              • Pale or bluish skin tone (due to restricted blood supply to the skin and other vital organs).

              Diagnosis and Treatment Options

              Typically, a doctor prescribes various tests, such as chest X-ray, ECG, and echocardiography, to diagnose systolic heart failure and its root cause. The treatment plan depends on the underlying cause.

              In most cases, systolic heart failure is treated using one or more of the following medications:

              • Beta-blockers
              • Diuretics or water pills
              • ACE inhibitors
              • Digoxin
              • Anticoagulants

              Additionally, doctors recommend a healthy diet and lifestyle changes to improve cardiac health and manage underlying conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes.

              Related: Diagnosing Congestive Heart Failure

              In Conclusion

              If left untreated, systolic heart failure can damage vital organs and even lead to death. It’s crucial that patients watch out for symptoms like swollen feet, mental confusion, and bluish skin color and seek medical treatment at the earliest.

              Dr. C Raghu is an experienced cardiologist who specializes in interventional cardiology and TAVR. If you or anyone you know is experiencing symptoms of systolic heart failure, connect with Dr. Raghu for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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                What Is Systolic Heart Failure ? – Blog

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                  Diastolic-heart-failure-img.jpg

                  In our previous articles, we’ve discussed the symptoms of heart failure and the steps to diagnose the same. However, the course of treatment varies for every patient based on the type of heart failure they’ve developed.

                  Depending on the part of the heart’s pumping cycle that’s been affected, there are two types of heart failure. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at diastolic dysfunction and its symptoms.

                  What Causes Diastolic Dysfunction?

                  The diastolic phase refers to the part of the heart’s pumping cycle when the ventricles (lower chambers) relax and let blood flow in from the atria (upper chambers). Diastolic dysfunction is a condition in which the ventricles don’t relax enough. That, in turn, prevents the normal amount of blood from entering the heart.

                  Diastolic dysfunction is caused when the heart muscles become thicker and stiffer than usual. It’s more common in older women with hypertension and diabetes. If left untreated, it can lead to diastolic heart failure (also known as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction).

                  Related : Understanding Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms

                  What Does Preserved Ejection Fraction Mean?

                  Ejection fraction refers to the volume of blood pumped out from the heart’s left ventricle with each contraction. For a healthy heart, the number falls in the range of 55% to 65%. A lower ejection fraction is one of the most common indicators of heart failure.

                  However, it’s worth noting that many people with diastolic dysfunction have an ejection fraction of 50% or more (which is known as preserved ejection fraction). That means the left ventricle expels an adequate amount of oxygenated blood.

                  However, the heart muscle doesn’t relax enough to let a sufficient quantity of blood in. That, in turn, causes the excess blood to back up in the lungs and results in fluid buildup in the feet and abdomen.

                  How to differentiate systolic from diastolic dysfunction ?

                  In contrast to systolic dysfunction where the heart muscle is “weak”, in diastolic dysfunction the heart is “stiff”. This means that the heart is unable to pump blood out of the heart in systolic dysfunction whereas the heart is unable to accept further blood in diastolic dysfunction. Both conditions lead to congestion or fluid accumulation in various organs of the body. Differentiation of heart failure from systolic and diastolic dysfunction is not possible as both diseases present with similar symptoms. 

                  Which conditions lead to Diastolic dysfunction?

                  Diastolic dysfunction appears consequent to uncontrolled or long-standing diabetes, hypertension, obesity as well as elderly people, women and atrial fibrillation. The best way to prevent and treat diastolic dysfunction is by effective control of the diseases mentioned above.

                  Symptoms of Diastolic Dysfunction

                  The most common symptom of diastolic dysfunction is congestion and shortness of breath due to the buildup of blood and fluid in the lungs. Breathing difficulties can get particularly worse during exertion or when lying.

                  Other symptoms of diastolic dysfunction include:

                  • Coughing and wheezing (due to lung congestion)
                  • Loss of appetite and nausea (due to fluid buildup around the liver and in the stomach)
                  • Swollen feet, legs, and abdomen (due to fluid accumulation)

                  If you experience any of the given symptoms, it’s crucial to consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

                  Treatment of Diastolic Dysfunction

                  Treatment of diastolic dysfunction involves a combination of medications (diuretics or water pills) and lifestyle changes. In severe cases, a patient might need left ventricular assist devices or a heart transplant.

                  Is Diastolic Dysfunction Serious?

                  In the long run, diastolic dysfunction can lead to diastolic heart failure. That, in turn, increases your risk of hospitalization and death. Therefore, you should pay close attention to your symptoms and reach out to a doctor whenever you notice anything unusual.

                  Dr. C Raghu is a renowned cardiologist who specializes in interventional cardiology. He has decades of experience in treating patients with different heart conditions. If you or anyone you know has developed symptoms like shortness of breath, swollen feet, loss of appetite, etc., contact Dr. Raghu to explore your treatment options.

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                    What Are the Symptoms of Diastolic Dysfunction ? – Blog

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                      The ejection fraction is one of the most common parameters used to diagnose heart failure. If you want to know more about the cause, symptoms, and types of heart failure, check out our previous blog posts.

                      In this article, we’ll delve deeper into ejection fraction and understand its relevance in heart failure diagnosis and treatment. Let’s get started.

                      What Is Ejection Fraction?

                      Ejection fraction refers to the percentage of blood the left ventricle pumps out during the systolic (or contraction) phase. The left atrium receives oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and sends it to the left ventricle. The walls of the left ventricle contract and pump blood into the arteries, which then carry it to different cells and tissues.

                      Even a healthy heart doesn’t pump all the blood from the left ventricle in a single cycle. Therefore, an ejection fraction of 55 to 65% is considered normal. 

                      Ejection Fraction and Heart Failure: Understanding the Connection

                      Heart failure is the result of a gradual decline of the heart’s pumping function. It’s often caused by a weakening or thinning of the left ventricle, due to which the heart can’t contract with full force. That, in turn, means it can’t pump the required amount of blood into the arteries.

                      The remaining blood backs up in the lungs, causing symptoms like shortness of breath. Also, lack of blood supply to vital organs like kidneys can lead to fluid buildup, resulting in swelling in the abdomen, feet, and legs. All these are telltale signs of heart failure.

                      A weak left ventricle results in a lower than normal ejection fraction (under 50%). Thus, a low ejection fraction is often the first indicator of heart failure. It can be caused by various factors, such as dilated cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, hypertension, and diabetes.

                      However, it’s worth noting that some patients might develop heart failure despite a normal ejection fraction. It happens when heart failure is the result of a problem in the diastolic (relaxed) phase of the heart’s pumping cycle. It’s caused when the walls of the ventricles become stiff and thick, thus letting less blood flow from the lungs into the heart.

                      Related: What Are the Symptoms of Diastolic Dysfunction?

                      Is It Possible to Improve Ejection Fraction?

                      The likelihood of improving ejection fraction depends on a patient’s overall physical health and medical history. In most cases, doctors will recommend lifestyle, diet changes and medicines to improve or maintain normal ejection fraction. Also, it’s crucial for patients to stay physically active, so that their organs receive sufficient oxygen-rich blood.

                      In Conclusion

                      A normal ejection fraction of 55 to 65% is considered a sign of a healthy heart. People with an ejection fraction lower than 50% might be suffering from systolic heart failure. This is also termed Heart Failure with reduced ejection fraction. However, it’s also possible for you to develop heart failure and still have an ejection fraction of more than 50%. This condition is called diastolic heart failure or Heart Failure with preserved ejection fraction. 

                      The good news is that it’s possible to improve ejection fraction with a combination of medications and lifestyle changes. If you’ve been diagnosed with heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction, feel free to contact Dr. C Raghu to explore your treatment options.

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                        What Is a Normal Ejection Fraction by Age ? – Blog

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                          In our previous blogs, we’ve discussed the common symptoms and treatment options for heart failure. However, the plan of treatment depends on the side of the heart that’s affected.

                          Heart failure is usually of two types – left-sided and right-sided. While life-sided heart failure is the result of the weakening of the left ventricle, right-sided heart failure is caused due to a weak right ventricle.

                          In this article, we’ll take a closer look at right-sided heart failure to understand its causes and symptoms. Let’s get started.

                          What Is Right-Sided Heart Failure?

                          Right-sided heart failure is a condition characterized by the weakening of the heart’s right ventricle. That means the right ventricle can’t pump deoxygenated blood into the lungs with maximum efficiency. It results in a buildup of blood in the veins, thus causing swelling in the legs and abdomen.

                          What Causes Right-Sided Heart Failure?

                          The most likely cause of right-sided heart failure is a weak left ventricle. In other words, left-sided heart failure eventually leads to right-sided heart failure.

                          When the left ventricle becomes weak, it can’t pump an adequate amount of oxygen-rich blood into the body. It causes blood to back up into the lungs. That, in turn, means the right ventricle has to work harder to pump oxygen-depleted blood into the lungs. It results in the gradual weakening of the muscles and leads to right-sided heart failure. Left-sided heart failure is usually caused by coronary artery disease, hypertension, or a previous heart attack.

                          Additionally, any condition that taxes the right ventricle’s pumping power can lead to right-sided heart failure. These include:

                          • Chronic respiratory disease
                          • Pulmonary hypertension
                          • Pulmonary embolism

                          What Are the Symptoms of Right-Sided Heart Failure?

                          One of the most common right-sided heart failure symptoms is swelling in the legs and abdomen due to fluid buildup. Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen can also cause nausea, bloating, and loss of appetite.

                          Other symptoms of right-sided heart failure include:

                          • Shortness of breath
                          • Chest pain
                          • Heart palpitations

                          How Is Right-Sided Heart Failure Diagnosed?

                          Firstly, a cardiologist will ask you about your symptoms and medical history. Also, they’ll perform a physical examination to check your blood pressure and heart rate. They might even use a stethoscope to identify abnormal heart sounds.

                          They can also recommend routine blood tests, such as complete blood count, lipid panel, and electrolyte tests. Additionally, they can order a brain natriuretic peptide test.

                          Besides blood tests, doctors also order the following lab tests to diagnose right-sided heart failure:

                          • Chest X-ray
                          • Electrocardiogram
                          • Echocardiogram
                          • Exercise testing
                          • Coronary angiography

                          Right-Sided Heart Failure vs. Congestive Heart Failure

                          Congestive heart failure is an outdated term that was used to refer to fluid buildup in the lungs due to a weak left ventricle. However, a more inclusive term – heart failure – is used now. Right-sided heart failure is a specific type of heart failure caused by a weak right ventricle.

                          Final Thoughts

                          The most common right-sided heart failure symptoms include swelling in the legs and abdomen, breathlessness, and chest pain. Doctors use a variety of tests, including ECG, coronary angiography, and chest X-ray, to diagnose the condition and determine the right course of treatment.

                          Dr. C Raghu is an eminent cardiologist specializing in interventional cardiology. He’s helped several patients with serious heart conditions. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of heart failure, reach out to Dr. Raghu today.

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                            What Is the Most Common Cause of Right-Sided Heart Failure ? – Blog

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                              Depending on the side of the heart that’s been affected, heart failure can be of two types – left-sided and right-sided. We’ve already discussed the causes and symptoms of right-sided heart failure in one of our previous blogs.

                              It’s now time for us to dig deeper into left-sided heart failure, which is the most likely cause of right-sided heart failure. Let’s jump right in.

                              Related: What Is a Normal Ejection Fraction by Age?

                              What Is Left-Sided Heart Failure?

                              left-sided heart failure

                              Left-sided heart failure is characterized by a decline in the heart’s pumping function. In this condition, the heart gradually loses its ability to pump blood from the left ventricle into the arteries.

                              The ejection fraction for a patient with left-sided heart failure is often lower than 50%. That, in turn, leads to a buildup of blood in the lungs and fluid in the body. Also, left-sided heart failure depletes vital organs of oxygen-rich blood.

                              Related: What Is Systolic Heart Failure?

                              What Are the Symptoms of Left-Sided Heart Failure?

                              The most common left-sided heart failure symptoms include:

                              • Shortness of breath
                              • Coughing and wheezing
                              • Weight gain (due to fluid buildup)

                              Additionally, a lack of an adequate blood supply to the brain can cause confusion. Also, it can result in fatigue.

                              What Causes Left-Sided Heart Failure?

                              Left-sided heart failure is the result of a gradual weakening of the heart’s left ventricle. It can happen due to underlying conditions, such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, and heart valve damage. It can also be the result of heart muscle damage due to a previous heart attack.

                              Related: Understanding Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms

                              Treatment of Left-Sided Heart Failure

                              Doctors treat left-sided heart failure based on its underlying cause. They can prescribe medication, such as ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, to manage conditions like hypertension. Additionally, many patients are prescribed diuretic pills to prevent fluid buildup due to heart failure.

                              Left-sided heart failure treatment also involves a healthy diet and lifestyle changes. For instance, a doctor might recommend that you follow an exercise routine and lose weight. Also, they’ll ask you to avoid smoking and alcohol consumption.

                              Left-Sided Heart Failure vs. Right-Sided Heart Failure

                              left vs right heart failure

                               

                              In right-sided heart failure, the right ventricle becomes weak and has trouble pumping deoxygenated blood to the lungs. It’s usually a result of progression of a left-sided heart failure. People with right heart failure present with swelling of feet, face, abdomen and distended pulsatile neck veins. They can also present with generalised weakness and easy fatiguability. 

                              When the left ventricle doesn’t pump out an adequate amount of oxygenated blood to the circulatory system, some of the excess blood flows back into the lungs. This leads to breathlessness as the predominant symptom of left heart failure. This breathlessness can present initially on unaccustomed exertion to progress with less severe exercise and finally to breathlessness on lying flat. Left heart failure in turn, makes it difficult for the right ventricle to pump deoxygenated blood to the lungs. In the long run, it exerts the walls of the right ventricle and results in right-sided heart failure.

                              In Conclusion

                              Left-sided heart failure is a serious condition that can result in organ damage and right-sided heart failure. The condition can be treated with a combination of medicines, like beta-blockers and diuretics, and lifestyle changes.

                              Dr. C Raghu is an eminent cardiologist with more than two decades of experience. He’s been treating patients with various heart conditions, helping them live longer and healthier lives. If you or anyone you know has developed symptoms of left-sided heart failure, don’t hesitate to consult Dr. Raghu right away.

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                                Left-Sided Heart Failure – Blog

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                                  There are many scenarios where you might want to see a doctor and find out whether you’ve developed heart failure. Perhaps you have a history of heart disease in the family and would like to assess your risk levels.

                                  Or you might have developed symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, and swollen feet, that are indicative of heart failure. (Check out our previous article for a detailed glimpse of heart failure symptoms.)

                                  Or you might have completed an initial round of investigation and want a closer look at the root cause of heart failure. In any case, it’s essential to have a fair idea of the steps involved in diagnosing heart failure. Let’s take a look.

                                  Family History and Medical Background

                                  Diagnostic efforts for heart failure serve two primary purposes :

                                  • To determine the underlying cause
                                  • To assess the extent of the heart’s malfunction

                                  The first thing a doctor will do is get a complete picture of your medical history. They’ll want to know the details of any symptoms you might have been experiencing. Also, they’ll ask about your diet and lifestyle, including your habits pertaining to exercise, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

                                  Additionally, they’ll ask one or more of the following questions:

                                  • Do you have pre-existing conditions like high cholesterol levels, hypertension, diabetes, etc.?
                                  • Have you undergone treatments like chemotherapy?
                                  • Do you have a family history of cardiovascular diseases?

                                  Your answers to these questions will give your doctor a better idea of your current physical condition.

                                  Physical Examination

                                  Next, the doctor will perform a thorough physical exam to analyze your heart activity. They’ll likely start by calculating your BMI and body fat percentage. Also, they’ll measure your vitals, including blood pressure and heart rate.

                                  Additionally, they might use a stethoscope to identify abnormal heart sounds or murmurs that indicate a faulty heart valve. They’ll also watch out for soft noises or bruits to identify the narrowing of arteries.

                                  They’ll examine your skin to see if it feels cold or looks discolored. They’ll also check your feet and abdomen for signs of fluid buildup. By the end of the physical exam, the doctor will have a better idea of your cardiovascular health.

                                  Related : High Blood Pressure – Symptoms & Treatment

                                  Diagnostic Tests

                                  While a physical exam can indicate abnormal heart function, your doctor will likely run a few diagnostic tests to confirm the underlying cause of heart failure.

                                  The most common tests include:

                                  • Blood tests, such as complete blood count, lipid panel, liver and kidney function tests, and a fasting glucose test
                                  • Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) test to determine the risk of hospitalization and death due to heart failure
                                  • Chest X-ray to detect enlarged heart muscle or fluid buildup around the heart
                                  • 12-lead ECG to monitor the heart’s electrical activity and identify signs of a heart attack or irregular heartbeat
                                  • Echocardiography for a closer look at the heart’s chambers and pumping action in real time
                                  • Coronary angiography to identify coronary artery disease

                                  Other tests like radionuclide ventriculography, exercise testing, and endomyocardial biopsy may also be prescribed.

                                  Related : What is Coronary Angiogram?

                                  In Conclusion

                                  Diagnosing heart failure involves a combination of physical examination, blood tests, and non-invasive procedures like X-rays and ECG. The key is to identify the underlying cause of heart failure, so that your doctor can decide the right course of treatment.

                                  Dr. C Raghu is an experienced cardiologist who specializes in interventional cardiology. If you or anyone you know is at risk of developing heart failure, reach out to Dr. Raghu for a thorough diagnosis.

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                                    Diagnosing Congestive Heart Failure Blog

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                                      The heart is a critical organ that powers the human body. It beats roughly 100,000 times a day and pumps more than 2,000 tons of blood throughout the body. 

                                      Heart failure is a condition in which the heart gradually loses its pumping capacity. It can lead to symptoms like breathlessness, fluid buildup, and mental confusion. In the long run, it can result in organ damage and even death.

                                      In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the symptoms, causes, and treatment of congestive cardiac failure. Let’s dive right in.

                                      Congestive Cardiac Failure and Heart Failure: Are They the Same?

                                      Traditionally, doctors used the terms congestive cardiac failure or congestive heart failure to refer to the progressive deterioration of the heart’s pumping action. They used “congestion” to describe the buildup of fluid in the lungs due to heart failure.

                                      However, subsequent studies have shown that the condition can lead to other symptoms, such as swollen feet, fatigue, and mental confusion. That’s why doctors use the term heart failure nowadays.

                                      Causes of Congestive Heart Failure

                                      Irrespective of whether you call it congestive cardiac failure or simply heart failure, its most common causes include:

                                      • Heart valve damage
                                      • Diabetes
                                      • Heart rhythm disturbances

                                      Additionally, damaged or dying heart tissue due to an infection or a previous heart attack can result in congestive cardiac failure. 

                                      Related : Mitral Valve Stenosis : Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

                                      Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure

                                      The symptoms of congestive heart failure depend on whether it causes a lack of oxygen supply to the organs or excess fluid buildup in the body.

                                      In the first case, the symptoms include mental confusion, fatigue, and discolored or bluish skin. In the second case, heart failure can lead to symptoms, such as shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, weight gain, swelling in the feet, legs, and abdomen, and loss of appetite.

                                      Treatment of Congestive Heart Failure

                                      The treatment of congestive heart failure depends on its underlying cause and the side of the heart that’s affected. A doctor will order a series of tests, such as chest X-ray, ECG, echocardiogram, and coronary angiography. Routine blood tests, such as lipid panel and electrolyte tests, might be needed, too.

                                      Once the root cause is identified, your doctor can prescribe one or more of the following medications:

                                      • Diuretic or water pills
                                      • Beta-blockers
                                      • ACE inhibitors or Angiotension receptor Neprilysin inhibitor 
                                      • Digoxin
                                      • Anticoagulants

                                      Additionally, the doctor will recommend lifestyle changes, including exercise, a low-sodium diet, and weight loss. Also, they’ll ask you to quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption. In extreme cases, patients need a heart transplant or ventricular assist device (VAD) to improve their quality of life.

                                      Wrapping Up

                                      Congestive cardiac failure is a chronic condition with no known cure. If left untreated, it can lead to organ damage and death. However, a proper treatment plan comprising lifestyle changes and medications can help manage various symptoms.

                                      Dr. C Raghu is a renowned cardiologist and a specialist in interventional cardiology. If you or anyone you know is experiencing symptoms of heart failure, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Raghu right away.

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                                        Congestive Cardiac Failure – Blog

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