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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.

Congestive Heart Disease

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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      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

      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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          Left-heart-failiure.jpg

          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 sided 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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              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.

              congestive cardiac 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:

              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

              congestive cardiac 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.

              Book Online Consultaion



                Congestive Cardiac Failure – Blog

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