congestive cardiac failure | Dr Raghu


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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      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.

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        Congestive Cardiac Failure – Blog

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