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How Can We Prevent Congestive Heart Failure?

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Congestive heart failure (CHF) tends to affect the heart’s function, making it incapable of pumping blood adequately to meet the body’s needs. There are many reasons which can weaken the pumping efficiency of the heart and lead to congestive cardiac failure.

What is Congestive Cardiac Failure?

Congestive heart failure (CHF) or a congestive cardiac failure is a chronic heart condition that is progressive and fatal. It is a condition when the heart is unable to pump blood as efficiently as it should. It usually occurs when the heart muscles become too weak, or when any heart defect prevents proper blood circulation.

Congestive cardiac failure affects the capability of heart to pump blood around the body. With time, this condition gets worse, and causes the organs to receive less blood than required. However, this condition does not mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. It means that your heart is not working the way it should.

Getting diagnosed with congestive cardiac failure can be distressing, but understanding the signs and symptoms, and the associated risks can help a lot in the prevention of the disease. It is good to know what congestive cardiac failure is along with its signs and symptoms, prevention and treatment. A few lifestyle changes, a balanced diet (minus the foods that increase the risk), regular physical exercise, and proper treatment can help you live a productive and healthy life.

Signs and Symptoms of Congestive Cardiac Failure

Signs of congestive cardiac failure start to show when the heart is not able to pump enough blood to sufficiently meet the oxygen and nutrient needs of organs and tissues. Sometimes, the signs and symptoms of congestive cardiac failure may get worse very quickly. Hence, it is advisable to consult the best heart doctor in Delhi (when you happen to live in NCR) if you are experiencing any signs of congestive cardiac failure.

Congestive cardiac failure symptoms may include: –

  • Excessive fatigue and weakness
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath during vigorous physical activity or when lying down
  • Persistent cough or wheezing with white or pink blood-tinged phlegm
  • Swelling in abdomen, legs, ankles and feet
  • Lack of appetite and nausea
  • Increased urination at night
  • Rapid weight gain due to fluid retention
  • Sudden and severe shortness of breath
  • Chest pain if heart failure is caused by a heart attack

Risk Factors of Congestive Cardiac Failure

In order to prevent any disease, it is important to know what are the risk factors associated with it. Knowing the risk factors and taking possible steps to avoid them is the first step to preventing congestive heart failure.

Having one of the risk factors may be enough to lead to a heart failure; however a combination of factors may add-on to increase the risk. The common risk factors for CHF are as follows –

High blood pressure
High BP exerts the muscles as it makes the heart work harder than normal.

Certain medications
Some medicines may be the cause of heart failure or heart problems. Medications that may increase the risk include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), some anesthesia medications, certain anti-arrhythmic medications, and certain drugs used to treat conditions and diseases such as cancer, blood conditions, high blood pressure, neurological conditions, psychiatric conditions, etc. However, it is important to consult a doctor before you stop taking any medications on your own.

Sleep apnea
Problems with breathing while you are asleep can cause low blood oxygen levels and increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms; both of these problems can weaken the heart.

Viruses
Viral infections may damage the heart muscles.

Alcohol and tobacco use
Drinking too much alcohol or using tobacco can damage the heart muscle, leading to heart failure.

Obesity
Obesity increases the risk of developing a heart failure.

Why Congestive Cardiac Failure Treatment is a Must?

Heart failure is a chronic disease that is affecting at least 26 million people globally, and its prevalence is increasing day by day. (Source) According to a study published in the ‘Lancet Global Health’, Indians have one of the highest mortality rates after diagnosis of heart failure, more than that of people in several developing countries in the world. (Source)

If you are experiencing congestive cardiac failure signs and symptoms or have any risk condition, it is very important to consult the best heart doctor in Delhi or in your city, at the earliest. To that end, seek emergency heart failure treatment from the best heart surgeon in Delhi in case you experience any extreme signs and symptoms, such as –

  • Severe weakness or unconsciousness
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat together with shortness of breath, chest pain or fainting
  • Severe or sudden shortness of breath and coughing up pink, foamy mucus

Congestive Heart Failure Prevention

The key to preventing congestive heart failure is to reduce your risks, eat healthy and keep yourself fit. Most of the risk factors, including high blood pressure, alcohol and tobacco use, high cholesterol or coronary artery disease can be controlled and possibly eliminated. Hence, taking small healthy steps everyday can help you make a bigger leap towards preventing congestive heart failure.

In order to reduce your risk of CHF, here are a few tips to incorporate in your daily life: –

Quit Smoking
If you smoke, quit. Also, stay away from secondhand smoke as passive smoking is very dangerous.

Eat Foods that are Heart-Healthy
Cut out sugar, trans fat, sodium and saturated fat from your diet. Eat more fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, fish, lean meats, and whole grains.

Do Regular Exercise
Try to do physical activities that raise your heart rate, such as brisk walking, jogging, playing any sport, etc. Aim for at least 2½ hours of moderate exercise a week.

Manage Stress
During extreme stress, certain chemicals are released in the body. These chemicals lead to rapid heart rate and higher blood pressure, which in turn weakens the immune system. Stress, if not managed, can lead to chronic health problems such as stomach ulcers, stroke, asthma, and heart disease.

Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess body fat raises blood pressure and cholesterol, increasing the risk of developing a heart disease. Obesity can also worsen conditions like osteoarthritis, back pain, asthma, and sleep apnea. Hence, it is important to watch your weight to keep chronic health problems at bay.

Manage Health Problems
To stay fit and healthy, it is important to manage other health problems that can raise the risk of heart disease and heart failure. These health problems include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Consult your doctor, take proper medicine and make heart-healthy lifestyle changes to keep heart problems at bay.

Manage other Heart Problems
If you have another type of heart disease, it is important to follow the prescribed medication and treatment. A major step towards preventing heart failure is managing related conditions.

Get Regular Health Checkups
Going for regular health checkups is one of the best ways to prevent any health problem.

Treatment for Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive cardiac failure treatment depends upon the stage of the heart failure. At the beginning stages, medication and lifestyle changes may be advised as treatment for congestive cardiac failure. In the later stages or if the condition gets worse, surgery may be the best option.

Treatment options for heart failure include –

Medication including Aldosterone antagonist, Beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers), Blood vessel dilators, ARNIs (angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitors), etc.

Surgery and medical devices

  • Bypass surgery
  • Heart transplant
  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT)
  • Heart valve surgery
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)
  • Infarct exclusion surgery
  • Ventricular assist device

Living with Congestive Cardiac Failure

Living with CHF can be difficult, but sticking to healthy lifestyle habits and keeping risk factors under control can improve the health of a damaged heart.

Understand and Monitor your Symptoms
Heart failure is a progressive condition which can become worse with time, so you need to be familiar with the symptoms, and monitor them regularly. Take medications regularly to keep your condition under control.

Monitor Your Health
Keep a check of your blood pressure, weight and other related health factors. Go for lab tests to monitor your heart health and medication needs.

Keep a Positive Attitude
Congestive heart failure is a chronic health condition. But, with the right attitude and treatment you can lead a long and productive life. As anxiety and stress can further deteriorate your condition, it is best to keep a positive attitude. Join a support group or visit a therapist, or indulge in relaxing hobbies that you love, to have a healthy mindset and attitude.

If you have congestive heart failure and are looking for effective congestive cardiac failure treatment employing advanced and natural methods, you can approach Intelligent Ageing. We offer comprehensive wellness programs based upon natural therapies and advanced medicine to deliver successful outcomes even in case of chronic diseases.

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