Congestive Heart Failure

WHAT IS CONGESTIVE HEART FIALURE?

Congestive heart failure is a cardiac disease that occurs when the heart is weakened (systolic) or “stiff” (diastolic). This leads to fluid retention in the lungs (which can lead to shortness of breath) as well as other tissues of the body, notably of the legs or abdomen causing swelling.

IS THERE A CURE FOR HEART FAILURE?

Heart failure is a chronic disease. However, we do have a number of different treatment options that have shown to improve quality of life as well as improve survival in patients with heart failure. The key to improving the quality of life is to manage the symptoms of congestive heart failure. This includes an intensive treatment plan with medications, life style modifications, rehabilitation, and close follow up. It is important for both the patient and the physician to work together to ensure the best outcome possible for the patient.

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR HEART FAILURE?

The treatment of heart failure involves both intensive life style changes and medical therapy regimen. Life style changes include dietary changes to eliminate salt intake, as well as limiting fluid intake to prevent fluid overload and cardiovascular. Medical therapy includes a combination of multiple blood pressure medications, which include beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, Angiotensin receptor blockers, diuretics, as well as new medications indicated in certain cases. You will be followed closely with the cardiologists for regular dosage and medication adjustments until the optimal therapy for you has been achieved. In certain cases, further treatments with device therapy or implantation of a defibrillator may be indicated.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE?

Heart failure can be caused by a number of conditions. It can be the result of a heart attack or long-standing coronary artery disease. Other causes of heart failure include: genetic predisposition, chronic diseases such as hypertension, valvular heart disease, arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms), infections, and toxins, including excessive alcohol use.