Chf Research Essay

614 WordsAug 13, 20153 Pages
Congestive Heart Failure occurs when the heart loses its ability to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Because the heart is not pumping blood properly, excess fluid can accumulate. Fluid can accumulate in the lungs and result in pulmonary edema or shortness of breath. Sometimes patients will experience swelling of the feet and ankles, or in the abdomen. Congestive Heart Failure can be caused by a number of conditions that damage the heart muscle, including heart attacks, or heart infections, coronary artery disease, untreated hypertension, excessive alcohol intake, smoking or recreational drug use. Heart failure can also be caused by damage to, or abnormalities in the heart valves or an irregular heartbeat. Major risk include smoking, high cholesterol levels, hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Many of these risk factors can be controlled through lifestyle Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure include: * Shortness of breath with activity or when lying flat * A dry constant cough which may be worse at night * Swelling in the feet, legs, or abdomen * Weakness * Fatigue * Sudden weight gain. Prevention is the best treatment. A low sodium diet, regular exercise, consuming alcohol in moderation and not smoking are examples of healthy lifestyle changes. Heart failure medications are used to reduce your symptoms and manage your condition. There are several classifications of heart medications: beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, diuretics (fluid pills), and Digoxin. Familiarize yourself with your medications and follow your doctor’s instructions. Unfortunately, one of the most common reasons for rehospitalization for heart failure is not taking medications properly. It is extremely important to monitor your weight daily. An increase in weight can be an early indication of worsening of your congestive heart failure. Each morning

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