Congestive heart failure doesn’t mean your heart is on the verge of failure, but it can become that serious if you don’t recognize the symptoms and seek treatment as soon as possible. Our team of physicians at Consultants in Cardiology & Electrophysiology are leaders in diagnosing and treating heart failure. They’re here to develop an aggressive treatment plan to keep you active and healthy, so contact us to schedule an appointment at one of our locations in the Greater Chicago area.
When congestive heart failure is diagnosed, the heart is still pumping -- and not about to immediately fail -- but it can’t pump well enough to send enough oxygen-rich blood throughout your body in a normal manner.
Heart failure develops when the heart has been damaged. As a result, it either can’t fill up with sufficient blood or it can’t contract strongly enough to pump all the blood out. Early treatment to manage the condition is essential, because heart failure can’t be cured and it gets progressively worse over time.
A variety of conditions can damage the heart muscle and lead to congestive heart failure including:
Heart failure is a serious health condition that needs immediate and ongoing care to slow down its progression. Please don’t wait to contact Consultants in Cardiology & Electrophysiology when you begin to notice symptoms.
The most common symptoms are caused by a buildup of fluid in your body:
You may also develop:
At the start, you may feel tired and short of breath with normal activities, like climbing stairs. As heart failure gets worse, you may not be able to walk across the room without feeling winded.
Heart failure can’t be cured, but it can be properly managed. Medications are important for treating symptoms, slowing progression, and helping you stay healthy. Diverse types of medicines are available and each class has a different effect, so your prescriptions will be matched to the severity of your disease.
Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and stopping smoking will improve your heart’s ability to function. Tracking symptoms is also important, so that your treatment plan can be adjusted as soon as symptoms worsen. Since heart failure progresses slowly, symptoms can sneak up on you, so try to pay attention to subtle changes in your ability to complete daily activities or changes in your body, such as weight gain.