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11 Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms

shortness-of-breathFor the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the prevalence of Heart Failure all around the world. Heart Failure, alternately known as Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), transpires when the muscles of the heart fail to pump sufficient blood supply to support the other organs of the body. It may be caused by several circumstances, like narrowed heart arteries of high blood pressure that leave the heart to too weak to function properly. Another possible cause of CHF is coronary artery disease, a condition where the coronary arteries become narrowed or completely blocked. The heart is composed of four chambers: the two upper halves known as the atria, and the two lower halves known as the ventricles. The atria receive the blood as it circulates back from the rest of the body. The ventricles are responsible for pumping the blood out of the heart to other parts of the body. CHF occurs when the ventricles are not able to pump the sufficient volume of blood to the body and ultimately, blood and other body fluid back up to the other organs of the body. It has become an epidemic and is an overwhelming clinical and public health problem. In a lifetime, a person’s risk of developing Heart failure is one out of five. When left undetected, CHF can be life threatening. Here is a list of 11 symptoms that can help you identify if you are in suffering CHF.

1. Shortness of breath

Breathing is a normal involuntary action of the body that sometimes, it is very difficult to notice any changes in your breathing. Regularly monitoring your breathing for any instability can help in determining if you are at risk of CHF because shortness of breath is one of its common symptoms. Observing yourself at night is a great way to begin assessing your breathing. While lying flat on your back, you may notice an increase in shortness of breath and need more pillows to prop yourself up to breathe easier. The shortness of breath happens because the blood in the body backs up in the blood vessels that return blood from the lungs to the heart. This happens because the heart is not able to pump out blood effectively. If you are experiencing severe and persistent shortness of breath, seek out immediate medical attention.

2. Loss of appetite or nausea

Organs are compromised because of the heart’s inability to effectively circulate the blood around the body. This ultimately leads to fluid accumulation or congestion around the organs. Fluid accumulation or congestion around the liver and the intestines are included when this occurs. Congestion around the liver and the intestines affect digestion that may lead to loss or change of appetite. It may also cause the feeling of being full or sick even if the stomach is empty. Abdominal pains or tenderness is also evident. This may also lead to feelings of nausea. Increased loss of appetite and nausea indicates worsening CHF and seeking immediate medical attention is advised.