Congestive heart failure is a chronic and degenerative condition of the heart. In this disorder, the heart will not be able to pump blood efficiently. This can become fatal if not treated in time. This failure can occur in the left or right ventricle of the heart resulting in reverse flow of blood from the heart. In the former case, blood flows back to the heart since it is not pumped efficiently to different parts of the body.
The reverse flow increases blood in the veins bringing blood to the heart causing congestion in the lungs. In the failure of the right ventricle, blood flows in the reverse direction from the heart to different parts of the body causing fluid retention in many parts like the feet, ankles and legs. Failure of the right ventricle usually follows left ventricle failure.
Congestive heart failure results when the weakening continues over a prolonged period of time. Many conditions which can lead to this condition are:
- Coronary disease of the artery
- Heart attack
- Elevated blood pressure
- Disease in the muscles of the heart
- Valvular heart disease
- Congenital heart disorder
- Inflammation in the muscles of the heart
- Abnormal rhythm of the heart
- Disease of the lungs
- Excessive anemia
First signs of this disorder include fatigue, wheezing or shortness of breath. In the later stages, other symptoms include palpitation, swelling in the feet, ankles and legs; or sudden gain in weight.
Such patients should inculcate changes in diet, lifestyle, begin exercising and take medicines.
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