Congestive Heart Failure
The heart’s job is to pump blood to all the organs and appendages in the body. When it is damaged, the heart may not be able to pump as much blood as needed. Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart is not able to function correctly, and it continues to function worse over time. At Primary Care Joliet, our medical team offers effective treatment and management of congestive heart failure at our clinics in Wilmington and Joliet, IL.
Causes and Symptoms of Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure is a progressive disease. It means that the heart is still working but failing to work correctly. Most cases of heart failure are caused by lifestyle choices over decades. Tobacco use, lack of exercise, alcohol abuse, high fat/salt diet, obesity and drug use can all increase the risk of heart failure. Other possible causes and risk factors include family history (genetics), heart birth defects, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack and arrhythmia.
There are stages of congestive heart failure, and once you have this disease, you will only progress in stages. In the early stages you may not have any symptoms, but eventually the symptoms will become worse. Some of the symptoms in the early stages can include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Frequent urination at night
- Weight gain
- Dry cough
- Edema or swelling, usually in the legs and ankles
- Heart palpitations
Congestive heart failure can affect the left or right side, and eventually impact both sides of the heart. Symptoms may come and go, but they will progressively become worse, but treatment can slow the process.
Treatment for Heart Failure
There is not a cure for congestive heart failure, but it can be effectively managed with treatment. Lifestyle changes are recommended, including losing weight, eating less salt/fat, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol use. There are many medications that can also be used to regulate blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rhythm, making it easier for your heart to perform.
If you have symptoms of congestive heart failure or a family history of this disease, come see our medical team at Primary Care Joliet. We can perform an exam and evaluate your heart health. Call one of our clinics in the Joliet and Wilmington, IL, area to book your appointment.