Table of contents
1. In CHF, your heart is unable to pump blood efficiently and it fails to meet the oxygen demand of the body.
2. CHF is a chronic, lifelong condition that requires long-term management and treatment.
3. Lifestyle modifications, including medication adherence, healthy eating, regular exercise, and smoking cessation, play a crucial role in controlling CHF symptoms and improving overall heart health.
Congestive Heart failure (CHF) or Heart Failure is a growing health concern worldwide, affecting around 6.4 crore people. As we age, the risk of heart diseases, including CHF goes up. For example, around 1% of people aged 50 years or older are affected by CHF.
This risk doubles with each passing decade of life. According to the World Health Organization, between 2015 and 2050, the world's population aged 60 years and above will almost double, increasing from 12% to 22%.
As more people are growing older, the number of CHF cases is also expected to increase in the future. A recent report suggests that in India, every year there are about 5 to 18 lakh new cases of heart failure. CHF is a common cause of hospitalization among the elderly. Living with CHF can have a significant impact on one's health and well-being.
Our heart functions as a pump in the circulatory system. It continuously contracts and relaxes to pump blood throughout the body, delivering oxygen and nutrients to various organs and tissues. This pumping action is vital for maintaining overall health and sustaining bodily functions.
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) or Heart Failure is a serious long-term condition of the heart. The heart is unable to pump efficiently and it fails to meet the oxygen demand of the body. This is due to multiple conditions like weakened heart muscles, narrowed arteries supplying the heart muscles and others. The heart does not stop working completely but works less efficiently, this leads to congestion or buildup of fluids in various parts of the body, such as the lungs, stomach, heart, etc causing symptoms and complications associated with the condition like shortness of breath, fatigue and swelling.
Complications may also include damage to organs such as the kidney, liver and lungs, irregular heartbeat, heart valve problems and sudden cardiac arrest.
Heart failure can be broadly classified into 3 types
The most common signs and symptoms of CHF include
Image Alt text: Heart failure symptoms
Congestive heart failure can result from various factors, including:
Diagnosing CHF involves a comprehensive evaluation by your doctor. This may include:
Heart failure has no cure. As it worsens, your heart pumps less blood, leading to more complications. The goal of treatment is to prevent progression and complications.
The management of congestive heart failure (CHF) often involves a combination of lifestyle changes and medications. Patients with advanced disease may require heart implant devices and heart surgeries. Regular check-ups with your doctor are recommended to monitor symptoms and adjust treatment as needed.
Risk factors for congestive heart failure (CHF) include:
Seek medical help without delay if you experience any of the following symptoms:
While you cannot alter certain risk factors like age, family history, or birth defects, you can positively influence your heart health through lifestyle choices. These steps empower you to take charge of your well-being and enhance your chances of preventing heart failure.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a lifelong condition. It requires treatment and management for the rest of your life. Consistent adherence to prescribed medications, lifestyle modifications, and regular medical check-ups is crucial to effectively control symptoms, enhance your quality of life, and maintain overall heart health.
Remember, you can shape your heart health, and with the right support, you can live a fuller, healthier life. Download the Aware App today and take a proactive step towards a stronger heart.
About the Author
Dr. Satish Madiraju, a renowned cardiologist is passionate about consumer heart health and is on a mission to prevent a million heart attacks. He shares his expertise not only on heart health but also on leadership, digital health, and improving patient experience.