Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart muscle doesn’t pump blood efficiently and normally. There are various possible causes of heart failure, but it usually happens due to the narrowing of the arteries in the heart or due to high blood pressure. These conditions make it difficult to pump enough nutrients and oxygen through the blood to the rest of the body.
Approximately 6.5 million Americans are suffering from congestive heart failure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). This condition is prevalent among both men and women.
More than half of those who have congestive heart failure die within 5 years of diagnosis, so it is imperative to understand its signs. If you or a loved one experiences one or more of the symptoms explained here, seek medical help right away from an experienced physician so you can start treatment.
Does Congestive Heart Failure Have Any Symptoms?
Yes. The Heart Failure Society of America has developed an easy-to-remember acronym to help people recall the signs of congestive heart failure: FACES. FACES stands for fatigue, activity limitation, congestion, edema, and shortness of breath:
F – Fatigue
When the heart doesn’t pump enough oxygen to the body through the blood, a feeling of fatigue and lethargy sets in. This is because the heart is not providing enough oxygen to the organs.
A – Activity Limitation
Congestive heart failure often interferes with the patient’s lifestyle and daily activities. This is because they get tired easily and tend to experience shortness of breath.
C – Congestion
Lung congestion occurs when there is excess fluid in the lungs. This leads to difficulty breathing, wheezing, and coughing.
E – Edema
Edema – also known as swelling in the ankles, feet, and legs – happens when the heart isn’t pumping blood efficiently through the veins in the lower extremities back up to the heart. This results in blood and fluids collecting in areas below the abdomen, leading to swelling and possible weight gain.
S – Shortness of Breath
If fluid builds up in the lungs due to congestive heart failure, it can cause shortness of breath. This occurs because the lungs have a harder time exchanging carbon dioxide from “used” blood with fresh oxygen inhaled while breathing.
Healthcare Clinic in Texoma
Although these five warning signs do not necessarily indicate heart failure, they do serve as red flags to convey the urgency of seeking a medical evaluation by a physician. It is important to undergo a physical exam for a proper diagnosis and precise treatment of your symptoms.
Here at the Carrus Care Clinic of Atoka, our medical team is here for you and your whole family. We can quickly and efficiently diagnose and treat both acute (sudden) and chronic health conditions of all kinds, and we will prescribe the most effective treatment possible as necessary. We also aim for the most minimally invasive treatment possible, considering physical therapy and/or medication before invasive or surgical methods.
If you would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today by calling us at (580) 364-8205, or fill out our online appointment request form now. We look forward to seeing you here and partnering with you for a lifetime of good health.