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An insight to congestive heart failure: Symptoms and tests you can take up

CHF or congestive heart failures are chronic and progressive conditions that affect the pumping of heart muscles. When this happens, blood does not flow efficiently through the circulatory system and the ventricles do not pump sufficient amount of blood to the body. As a result, blood and other fluids begin to accumulate in the lungs, liver, abdomen etc. Any delay in congestive heart failure treatments can be quite life-threatening and we at Mehta’s advise that you seek immediate medical attention if someone is suspected of having CHF.

What causes CHF?

It can be a result of a combination of health conditions that can directly affect the cardiovascular system. Some of the most common causes of congestive heart failure include the following factors

  • Hypertension
  • Blocked coronary arteries
  • Damaged heart valves
  • Congenital heart diseases
  • Prolonged and serious rhythm problems
  • Weakened heart muscle or cardiomyopathy

There are many lifestyle habits that can aggravate congestive heart failures which include alcohol or cocaine abuse, smoking, lack of physical activity and high intake of salt which lead to fluid retention in the body.

Symptoms and signs that the patient will notice initially

  • Increased weight
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Urge to urinate often especially at night
  • Swelling of the legs, ankle, and feet

When the condition worsens, he/she will start noticing these

  • Rapid breathing
  • Congested lungs followed by a cough
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Bluish skin due to lack of oxygen in lungs

If the patient experiences any of the symptoms that are pointed above, he must seek medical attention immediately from best cardiologists in Chennai for timely treatment of the condition.

What the tests that can be performed to diagnose congestive heart failure

Here are the common tests that can be done to diagnose heart failure

1.Electrocardiogram-It can efficiently record the heart rhythm and brings to notice any abnormality.

2.Echocardiogram-This test uses sound waves to check the proper functioning of the heart. An echo can help to determine if the patient has any muscle damage, poor blood flow and abnormal contractions of the heart. It gives information about EF (ejection fraction) which is an indication of heart function with the normal EF being 50 to 70%.

3.MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging: This test takes still as well as moving pictures of the heart helping the doctors to diagnose and lookout for structural abnormalities or damages to the heart.

4.Stress Test: is taken to access how the heart performs under stress. When the heart works harder, it gets easier for the doctor to diagnose the conditions with restricted blood flow that is coronary changed as the ECG changer or Echo changes would appear or worsen.

5. Coronary angiogram: This can be done to rule out blocked arteries and to treat blocks just in case they exist helping it to improve heart function.

It is therefore important to be aware of symptoms and what tests need to be taken up in case of a heart failure as early diagnosis and treatment can help to prevent the progression of heart failure and save a life.

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