“Be still, my heart” is not a welcome expression when it concerns heart condition. A diagnosis of congestive heart failure (CHF) is one that is usually met with a fairly high degree of concern as it can be deadly. CHF generally means that the heart is able to work at much less than full capacity and is not able to circulate blood properly, a condition that requires immediate treatment. This condition prevents the heart from pumping efficiently enough to supply the amount of oxygen-infused blood that a body needs to function on a daily basis. CHF can also result in further complications that involve the lungs as well as other tissues.

Symptoms that may lead to a diagnosis of congestive heart failure

A loss of a heart’s pumping capacity is a common occurrence as the heart ages, but the loss is usually one that progresses slowly. A congestive heart failure diagnosis, on the other hand, indicates a severe loss that leaves the heart with little ability to pump blood through the body. This condition is more likely amongst people who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. Some typical symptoms include shortness of breath, swelling in the extremities and the abdomen, limited ability to exercise and fatigue, among others. The condition occurs when fluids accumulate and create congestion in the lungs and in other organs. Of the symptoms that usually characterize CHF, fatigue is frequently the first symptom that makes an appearance.

Arriving at a diagnosis

Physicians rely upon a variety of tests to determine whether a patient has CHF. The history of a patient provides insight regarding prior heart ailments that may include hypertension, diabetes or even a heart attack. Swelling in the legs and abdomen are useful clues, as are audible breathing sounds. Diagnostic tests, such as an electrocardiogram, help to ascertain the occurrence of previous heart attacks, and a chest x-ray provides further information that forms the basis of a diagnosis. The electrocardiogram uses ultrasound to produce an image of the heart, its valves and even the pattern of blood flow. Other tests provide additional information that allows physicians to provide a clear and accurate diagnosis.

New developments on the horizon in the medical field indicate that successful treatment of CHF has an optimistic future. Changes to lifestyles and advanced medicines now offer successful treatment regimens that are significant. Drugs such as beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors are fairly recent additions to the medicinal arsenal. Their presence seems to offer hope to people who suffer from CHF, providing opportunities for those with the disorder to maintain active and fulfilling lives for years to come.

If you suspect you are showing signs of heart failure or any other heart condition, then go see your doctor as soon as you can. With today's technology and medical advancements you have the opportunity to prolong your life by seeking medical attention and by asking your doctor what treatments are best for you. Why not live your life to the fullest and feel the best you can each day.

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I am a blogger and writer who has the knowledge to cover many topics. I enjoy taking the proper care to always research the topic of discussion and write in terms for the reader to understand.