Understanding Congestive Heart Failure in Grand Blanc, MI

What is congestive heart failure and what are its causes?

At Regional Cardiology Associates, P.L.C., we hope to catch the signs of heart failure early. Usually called congestive heart failure, it occurs when your heart becomes congested. This literally means blood is backing up because the heart muscle is no longer able to pump effectively. This can happen because your heart is too weak or because it's too stiff.

Common causes of congestive heart failure include:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Long-term alcohol abuse
  • Disorders of the heart valves
  • Idiopathic causes such myocarditis

Most cases of congestive heart failure can be traced back to these causes, but not all. There are rare cases of congestive heart failure that occur due to thyroid disorders, heart rhythm abnormalities and viral infections.

How to manage congestive heart failure

Congestive heart failure can be managed with lifestyle changes and medications, but cannot be reversed or cured. The typical treatment plan for congestive heart failure involves:

  • Avoiding dietary salt
  • Monitoring your weight daily
  • Taking your medications correctly
  • Completing cardiac rehabilitation
  • Exercising regularly
  • Achieving and maintaining an optimal weight

Following your treatment plan and seeing your doctor regularly will greatly reduce your symptoms and increase your chances for long-term survival.

What are the symptoms and when should I see my cardiologist?

The symptoms of congestive heart failure can appear gradually over time, or they may start suddenly. Some common symptoms of congestive heart failure include:

Swelling of the feet, ankles or legs
Sudden weight gain
Shortness of breath
Rapid or irregular heartbeat
Increased need to urinate at night

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should see your cardiologist immediately, especially if they are worsening.

Call Regional Cardiology Associates in Grand Blanc, MI to schedule an appointment today.