A Congestive Heart Failure diagnosis is a devastating piece of news to process.
Look up information online and you aren’t likely to feel very hopeful.
The bigger issue is that congestive heart failure can go UN-diagnosed for many years, so by the time you actually hear your doctor speak those words your disease process may be very advanced and your heart may have experienced a significant amount of damage.
Do you know the symptoms of congestive heart failure?
Heart failure symptoms
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea) when you exert yourself or when you lie down
- Fatigue and weakness
- Swelling (edema) in your legs, ankles and feet
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Reduced ability to exercise
- Persistent cough or wheezing with white or pink blood-tinged phlegm
- Increased need to urinate at night
- Swelling of your abdomen (ascites)
- Sudden weight gain from fluid retention
- Lack of appetite and nausea
- Difficulty concentrating or decreased alertness
- Sudden, severe shortness of breath and coughing up pink, foamy mucus
- Elevated blood pressure
- Profuse sweating
- Chest pain, if your heart failure is caused by a heart attack
(Article originally published on MayoClinic.com)
You can see that most of these symptoms are typical for multiple health issues.
Can you understand how your doctor might miss the clues?
If you don’t ask to be tested, you may not even hear the term “congestive heart failure” until you are in the midst of a health crisis.
Statistics show that this condition is often mis-diagnosed or just plain undetected by doctors for years!
An excerpt from the book Bypassing Bypass
Most people first hear the terrifying term “congestive heart failure” when they are hospitalized for heart problems.
Though recently it has been noted that the death rate from heart disease and cancer in the U.S. are dropping, the number of cases of congestive heart failure has doubled during the same time that all other heart disease rates have been decreasing.
The Weakened Heart
The heart is just like other muscles. When it is weakened, it becomes enlarged, congested, flaccid, and often prolapsed (dropped from its original position in the chest). It is not unusual to require a stethoscope placement three to five inches below the normal area when listening to a weakened heart.
In addition, a weakened heart simply cannot contract forcibly enough. Imagine if you had a weakened forearm and hand. Or imagine someone cutting off the nerve impulses to your fist. Now try to squeeze a tight fist. It becomes impossible. And in the end, you can only contract your hand weakly. The same thing happens with the muscle of your heart. Only in this case, due to a weak contraction, the blood entering the heart cannot be pumped out completely.
When this occurs, congestion takes place in the body. Your body is robbed of blood, nutrition, and oxygen. You become weak, tired, exhausted, and mentally spaced out. Your heart will often try to compensate by beating faster (trying to get the blood out with faster but weaker beats). When this happens, the condition becomes complicated by the tachycardia (racing heart).
Since nutritional deficiencies causing heart problems are rarely considered in the field of medicine, you are placed on powerful drugs that attempt to keep your heart beating and try to keep the congestion from becoming overwhelming. When your heart starts to race, more drugs are used to control your heartbeat. Meanwhile, you are getting weaker and weaker as your heart starves for the correct nutrition.
(Originally posted on MNWellDir.org)
There are 4 Stages of Congestive Heart Failure.
Unfortunately, you can be all the way in the 3rd Stage of Heart Disease and still have relatively few symptoms.
On WebMD.com they describe a person in Stage 3 of Heart Failure as:
Patients with known systolic heart failure and current or prior symptoms.
Most common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Reduced ability to exercise
(Information originally posted on WebMD.com)
However, a patient in Stage 3 of Heart Failure can also show up in the emergency room having never been told that they have ANY heart issues what so ever!
You may not even notice your symptoms of heart failure!
If you do, it is very likely that you will chock them up to something else … like getting old!
There is an epidemic of congestive heart failure ravaging the planet.
The Life Breath Club is dedicated to helping you recognize trouble before it threatens your well being.
Your free membership helps you evaluate your health care decisions and your Masters Membership will help you make the changes you need to make to AVOID health crisis!