Congestive heart failure, also called congestive heart failure, is a serious condition that occurs when the heart is unable to get enough oxygen and blood to support the rest of the body. This does not mean the heart stops beating, but the body has difficulty pumping out the many nutrients it needs. “When this happens, blood often backs up and fluid can build up in the lungs, causing shortness of breath,” he says. Mayo Clinic. “Some heart conditions, such as narrowed arteries in the heart (coronary artery disease) or high blood pressure, can gradually make the heart too weak or stiff to fill and pump blood properly.”

More than 6 million Americans have heart failure Centers for Disease Control and Prevention And “In 2018, heart failure was mentioned on 379,800 death certificates.” John Whyte, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, WebMD tells WebMD, “Heart attacks are very common” and are the number one reason people over 65 are hospitalized. Some people think that failure means that the heart suddenly stops working, like a heart attack. Heart failure is a process that occurs over many years.”

The medical community continues to search for improved ways to treat heart failure, but it is still a common and often fatal health problem. “Congestive heart failure is an active and intensive area of ​​research in the United States and overseas.” Dr. J. Wes Ulm, Harvard and MIT trained MD, PhD in bioinformatics, gene therapy, genetics, drug discovery, counseling and education. Given its high prevalence and expense—estimated to affect more than 6 million Americans, and nearly one million new diagnoses each year—efforts continue to improve its management and better address its underlying physiology. A type of pathological remodeling of the heart muscle at the cellular and molecular level that confronts and reverses it.However, CHF is also an example of a disease state secondary to other underlying causes, as discussed above. The first step is to solve and prevent the conditions that give.”

Read on to learn more about congestive heart failure and the signs that you may have it. As always, please consult your doctor for medical advice.

CHF can have many causes and can be acute or chronic, although in the latter case, it involves what is generally called pathological improvement. This occurs when the central wall of the heart muscle (the myocardium) undergoes changes in its cellular and molecular properties that impair its proper function.

Drinking heart failure

“Congestive heart failure can make your daily activities more difficult,” says Dr. White. Your energy is low. You have trouble breathing. This makes it difficult to lead an active lifestyle. It affects how you look and feel.

“Specific symptoms depend on the severity of CHF, which is basically classified as one of four distinct classes (patients often move between them at different times) and on specific causes and comorbidities, ie any,” says Dr. Ulm. Other diagnoses available Broadly, heart failure is classified as systolic (insufficient heart rate) or diastolic (insufficient cardiac filling), with the myocardium essentially being too weak in the former and too strong in the latter. , CHF naturally tends to limit daily activity, as the heart is unable to supply the relevant tissues with their circulatory demands, which is evident during periods of extreme fatigue.

“CHF is generally characterized by fatigue, shortness of breath (shortness of breath), high heart rate (partially compensating for insufficient blood circulation) and swelling in the legs or feet, sometimes with specific symptoms such as confusion, difficulty breathing,” Dr. Ulm said. Sleeping or waking up at night to urinate. In addition, weight gain can be seen with fluid retention, palpitations, or a dry cough. Swelling of the feet and ankles is caused by the swelling of the underlying tissue. The skin, in this case, is a circulatory reserve when the heart is unable to pump blood sufficiently into the pulmonary artery (from the right ventricle) and aorta (from the left ventricle).

Depending on the level and severity of CHF, patients may have fluid accumulation in the abdomen (ascites). During a clinical examination in a doctor’s office, a doctor or nurse listening with a stethoscope may hear lung crackles and abnormal heart sounds, or cold extremities or purple coloration (cyanosis) may be seen due to inadequate circulation and oxygenation. on the severity of CHF. An echocardiogram often detects a decrease in ejection fraction (EF), which is a hallmark of inadequate cardiac output.

Doctor examines the heart with a stethoscope

“There are many causes of heart failure, including high blood pressure, kidney disease, and thyroid disease. If you have a heart attack, this weakens the heart and blood vessels, which can lead to a heart attack. Excessive alcohol consumption not only affects the liver, but also the heart, and this can lead to heart failure,” says Dr. White. It can cause fatigue.”

According to Dr. Ulm, “Common risk factors for CHF include untreated heart valve disease or heart disease (such as congenital or acquired cardiomyopathy), a history of heart failure or other serious heart disease, poorly controlled blood pressure (high blood pressure) (high blood pressure) or diabetes and certain heart arrhythmias such as insufficiency atrial fibrillation patients with obesity or kidney problems, alcoholics, smokers and users of recreational drugs are at risk of the disease. risk of falls and thyrotoxicosis – the blood is too much thyroid A flood of hormones, for example, after hyperthyroidism or thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland) – can also cause CHF.

In addition, there are some rare cases caused by infections, such as severe viral myocarditis, in which the heart muscle itself becomes infected and inflamed, or Chagas disease, commonly seen in Brazil. In addition, there is concern from recent studies that some COVID-19 infections during the pandemic may contribute to the risk of myocarditis and heart failure, although this research has been conducted.

A person with kidney problems

“Complications of congestive heart failure include liver damage, kidney damage, etc.,” says Dr. White. And the lungs are often affected. Some people develop sleep apnea when they have a heart attack, while others may develop anemia or low blood counts.

“If left untreated, heart failure can progress to class IV CHF, which is associated with increased morbidity as the heart’s blood flow decreases, compromising the adequate delivery of oxygen and nutrients to downstream tissues,” says Dr. Ulm. and mortality. In such cases, pathological remodeling of the myocardium develops, leading to severe exercise and pump dysfunction. Exercise is severely limited even at rest, and management and recovery are difficult.

Doctor who holds the heart

“Preventive measures to prevent heart attacks overlap with those used to prevent heart disease in general, such as stopping smoking and other tobacco use, reducing alcohol and recreational drugs, getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy body weight, controlling salt, sugar and saturated fat, and eating more fruit and vegetables,” Dr. Ulm said. And dietary adjustments to improve vegetable intake It is important to have regular medical examinations to identify and treat problems such as high blood pressure, and if diagnosed with CHF, make sure to take prescribed medications such as diuretics, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers. Such treatments basically help to rest the heart and reduce the burden of adequately lubricating the body. Changing the pathologic changes of the myocardium that give rise to CHF in the first place.

Similarly, it is important to manage and manage stress well. This may be easier for us, especially in the US; Gallup and other organizations have found that Americans regularly suffer the highest levels of stress of any developed nation. This no doubt contributes to the obesity, drug use, and other CHF contributors we find in the United States, as well as the relatively dismal life expectancy—among the lowest in developed countries, even before the Covid pandemic. The USA’s significant prevalence of CHF itself is equally to blame for this. But stress management is key to avoiding CHF and many other health conditions, which in many cases are linked to elevated blood cortisol, the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Deep breathing, yoga, exercise and broader lifestyle changes are critical to this.

Wes UlmMD, PhD, is a physician-researcher, Musician (J. Wes Ulm and Kant’s Konundrum), and author, and holds two MD/PhD degrees from Harvard Medical School and MIT. He is a body. Heroes of the Covid crisis A series related to ongoing efforts in the field of drug discovery and public health.

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