May 21

How to Detect Congestive Heart Failure Early

How to Detect Congestive Heart Failure Early

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 550,000 new cases of congestive heart failure (CHF) are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. And, what’s concerning about CHF is that it affects people of all ages – ranging from children and young adults to the middle-aged and elderly.

Managing congestive heart failure can be challenging. However, early diagnosis and treatment can improve the quality and length of life for those affected. In today’s blog, we’ll explain how to detect congestive heart failure early through its symptoms as well as preventive testing.

(Bring this free worksheet with you to your next appointment!)

 

What is Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)?

Heart failure doesn’t mean the heart has stopped working. It’s that it isn’t able to pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body. This typically happens when the heart muscle is weak or there’s a defect in the heart, preventing blood from circulating properly. When it doesn’t circulate, the kidneys receive less blood and filter less fluid out. This extra liquid can build up in the lungs, liver, around the eyes and even the legs.

 

What are the Symptoms of CHF?

Congestive heart failure can be a result of other health conditions that directly affect your cardiovascular system. Some of which include high blood pressure, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or a buildup of iron or protein. This is why it’s important to schedule annual screenings and check-ups to lower your risk for heart problems.

In the early stages of congestive heart failure, you likely won’t notice any major symptoms. As the condition progresses, you could start experiencing graduation changes in your body. Here are the most common symptoms you should monitor.

Early

Mid-Stage

Severe

Fatigue

Irregular Heartbeat

Chest Pain

Weight Gain

Wheezing / Coughing

Rapid Breathing

Swelling in Legs

Shortness of Breath

Fainting / Lack of Oxygen

 

Keep in mind that chest pain radiating throughout the upper body can be a sign of a heart attack. (Here are 5 reasons you shouldn’t ignore it.) If you’re experiencing other symptoms that may signify a cardiac event, please seek immediate medical attention.

 

How Does Congestive Heart Failure Progress?

The most common type of congestive heart failure is left-sided. This occurs when the left ventricle of the heart can’t pump enough blood effectively to the rest of the body. This causes fluid to gather around the lungs and makes breathing difficult. There are two kinds of left-sided heart failure: systolic and diastolic.

Systolic heart failure occurs when the left ventricle isn’t contracting properly. Diastolic happens when the muscle in the left ventricle stiffens. When it can’t relax, it’s not able to fully fill with blood between heartbeats.

Right-sided congestive heart failure is less common. It happens when the right ventricle can’t pump blood to the lungs specifically. This leads to blood backing up in the blood vessels, causing fluid retention in the abdomen or lower legs. A person can have left and right-sided CHF at the same time, but it usually spreads from the left to the right if untreated.

 

How Can I Prevent Congestive Heart Failure?

As mentioned, the earlier you detect heart disease, the faster you can seek treatment. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to reduce your chances of getting heart disease. Here are some steps to get you started.

  •      Control your blood pressure
  •      Monitor your cholesterol
  •      Stay at a healthy weight
  •      Reduce sodium, fats and sugars
  •      Eat a heart-healthy diet
  •      Exercise regularly
  •      Manage your stress
  •      Get enough sleep

According to the CDC, 80% of premature heart disease and strokes are preventable through early diagnosis. The key to preventing congestive heart disease is by detecting it early. Our GE Revolution Scanner captures multiple images of the organs in a single heartbeat. This provides greater accuracy and speed compared to traditional testing – and it’s completely non-invasive.

Your outlook will depend on how advanced your heart disease is and whether you have other health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure to treat. A preventive scan is the fastest, easiest and most accurate way to learn about the state of your heart. This information combined with the guidance of your doctor can help you take back control of your health.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a heart scan, reach out to our team at (918) 879-6161.

 

Tackling Heart Disease With Your Doctor

Have you ever heard, “It takes a village?” The same goes for heart disease. Combining efforts is the best way to tackle it. Bring this free worksheet with you to your heart appointment to discuss the following questions with your doctor. Click below to download your copy now.

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Heart Disease

In this ebook, we discuss our selection of scans and when it might be beneficial for you to schedule one. We outline our process and what you can expect for each option, including results and reports.

 

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